Homilies. Preaching is the primary identity for a Dominican friar. In fact, the order was known from the beginning for preaching and the salvation of souls, as stated in the constitutions of the order. But preaching is more than just writing a homily — it is about entering into contemplation that enables the friar to hand on to others what God has handed on to him, or in the words of Saint Augustine, contemplare aliis tradere.
While preaching is indeed more than homilies, homilies are an important way so many encounter preaching. For Saint Dominic, good preaching always led to a personal relationship with Jesus and becoming active in the Catholic Church. Do you know Jesus personally? Are you active in the Church?
The hope here is to first encourage people to think about Jesus. His promise is amazing. In fact, there is so much about Jesus that I do not think people know, because sometimes those who claim to be following Jesus are not actually doing so. As Caryll Houselander observes in her spiritual classic, The Reed of God, “How is it that people who do not believe in any creed, who have no moral standards and who do not recognise Charity as a thing necessary for salvation, are often consciously kind, warm-hearted, and tolerant, whereas professing Christians are notoriously hard, censorious, and exacting?”
To be sure, not all homilies are meant to be uplifting. But all homilies are meant to lead to Jesus. All homilies are to encourage us to be the types of witnesses to the faith that would make people want to become Christian. The high challenge for people of faith is that they need to become “another Christ”, showing forth to the world how much it is, and in what ways it is, that Jesus has changed their lives.
You may not find yourself believing your relationship with Jesus is such that you are ready to trust you can even do this. Indeed, the best preacher is one who fully recognizes that they are inadequate and unworthy to proclaim these words for too often the preacher fails to live them. I am such a preacher. I fail. I sin. And I know the words I preach are as much for my hearing as they are for my speaking. So, know that we are on this journey together.
Below are the latest homilies that have been given at various churches, chapels and other locations. Hopefully by listening (or even subscribing) to the DePorres Pages podcasts, one will be drawn closer to God, not only knowing about Jesus, but knowing Jesus through your prayer life and his grace.
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