Tuesday, June 29, 2004

For all you ordained clergy out there,

I have come up with an idea for a Brilliant Homily. Yes, if you try this, they'll be talking about you for years. I offer it to you free of charge. Here we go:

Start your homily in silence. Then continue in silence. Oh, you can gesture if you like--maybe even some full-blown Fulton Sheenesque gesticulations would be effective. But say nothing.

Do this for at least five minutes, which is about three minutes longer than the time it takes a pause to become an uncomfortable silence.

Then finish with more silence, and continue the liturgy.

At the end of the liturgy, while giving the announcements for the upcoming bakesales and such, say "How did you like the homily? Was it good?" When people look back in puzzlement, say this, or something like it: "Oh, you didn't like it? I was just doing what so many other people do. When I ask them if they evangelize, if they spread the good news, they say they do, but quietly, by means of their actions. So I preached with actions, not words."

You can continue: "It didn't work? Well, then, perhaps you should contemplate these words of St. Paul: So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. (Rom 10:17) When's the last time you talked to your friends about Jesus?"

How will the world know the gospel if no-one preaches it?

(If you do use this as a homily, I ask that you let me know how it works. I'm not ordained, so can't try it myself.)

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