the images used by the Lord to encourage the
practise of good. The memory of the faithful,
like that of Mary, should overflow with the won-
drous things done by God. Their hearts, grow-
ing in hope from the joyful and practical exercise
of the love which they have received, will sense
that each word of Scripture is a gift before it is a
143. The challenge of an inculturated preach-
ing consists in proclaiming a synthesis, not ideas
or detached values. Where your synthesis is,
there lies your heart. The difference between
enlightening people with a synthesis and do-
ing so with detached ideas is like the difference
between boredom and heartfelt fervour. The
preacher has the wonderful but difficult task of
joining loving hearts, the hearts of the Lord and
his people. The dialogue between God and his
people further strengthens the covenant between
them and consolidates the bond of charity. In
the course of the homily, the hearts of believers
keep silence and allow God to speak. The Lord
and his people speak to one another in a thou-
sand ways directly, without intermediaries. But
in the homily they want someone to serve as an
instrument and to express their feelings in such a
way that afterwards, each one may chose how he
or she will continue the conversation. The word
is essentially a mediator and requires not just the
two who dialogue but also an intermediary who
presents it for what it is, out of the conviction
that “what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus
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