This little series of ti morceaux has been considering the various parts of the Mass. The most recent articles have dealt with the Gospel reading. We’ve almost come to the end of the first half of the Eucharistic celebration, known as the Liturgy of the Word.
While objectively the Bible readings are the most important part of the Liturgy of the Word, I don’t think that’s true when considered in another way. From a subjective standpoint, the next part of the Mass is usually the most important: the homily. This is so because this is the point when the message of God is applied to our situation today.
Note the contrast! The texts of Scripture are unchanging. While different translations can be employed, the original, “official” Hebrew and Greek text of the Bible doesn’t change. It can’t change! And so God’s Word has a reliability and timeless quality. But the way God’s Word is applied in the homily is supposed to be geared to each distinct assembly. Priests and deacons are not supposed to preach the same “sermon” again and again, as if the unique composition of each congregation didn’t matter. No, the Church requires Catholic preachers to give homilies, applying divine Revelation to our own situations, which are ever changing.