The liturgical context
137. It is worthy remembering that “the liturgi-
cal proclamation of the word of God, especially
in the eucharistic assembly, is not so much a time
for meditation and catechesis as a dialogue be-
tween God and his people, a dialogue in which
the great deeds of salvation are proclaimed and
the demands of the covenant are continually re-
The homily has special importance due
to its eucharistic context: it surpasses all forms
of catechesis as the supreme moment in the dia-
logue between God and his people which lead up
to sacramental communion. The homily takes
up once more the dialogue which the Lord has
already established with his people. The preach-
er must know the heart of his community, in or-
der to realize where its desire for God is alive
and ardent, as well as where that dialogue, once
loving, has been thwarted and is now barren.
138. The homily cannot be a form of enter-
tainment like those presented by the media, yet it
does need to give life and meaning to the celebra-
tion. It is a distinctive genre, since it is preach-
ing situated within the framework of a liturgical
celebration; hence it should be brief and avoid
taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture.
A preacher may be able to hold the attention of
his listeners for a whole hour, but in this case his
II, Apostolic Letter
Dies Domini
(31 May
1998), 41: AAS 90 (1998), 738-739.
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