EN 43: Apostolic Ardor, homilies and Amaretto Sours

Paul VI now moves on from the first 'how' of evangelism which is the authentic Christian life, to preaching. He makes a few points that I will not discuss in detail: preaching is necessary, people are tired of empty talk so we need to be creative in how we preach, and that, you know, wouldn't it be nice if we had good sermons at mass? (I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people complain about that last point, and quite rightly I have to say.)

So the next time your pastor asks you about his sermons, say, I would like to see more sermons that are "simple, clear, direct, well-adapted, profoundly dependent on Gospel teaching and faithful to the magisterium, animated by a balanced apostolic ardor coming from its own characteristic nature, full of hope, fostering belief, and productive of peace and unity." §43

Apostolic ardor. I like that. He then goes on to mention what seems to be a great insight for Catholic outreach, that the homily can be used on most any occasion:

Let us add that, thanks to the same liturgical renewal, the Eucharistic celebration is not the only appropriate moment for the homily. The homily has a place and must not be neglected in the celebration of all the sacraments, at para-liturgies, and in assemblies of the faithful. It will always be a privileged occasion for communicating the Word of the Lord.

(So some would say that Vatican II hardly led to 'liturgical renewal' but I am not even going to talk about that.)

So: imagine inviting friends over for dinner, and having a priest or deacon give a short homily before dinner, or heck, afterwards while folks are sipping on delicious amaretto sours (That's for you Erik). 15 minutes is not much. And if they are non-Christians then you don't have to start explaining what the Eucharist is, and so on (though that is certainly a good conversation to have...eventually).

This would be particularly suitable in the Middle East (perhaps without the Amaretto Sours). Especially if they have had some time to meet and speak with the cleric over a meal, they will not be adverse to him offering a couple of reflections on the life of saint whatever or the beatitudes or what have you. In fact it would be very ordinary for something like this to happen, since respect for religious figures (generally including Christian clerics) is still very much part of the culture, especially in more traditional areas (note that the clergy should be wearing clerical clothing).

This all completes the thought of people being tired of words. To share a meal is a form of communication which is very suitable for people tired of words. One might almost say that it is a sort of proto-Eucharist and the addition of a homily filled with Apostolic ardor can only make that truth more clear, helping the Church to "proclaim the Gospel to the people of today" §1.


Odysseus said…
-simple, clear, direct, well-adapted, profoundly dependent on Gospel teaching and faithful to the magisterium-

Even the few good homilies I hear need to be shorter.

1. Relate the OT reading to the Gospel reading.

2. Show how I am supposed to allow this Gospel passage to affect my modern day life (repentance, good deeds, prayer, etc.)

3. Please stand for the creed
FrGregACCA said…
1b: And/or the New Testament reading

2b: Connect what has been said to the confession of faith made in the Creed and to the self-offering that each is to make in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Abu Daoud said…
When I preach (and I was in the USA a few months ago and preached a good bit) I always try to tie it into the Eucharist and the Nicene Creed. It's not hard to do, because there's scarcely a passage in the Bible that does not related directly to one of the two or both.
Odysseus said…
Fr Greg,

Thanks for the edit! :-)
FrGregACCA said…

No problem, bro! ;-)

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