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Quotable Archive

[For most homilies] ...the real practical problem is not theological, it is that they are boring.  It may be ironic, but while today's clergy probably know the Scriptures better than their predecessors, the historical critical method in which they have been trained has drained away much of the excitement, the color and the poetry of the Scriptures in favor of questions about authorship or form criticism.  None would deny the importance of these concerns, but they are not what matter to most people.

Biblical understanding, expressed in words that touch both mind and heart, is needed.  Yet it alone will not do for, lacking sincerity and a commitment to prayer, it can become self-indulgent and a snare.  Poetry and the "music of the mind" are important as well, but they too must serve the Gospel.  Jesus' parables, so vivid, concise and subtle, were always told for a purpose.  They were persuasive because he not only meant what he said, he lived it. 

Someone once asked John Wesley why so many people traveled long distances to hear him preach.  "I set myself on fire and the people come to watch me burn," he replied.  It is a high order for any would-be homilist—but it beats purgatory. 

----Willard F. Jabusch"Papa Don't Preach" in Commonweal,  March 28, 2003, page 31


Quotable Archive

Just click on a "Quotable" title below to read the review.
(The latest submissions are listed first.)

• A Preacher Must... •
• A Poem In the Spirit of Advent •
• HOW does the answer come back? •
• Prayer for Peace •
• Pentecost •
• Second Synod of Orange •
• 7 Social Sins •
• The Homily •
• Resurrection •
• Sin Is Something that Changes... •
• AND THEN... •
• The Winter Journey of Advent •
• A Prayer For the World •
• Come Home •
• A New Psalm •
• A blessing for Preachers •
• Christmas In A Prison Cell •
• Compare Reading the Scriptures With Eating the Eucharist... •
• Eastering •
• For Me To Preach... •
• Formulas •
• I Am Disciple •
• Indeed Any Sermon... •
• Jesus, Light of the World, Come •
• Lament For A Son •
• Lenten Penance •
• Litany of Non-Violence •
• Lovelight •
• Making the House Ready for the Lord •
• Money Order Angels •
• Ongoing Listening •
• On Jordan's Bank •
• Peace Prayer •
• Preacher •
• Preaching At Weddings •
• Preaching Is Dangerous •
• Preaching Has As Its Primary Purpose... •
• Seeds of Contemplation •
• The Homily Is Not... •
• The Difference Between Dead and Living Sermons •
• The Dominican Family •
• The Natural World •
• The Season of Pentecost •

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