Sermons in a Paragraph

The blog has been dormant during this very hectic season of Christmas. I read in an excellent book on communication in church something my homily teacher used to tell us in seminary: a good homily should be one that can be summarized in one sentence. I may not be able to preach here a sermon in a sentence, but what about a sermon in a paragraph? I am offering one paragraph per homily since where we left it, in the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

On the fourth Sunday of Advent (the first part of the Visitation): Mary’s “yes” to God’s plan translates into a yes to an attitude of immediate service to others; a yes to an attitude of joy (which, as we have said so many times, is a choice); and a yes to a sense of haste, as we tend to be in haste for everything except in matters of faith and its implications.

As we started Christmas we have been saying once and again that we do not celebrate one day, but a season of Christmas, which is a journey with different stages in the different feasts we celebrate, as it follows.

For Christmas, we preached that the incarnation is God’s main act of communication with us. Unlike TV ads, Instagram and Facebook where everything feels staged and good-looking, God communicates to us from reality, as the gospel of the birth of Jesus describes a much messier situation than we tend to perceive.

Then we had the celebration of the Holy Family. Following their example we reflected that our families are called not to perfection, but to holiness, which in the gospels means to do everything we can to fulfill God’s plan—regardless of the messiness of our own families.

Then Mary, Mother of God, who has been the protagonist of so many gospels we have been reading these days. She could give her best “yes,” one that changed history, because as the gospel today tells us she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” the same way she “pondered” at the Annunciation, or she reflected at Jesus’ answer when he is “lost” in the Temple. As we begin a new year, we are invited to embrace this resolution of becoming people who reflect, ponder, discern the way Mary did—thus not being just pushed by the winds and the currents, but people who follow a plan, a strategy on how to grow in faith and in life.

Finally, we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany, and that may merit a whole new post.

A blessed 2016 to all the followers of the blog.

Mary Joseph Jesus


One thought on “Sermons in a Paragraph

  1. This is the first time I thought of the Incarnation as an act of communication – thanks to your homily.Words are the shallowest level of communication. True union is two bodies pulsing as one – God’s heartbeat and mine. It doesn’t get any sweeter.

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