EG 137: The Liturgical Context of the Homily

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdaleneIn Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis suggests a model for the liturgical homily. Not meditation. Not catechesis. But a dialogue between God and people. How can this be accomplished with only one person speaking? I’m curious to see:

137. It is worthy remembering that “the liturgical proclamation of the word of God, especially in the eucharistic assembly, is not so much a time for meditation and catechesis as a dialogue between God and his people, a dialogue in which the great deeds of salvation are proclaimed and the demands of the covenant are continually restated”.[JOHN PAUL II, Dies Domini  41]

This point will be coming up in a few weeks as we examine this apostolic letter of the late pope. So this is not some new idea, at least coming from the Chair of Peter.

What about the homily not being catechesis? It’s better than catechesis:

The homily has special importance due to its eucharistic context: it surpasses all forms of catechesis as the supreme moment in the dialogue between God and his people which lead up to sacramental communion. The homily takes up once more the dialogue which the Lord has already established with his people.

The role of the preacher:

The preacher must know the heart of (a) community, in order to realize where its desire for God is alive and ardent, as well as where that dialogue, once loving, has been thwarted and is now barren.

Pope Francis urges a full diagnosis, something lacking in many church circles. It’s not enough to know where a community must go. A preacher must know where they are. Accurate diagnosis is needed.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Evangelii Gaudium, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to EG 137: The Liturgical Context of the Homily

  1. Liam says:

    I would caution not to interpret this too literally. Pope Francis himself frequently must homilize to “communities” that he does not “know” in the same way a parish pastor should “know” his flock. Indeed, as a Jesuit, he’s more likely to focus on levels that a parish pastor may have a harder time focusing on.

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