“No one—no individual and no community—can proclaim the Gospel to himself: “Faith comes from what is heard.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), # 875
This is a great way to see a homily. No matter how good or not so good we think a homily might be, we need to hear and listen to what the priest has to say. Monotone or fire and brimstone, we need to be attentive to the homily. The homily is an explanation or reflection to get us to our ultimate goal of salvation. It's good to remember that a priest is preaching to people of all different walks of life so even if we think he is beating the dead horse, maybe one parishioner’s relationship with Christ is just starting to grow and they need to hear what Father is saying at that moment.
The Homily is to help us on our faith journey. Jesus did this himself in the gospel of Luke 4:14-22. He stood up and read from the book of Isaiah and followed it by giving a homily. The priests reflect this action by doing the same and by tying the reading back to the here and now. The homily is not a form of entertainment but does give life and meaning.
How can we hear a great Homily at every mass? Well there are plenty of ways! First, let us come with a spirit of openness to what the Holy Spirit has to tell us through the priest. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to listen and to open the priests mouth to preach what he is guiding them to say.
This is a great opportunity to get out our mass journal. Write down what sticks out to you and what you find interesting. Active participation! We can also write down a summary of what the priest is saying, as he is saying it, so that if nothing hits us right away, when we reflect on it later in our personal prayer time, we can really dive into and try to understand what the priest was saying.
We can also not let ourselves be distracted with whats around us. If you’re one of those people that are easily distracted, try sitting near the front of the Church. When we're up front and center, we tend to be less distracted and listen more easily.
Try to reflect on the readings beforehand. This way, when its time for the Homily, you have a clearer understanding of what's going on in the readings and, most times, can see a direction of where the priest might go in his homily.
When we listen to a homily, it is not just nice words to make us feel good but we need to be ready to apply it to our lives. I know I have heard people say to others, “hey, don't say that, you just came from mass.” We need to be ready to apply what we heard at mass to our own daily lives. Change doesn't happen right away but if we continuously take out time everyday to reflect on the words that were spoken at mass, we will see how we have changed to be a better daughter of God. Growing in our relationship with Christ means changing and taking out what is not of God in our lives to make room for the great plans He has for us!
How is God speaking to you in this post or today's reading? Enter a comment below or click HERE if you are reading from your phone. (Commenting is optional, but always grace-filled.) Thank you for letting us into your life and for being a part of ours!