From the Pastor's Pen - January 26, 2020
As I mentioned earlier, work picks up again after the holiday break in many areas— school and finances, strategic planning, organizations. I’m finishing the work of writing out my homilies from the holidays for the website, so I’ll tell you a bit about how that’s done.
First, to write the homily itself for delivery, by midweek or later I check ahead on the Sunday readings, though I usually know already. I have at least 4 sources of scriptural commentary to explain the readings in depth. Then I consider what’s going on in the parish, what our people are dealing with; and bigger issues in society, the country, and the world. I look for the Word to make an incisive insight to give us direction, assurance, or to put our issues into the long tradition of Jewish-Christian faith. Some of the insights come as I drive around or do exercise. Then I begin to make a few notes, and by Friday night an outline may be taking shape, and I return to it Saturday morning. I don’t type out the homily word-for-word ahead of time; my speaking notes are just an outline of a dozen or so words. In this way I speak it from the heart, and avoid reading it off the page. (It also may be a little different each time!)
Sometimes the homily delivered at Mass is taped. More often, I re-dictate it into a recorder later Sunday, and then begin to transcribe it into a written text also. This leaves a spoken recording as well as a text copy to read on a device or print out. For several years now, Cara Koen is an adjunct to our staff to keep our website fresh, and to make connections on social media. (Our website is a lot more nteresting to read and browse around than many others, especially parishes.) So this week for instance, she’s loaded several homilies onto our website.
I want to call your attention to them. The 3rd Sunday of Advent one is a call to rejoice, whatever our circumstances may be. The 4th Sunday of Advent is for those who may feel stressed out or left out of Christmas. And Christmas Day is an invitation to enjoy the relationship we now have with Jesus. Use them or enjoy them by listening to them to or in writing, as you prefer.