community time be dedicated to this task, even
if less time has to be given to other important
activities. Trust in the Holy Spirit who is at work
during the homily is not merely passive but active
and creative. It demands that we offer ourselves
and all our abilities as instruments (cf.
which God can use. A preacher who does not
prepare is not “spiritual”; he is dishonest and ir-
responsible with the gifts he has received.
Reverence for truth
146. The first step, after calling upon the Holy
Spirit in prayer, is to give our entire attention to
the biblical text, which needs to be the basis of
our preaching. Whenever we stop and attempt to
understand the message of a particular text, we
are practising “reverence for the truth”.
This is
the humility of heart which recognizes that the
word is always beyond us, that “we are neither
its masters or owners, but its guardians, heralds
and servants”.
This attitude of humble and
awe-filled veneration of the word is expressed by
taking the time to study it with the greatest care
and a holy fear lest we distort it. To interpret a
biblical text, we need to be patient, to put aside
all other concerns, and to give it our time, in-
terest and undivided attention. We must leave
aside any other pressing concerns and create an
VI, Apostolic Exhortation
Evangelii Nuntiandi
December 1975), 78: AAS 68 (1976), 71.
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