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Tag: preaching

Knowing the Bad News Unlocks the Good News

September 20, 2018 7 Comments
Knowing the Bad News Unlocks the Good News

Some people suggest that the Church should speak less of sin and instead emphasize positive things. After all, it is said that one can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. In that vein, we in the Church have been collectively de-emphasizing sin to a large degree for decades, and yet our churches have […]

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On the Length of the Homily

September 17, 2018 24 Comments
On the Length of the Homily

During a recent day trip to Sicily, Pope Francis said that homilies should not last more than 8 minutes and that the entire Mass should be completed within 40 (although he may have been exaggerating on this second point). He has said similar things before. He is entitled to his opinion, of course, but I disagree. […]

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Poor Preaching Isn’t Only Due to the Preacher – A Homily For the 14th Sunday of the Year

July 7, 2018 4 Comments
Poor Preaching Isn’t Only Due to the Preacher – A Homily For the 14th Sunday of the Year

The gospel today portrays the Lord Jesus as preacher and prophet, but even the greatest preacher in the world, Jesus, can find His powerful and precious words falling lifeless on the rock-hard surface of many a soul. Yes, even His words can meet with resistance and hostility, indifference and ridicule. Indeed, the gospel today shows […]

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The Ancient Biblical Sermons Break All the Modern Rules – Maybe the Rules Should Be Re-Examined

April 16, 2018 23 Comments
The Ancient Biblical Sermons Break All the Modern Rules – Maybe the Rules Should Be Re-Examined

The first reading from last Sunday’s Mass features an excerpt from St. Peter’s first sermon. The contents of the sermon are very similar to others recorded in the Acts of the Apostles by Saints Paul and Stephen. What is interesting is that these ancient sermons break almost every rule (written and unwritten) of modern preaching! […]

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Priests, Parents, and Leaders: Take Heart!

September 26, 2017 4 Comments
Priests, Parents, and Leaders: Take Heart!

Today I would like to present excerpts from the stirring sermon “On Pastors,” delivered by St. Augustine to the priests and people of Hippo. Although it is directed to priests, I hope that parents and leaders in general might also take courage from it. In times like these we must all be reminded of the […]

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To Teach as Jesus Taught – A Reflection on the Qualities of Jesus as Preacher and Teacher

August 31, 2015 2 Comments
To Teach as Jesus Taught – A Reflection on the Qualities of Jesus as Preacher and Teacher

As a priest I am called to preach and teach, and as such I must look to Jesus Christ as my model. In this I refer to the real Jesus of Scripture. Too many people today have refashioned Jesus into a sort of “harmless hippie,” an affable affirmer, a pleasant sort of fellow who healed […]

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A Reflection on the Modern Error of Preaching Mercy without Repentance

November 14, 2013 54 Comments
A Reflection on the Modern Error of Preaching Mercy without Repentance

There are of course many ways of describing the pastoral, liturgical and theological struggles of our day. But one very simple way of describing current problems that touches on all these areas is simply this:  that a presumptive attitude of mercy without repentance is both taught and widely held by far too many modern Catholics, […]

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Are We "Down with the People" or Up with the Cross? A Call to Courage in Preaching the Cross

July 7, 2013 10 Comments
Are We "Down with the People" or Up with the Cross? A Call to Courage in Preaching the Cross

Some forty years ago the Venerable Bishop Fulton J Sheen admonished the priests of his day in these words: We become real priests when we empty ourselves, and no longer seek our [own] identity, and where we are lifted up to the cross, not going “down to people.” Too many of us today feel we […]

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