On Prayer and Preaching

On Prayer and Preaching

Preparing a Sunday homily firstly involves a clear understanding of the text of scripture . You can’t begin a homily looking first for a joke or an anecdote even though our flock often seek ‘practical homilies’. There is nothing more practical than the Gospels. The fact is that they are not broken down for us.

The first reading of this Sunday is a warning to all preachers ( Jeremiah 23:1-6) “ woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture.” This Sunday, Jesus looks at the crowd and has compassion for they were like “sheep without a shepherd”. His first reaction to the crowd that seemed woefully lost was not to be a social worker ; He TEACHES them first and in doing so he nourishes their souls ( verse 34) it is then that he feeds their bodies ( miracle of the 5000). Our flock needs to be fed with the Word of God and not merely told bed time stories even if that is the popular thing to do .

But Jesus has something for the hard working preacher as he does for the laity. He does not want us to be so immersed in work that we don’t rest with HIM. The apostles GATHERED around Jesus ( that’s the beginning of prayer). They began (as we do in prayer ) telling him all that they did and taught. Then comes the second part of prayer, when we listen to Jesus . Jesus now spoke to them and in this case offered practical advice “ come to a deserted place and rest “

This Sunday’s Gospel is not some spiritual lotion, smoky prayer or healing bath. It’s clear practical advice on where we can find rest .

Fr Warner D’souza
Share if you agree. Write in if you have a view . No Amens please

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6 thoughts on “On Prayer and Preaching”

  • Jacqueline D'Mello · Edit

    The best homilies I have appreciated have been those where the priest has shared about how the Gospel has affected him personally. I like that you said we all need rest with Jesus. I think some of you priests overdo the working part.

  • Well said Fr.Warner. A perfect homily is where the Word is broken as Christ would break it to his sheep. Gradually this can be perfected across as the Shepherd is obedient to the master and has the best interest of his sheep in mind.

  • And we ask why people are leaving the catholic church. In fact, our priests (at least the ones who have eyes but do not see and ears that do not hear) keep asking from the pulpit (yes, pulpit) why people are leaving the catholic church. Don’t you see its staring you in the face? Its the Bible people and dear priests. It THE BOOK that we have continued to ignore. Bring back the Word of God and lets begin to live by the Word of God in our homes, churches and communities. Personally, I listen to, teachers and pastors who are soaked in Gods Word and it does not matter which denomination they below to. Our Priests have become administrators rather than Shepherds. Sad. Wake up Catholic church and smell the coffee

  • Fr. Warner, I enjoy reading your posts/teachings based on the scripture reading for the day. You explain it in simple and uncomplicated language and you bring scripture alive. We need more Priests like you to bring about a revival in the Catholic church. We don’t need church doctrine.( If there are and I believe there are) very few like you, lets have lay people who are immersed in the Word of God preach to us. Time to put an end to church politics and bring back Kingdom principles into our churches and homes. God bless

  • Josephine Fernandes · Edit

    Fr. Warner It was a real pleasure meeting you on Sunday 22nd July 2018, at St. Pius Parish Mulund I liked you the moment I saw you and I was so lucky to be giving the vote of thanks..and getting a big hug from you and a compliment.

    I am reading your post for the first time…and I must say…you say it as it is…just as you mentioned at the session you gave on Sunday about the Pharisee and the tax collector…How true you are….we Catholics have become very snooty…beginning with our priests..we come to church because we have to….honestly…but the spiritual aspect of our practice of attending Holy Mass is lost…

    We are a scattered lot…just like the reading of Jeremiah 23:1-6…..Will continue reading your blogs….I write blogs too…but got bored and left them half way…but will take it up again.


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