Week 21: Liturgy of the Word: homily

By Archbishop Michael Jackels

Witness Publisher

After the gospel comes the homily, which is intended to make biblical teaching understood and relevant to life outside of church, on weekdays, at home, school, or work … wherever we live our lives.

For this to happen, we have to make a conscious effort to listen to the readings and the homily, and try to take away at least one thought to ponder and put into practice.

These are part of the “daily bread” that Jesus gives to his followers. That is why the Church speaks of this first part of the Mass as the “Table of God’s Word.”

The preacher, for his part, makes an effort to listen for the principle message of the readings, as well as the questions and concerns of the hearers, trying to connect the two in the homily.

There is no standard length for a homily. But the preacher should take care that the homily is not too long, lest it negatively affect the balance and rhythm of the Mass, or test the ear and the rear of the hearer.