of its ways and means”.
Concern for the way
we preach is likewise a profoundly spiritual con-
cern. It entails responding to the love of God by
putting all our talents and creativity at the service
of the mission which he has given us; at the same
time, it shows a fine, active love of neighbour by
refusing to offer others a product of poor qual-
ity. In the Bible, for example, we can find ad-
vice on how to prepare a homily so as to best to
reach people: “Speak concisely, say much in few
words” (
157. Simply using a few examples, let us recall
some practical resources which can enrich our
preaching and make it more attractive. One of
the most important things is to learn how to use
images in preaching, how to appeal to imagery.
Sometimes examples are used to clarify a certain
point, but these examples usually appeal only to
the mind; images, on the other hand, help peo-
ple better to appreciate and accept the message
we wish to communicate. An attractive image
makes the message seem familiar, close to home,
practical and related to everyday life. A success-
ful image can make people savour the message,
awaken a desire and move the will towards the
Gospel. A good homily, an old teacher once told
me, should have “an idea, a sentiment, an image.”
VI, Apostolic Exhortation
Evangelii Nuntiandi
December 1975), 40: AAS 68 (1976), 31.
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