We need to stop complaining about "bad homilies"


#1

I challenge anyone here to the following

If a homily seems ill-prepared, wandering, or God forbid “boring” to you, see if you can do the following.

Extract one simple resolution from either the opening collect (if you can remember a few words from it), from the first reading, from the second reading, from the Responsorial, or from the Gospel, or even from a few stray points in the priest’s homily.

Just extract one small point of struggle from any of these sources of Scripture or prayer, and “pray with it” during the homily.

From the Gospel in the Mass of today, St John’s Gospel: “Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you”

Now we can pray with this nugget, and we can extract a small concrete resolution out of it:

Lord, every hour You come to me asking me to draw closer to you, to love You a bit more, to love my wife a bit more…How can I give glory to You this day, this next hour or two? How can I help Your Son give You glory in my workday? In my home life? Don’t let an hour pass today without helping me to give You glory in some small way, perhaps in some hidden way, known only to You."

And this can form the base of our resolution: I will give You glory today by smiling at every person I meet naturally, and I will check myself at noon, when I will mark the day with a prayer to Your daughter Mary.

No one, if they put the tools God gave them to love Him with (their intellect, their imagination, their memory, their will),m can come away from any homily or Mass, unhelped by it.

It takes a mere act of the will and act of the intellect to squeeze out a solid point of struggle from any homily at all. It’s easy, it just takes a moment of love, a moment of more effort, a tiny bit of hardy sacrifice.


#2

I agree, I find that few priest give bad homilies. Some are better than others, but most are good.

But can you please allow us to complain about bad readers? :slight_smile:


#3

We have a few readers who change the Word of God regularly.


#4

I think the thing missing here is that we are at Mass to glorify God, not to be entertained by a snappy Homily.
It is not about us. It is about God.


#5

Never heard a sermon/homily that I did not like. Never heard a bad reader. I like going to Mass in all the different ways.


#6

I’ve heard many below average homilies. The best I’ve heard have been on college campuses from Jesuit priests that were carefully picked… By contrast, I’ve heard many charismatic and vibrant Christian speakers in Protestant churches (though not in line with Catholic teaching).

Catholic homilies have a long way to go to extend the Church’s reach and relevancy. I’d like to see a place that brings people far from God to listen and participate and be offered Christ’s saving love.


#7

I agree. The content is generally good. The biggest issue I encounter is very thick accents which can make it more difficult to concentrate on the priest’s words.


#8

I’d never judge a Priest for his homily because I sure haven’t walked in his shoes and I sure wouldn’t want to have to be in front of “us Catholics” week after week trying to teach them and “knock some sense” into our heads. What a task, what a challenge and all while every word is being picked apart.

EVERY homily is a lesson.


#9

The issue I have with some homilies is often a result of the priest not being able to speak English. Sometimes it’s not their first language or their third.

My priest has this habit to say “M’kay” at the end of each sentence. He’s like a Spanish version Mr.Mackey from Southpark. He takes far too long to get to the point, delivery isn’t the best and I feel like I have to decipher everything he says.

I do agree that taking one small part from either the reading or the homily is great idea. The priest usually does plant a seed of thought that you can nurture when you leave mass.

I do have a bit of longing that the priest hits a homerun so to speak with the homilies. But that’s just the way it is, and it’s hardly worth complaining about.


#10

Some Priests are better at homilies than others. Some are very good in the Confessional. You can’t judge a Priest only by the homily. Different strokes for different folks.

I agree it isn’t fair to judge a Priest by their homily. They often have to come up with several a week. Sometimes what might fly past my head is exactly what a lady in a pew a few in front of me needed to hear that day.

And to add to that, the Priests have so much else to do! Their own prayers, say Mass (sometimes multiple times a day), hear Confessions, visit hospitals, prepare for weddings, Baptisms, be on call for when a scrupulous guy like me has something that he just NEEDS to confess asap, study Scripture and other materials they might have to be familiar with—they also deserve their own time of rest and relaxation.


#11

I rarely encounter a homily that is thoughtful or inspiring; few are well delivered. Many priests seem to think they can put minimal effort into their homilies and they’ll be good enough. And many Catholics are willing to accept this.

A homily should bring the gospel into the world and give people ideas on how to carry it forward. Mass should help prepare people to live the gospel the rest of the week.

I’m really tired of excuses for priests who neglect a part of their ministry. For most Catholics, Sunday Mass is their total exposure to the Church. Poor preaching, poor music, and poor fellowship all contribute to an atmosphere that says none of this is worth any effort anyway. And alli too many non-practicing Catholics have gotten that message loud and clear.


#12

We need to stop complaining, period.

And be more grateful that we even are able to attend Mass regularly and live in the societies we do with all the blessings we have.


#13

My thread was for you then.


#14

Not for me – I’m one of those who puts up with the mediocrity week after week. Figure out how to reach those who have given up. I believe that only about a quarter of Catholics attend Mass regularly. Poor preaching isn’t going to help change that number.


#15

And how does God and His priests put up with our mediocrity week after week?

That’s a better point of examination, now isn’t it? Hurts doesn’t it?

No attention spans
children spilling cheerios all over the place, without the parents picking up after them
chincy generosity when the basket comes around
arms folded
sour faces.
consumerists attitudes.
whininess, complaints.
lackluster confessions…no examination apparent…story tellers! (i.e., excuse makers).

Most problems of the church are lay problems…low prayer, low formation, etc.


#16

Very well said!


#17

But it is up to use to listen to God’s words, not to concern ourselves with the way those words are delivered by a priest or deacon.
It is too easy to blame the deliverer of the message. What is important is the message.
I am tired of Catholics who make excuses for their lack of inspiration.
Please try to embrace the message, not the messengers.


#18

I disagree, one of the reasons I stopped going to mass, other than distance to get there, is I became tired of the progressive lectures that I listened to every sunday.


#19

Yes, those are hard to swallow. But compared to the Eucharist…and remember that at every Mass we become present at our own Redemption…I can put up with any progressive blather


#20

No offense intended, but your words sound like an excuse.
First you talk of the distance.
Then you talk about what your perceive to be progressive lectures.
Sometimes, the message delivered by God’s messenger is what we need to hear, not what we want to hear.
But those hearing must open their hearts and minds, and allow the message to come in.
Many people who heard Jesus’ words did not like what he had to say. But his words were correct.


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