I admit it, I can sometimes be overly critical about a Homily. I sometimes feel bad about it. I try not to be too nit-picky, but often times I get very frustrated by what I hear. Add to the fact that I think Liturgical silence is a lost art form nowadays (I feel like there should be a large amount of silence between readings and after a Homily) and I really believe we’re at a bit of a crisis to find solid Homilicians in the Church today.
I feel like today’s scriptures were just ripe for a wonderful Homily. It had everything you want; sin, repentance, forgiveness, a call to new Life in Christ. It seems like one would have to go out of their way to punt a Homily. Sadly, today’s presider looked like Brad Maynard.
I feel like today’s Homily would’ve been a perfect time to discuss the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It was almost laid out for a Homily on Confession. Instead today’s Homily went down an all-too-familiar route. Now don’t get me wrong, the Homily wasn’t “bad.” There was nothing untrue about it. Nothing that was ya know, heresy or anything of the sort. But it just seemed like with a bit of work this Homily could’ve been a homerun. Instead I got a Juan Pierre single up the middle. (Ok, enough with the sports references)
This got me to thinking though, when was the last time I heard a Homily that called me to greater devotion? When was the last time I heard a Homily that called me to a greater practice of Orthodoxy? Honestly, today’s Homily seemed perfect to call the faithful to the wonderful Sacrament of Reconciliation, yet not a mention of it. And I genuinely cannot remember the last time I was called by anyone in the Church to go to Confession. Or to pray to a Saint for intercession. Or to the Blessed Mother. Or to pray a Rosary. Or really, any call to a greater devotional life. It seems that the common recipe for Homilies these days is throw in two parts self-help book, a dash of something almost seemingly new agey, sprinkle in an attempt at a relevant story or joke, and maybe add a pinch of God (for more spice, throw in Jesus).
And I guess I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why Homilies are this bad. And honestly, I don’t know why they’re often THIS short. But that’s another post all together. I think what frustrates me the most is the fact that the Catholic Church has such an incredibly rich devotional life that seems like it continues to stay hidden. Why can’t our priests help us unlock it? Why can’t they call us to a deeper devotional life, to live in the full riches of our Faith tradition? Instead I often feel like most Homilies I hear could’ve been swiped from Oprah.
I feel like our priests are continuing to try to feed us on milk, but instead it’s time for us to eat solid food. You cannot decry the crisis of faith in the Church, but then not expose to the general population the beauty of the Faith. All I can do is to pray, and to invite you to pray that the Church continues to grow into the wonderful riches that the Second Vatican Council has opened up to us so that our Liturgies may finally be resembling the wonderment and amazement that they truly were imagined to be in that council.