4. Homilies by Fr. James Mallon

The ministry of preaching is
key and “it’s the biggest bang for our buck in
ministry.” 124

The goal is to feed the sheep, not appease the sheep (don’t cut down homily length just because some like short homilies).

Preaching needs to be Christocentric, kerygmatic, evangelical, holistic (preach to the entire person – mind, heart, conscience and will), joyful (it’s Good News!),

Do you see people smile or laugh?

Two tweets (under 140 characters): (1) Message = what I want people to know; (2) Action = what I want people to do.

1 sentence summary

The Word of God is a “two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12): it cuts both ways. Those who would dare wield this sword to cut others must first be cut themselves. The preacher must be afflicted and comforted by the Word because he can afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. This demands that we are vulnerable and real with our people in preaching

“This yielding to the blade of God’s Word is the most important step in preparing to preach; it demands time in prayer, wrestling with the Word and the core message that must be preached” (129).

Here are some of the tips that Father Mallon offers to help preachers give their message meaning and impact:

  1. Get maximum input for your homily preparation: Prepare with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Know what is on peoples’ minds. Listen to them.

1. Get maximum input for your homily preparation: Prepare with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Know what is on peoples’ minds. Listen to them. Solicit honest feedback. Listen to recordings and view videos of you preaching.

2. Go text free. Know your opening and closing. And then have key points. The rest leave room for freedom. Enjoy it! It’s good news!

3. Avoid the stand-alone homily. Build upon previous homilies. Preach in a programmatic way. Build up the vision, plan, and strategy of the parish.

4. Go text free. Much more engaging for the congregation.

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