I attended a Mass a while back that contained a very disappointing homily. For those who don’t know, a homily is the “sermon” delivered by the priest during a church service. It is usually a short speech, tied in with that day’s Bible readings, that makes some important point or imparts a moral lesson. My local parish priests are among those, however, who don’t like to talk about sin a whole lot; I gather they consider it to be real downer or something. In any event, it’s a big deal therefore when they actually do talk about sin in a homily. So which sin did they pick?
Yup – not the metaphorically-speaking-as-an-analogy slavery – but the full-blown slave ships from Africa slavery. That one.
We actually sat through a 15 minute diatribe, railing against a sin no one in the entire parish actually commits. It was a smug, little, condescending white-guilt platitude designed to make all the old, white liberals feel morally superior.
What ever happened to that whole beam in the eye thing?
Here we had a packed Mass attended by ordinary working people who are challenged by sin every day of their lives. Present no doubt were adulterers, drug users and alcoholics, men who beat their wives, women who nag and spurn their husbands, children who swear and disrespect everyone – and we get a homily on how evil the slave trade was.
What a bloody disgrace.
Here’s a newsflash – a priest’s job isn’t just to comfort the afflicted, sometimes it’s to afflict the comfortable. Christ founded His church to bring salvation to sinners, not to make sinners happy about the status quo.
Christ told people the truth, and they chased Him out of town. We need more priests who are prepared to run fast after a good homily….