Hokey Homiletics: the Hostile Homilist


Is it because they tend to live alone? Because they have no one to kick their butts when they say mean or appalling things? Whatever the reason, priests can be brutal and insulting when they give homilies.

Tonight, the choir was unusually lame. The lone guitarist played only 2/3 of the chords. For the Gospel acclamation, the choir was trying to sing one of those unsingable church camp Alleluias that probably knocked 'em dead at Steubenville East, but plops at regular Church. So, to start the gospel reading, Fr B chastises the congregation. "I thought I was going to sing a solo up there! Since none of you were singing." Not that he was signing either.

Thanks, Father. Nothing like laying the blame on the People of God for failing to sing along with embarrasing and unsignable music!

After the reading, Fr. B started his sermon by complaining about the "breaking news" reports he got while working on his computer. Seem that a whale was stranded in the Thames and the news bureaus were giving updates on when it swam in, when it swam out and when it died.

"Who cares?" shouted Fr B.

Hey. I know the news media can fixate on idiotic things, but should I turn off my compassion for animals as a result? And if I had spent my afternoon anxiously following the story of the Thames whale, I would have been pretty cheesed off.

Fr B then got on the back of some acquaintances who were talking about reality TV shows. "You want reality?" says Fr B, "then look at the reality that's going on right here!"

Pardon me, Your Pomposity, but is anything you do like?

Not to mention that none of this railing at the foibles of modern society had anything to do with the point of the sermon or with the readings.

I've taken to closing my eyes and bowing my head during sermons, not out of any sense of reverence toward the homilist, but out of a desire to prevent my flinching from being obvious to the rest of the congregation. It's like curling in on myself to avoid getting sucker punched.

Do they teach this in semninary? Or are these guys really this hostile?