Boring homilies? I care about others

Everything human should matter to us because, as Terence said, nothing human is alien to me. We must be down the streetWe are not aware of fashions, but we do know what is going on in the daily lives of those we have to talk to.

Javier Sánchez Cervera-May 5, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes

The Gospel of St. Mark relates in the fourth chapter the parable of the seed that grows by itself, then he narrates another parable, that of the mustard seed, at the end he specifies that with many similar parables he expounded the word to them, adapting it to their understanding. He explained everything to them in parables.

The images and topics of conversation that Christ uses in his teaching are the most varied: He speaks of pearls, treasures, lost coins, the sower, the wind that blows from the south, the fish of the Sea of Galilee, the mustard seed, the son who leaves home, the husband who arrives at the bride's house, a king who is crowned, the yoke of oxen, the field that a lord buys, the face of Caesar on the coin and thousands of other topics.

I believe that if we were to listen to the Maestro today, we could hear him draw divine wisdom while he talks about euros, Rosalía's latest song, the geopolitical situation of the world, the COVID's income from the pandemic or the Super Cup won by Real Madrid with a hat trick by Benzemá.

Let us say that the Lord takes the incarnation very seriously and when he decides to become man, he embraces everything human, looks at it with attention and draws lessons from everything he contemplates in order to, as the Gospel says, accommodate himself to its understanding. I am sure that his great teachers were, as it could not be otherwise, Mary and Joseph. The sharpness of our Mother and the silent depth of her husband knew how to see, and to make others see, much more; they knew, as St. Josemaría points out, how to discover that something divine that is enclosed in the details..

Centuries later the Second Vatican Council will specify:

The joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties of the people of our time, especially the poor and those who suffer, are at the same time the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties of Christ's disciples. There is nothing truly human that does not find an echo in his heart.

In translation: Work and rest, sports, leisure, family and social life, technical progress and expressions of culture, family events and geopolitical movements, everything human, in short, should matter to us because, as Terence said, nothing human is alien to me.

In short, it is a matter of being at the end of the street, not pending fashions, but knowing what is going on in the daily lives of those to whom we have to talk.

In tennis there is a basic rule: You have to bend down. From above you can not hit the ball because the effect you need to give, either cut or lift requires the friction of the strings of the racket on the ball and that can not be done from the top down but the opposite. We could say the same about our preaching, it cannot be done from above, from a distance, but from the humility of those who lower themselves and make the effort to know, to touch, the most concrete reality, the day to day life of those to whom they have to speak. From there he can, he must, raise the ball to the sky, from the bottom to the top, otherwise it is impossible.

An example: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, from her cloister, was able to immerse herself in intimacy with God and at the same time remain very attached to the world for which she offered herself again and again. She, at the end of the street, heard about the progress of technology and knew how to discover something divine enclosed in it. This is how she expresses herself in her Story of a Soul:

We are in a century of inventions. Nowadays, it is no longer necessary to take the trouble to climb the steps of a staircase: in the houses of the rich, an elevator makes up for it advantageously. I would also like to find an elevator to raise me up to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the hard stairs of perfection. Then I searched in the Sacred Books for some indication of the elevator, the object of my desire, and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: He who is small, let him come to me.

That is why if we take seriously the people who listen to us, we must make an effort to know the reality in which they move, to understand what happens to them and to use this knowledge in our preaching, in short, to accommodate ourselves to the understanding of those who listen to us. When you are preparing your preaching, think: Who are the people who are going to listen to me, who are they, what happens to them, what concerns do they have, and only then, try to announce the Gospel to them with their own categories, incarnating the eternal word of Jesus Christ, then you will be a good instrument in their hands.

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