Sunday Homilies/Homilias Domingo

Concerning These Homilies
Most of these homilies were originally written for Celebration, the worship and preaching resource of the National Catholic Reporter (visit their Web site at From the beginning they were not published as part of that periodical's Sunday-by-Sunday section of sample homilies.The editor, Pat Marrin, had asked for one example each month of how a preacher might speak mystagogically in the homily. We understood that these texts would weave together three elements that need one another: the Lectionary texts, the assembly's liturgy in which these texts are integral, and the vigorous but ever-shaky world in which the assembly lives.

I have a very simple but still elusive notion of what mystagogy means: to unfold the liturgy in the liturgy's own terms. Who are we who make this sign of the cross together Sunday by Sunday? What do we mean, we who say Amen? What does it say about us that we drink from a common cup after giving thanks to God? What sort of a church would cling to a season like Lent and what is it to live out that season year by year? What does it mean that we intercede? The homilies here attempt to ponder questions like these.

Over all of this and throughout is the understanding of liturgy made so clear in paragraph 14 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: that the liturgy is the deed of the assembly, the right and the duty of the baptized people, which, done in its rhythms throughout our lives, makes us a church, makes us a gospel people. This notion embraces not only the Sunday eucharist but seasons and days, morning and night, the moments of movement through life, always with our eyes on the world God so loves.

The introductory paragraphs for the homilist or other reader were intended, in the original publication, to situate the particular Sunday homily within the year and sometimes within a series of these homilies. They may still be helpful.

We hoped that as written texts these homilies would also be useful to those responsible for Sunday liturgy, to discussions formal and informal, to parish staff hoping to better understand and express the place of liturgy and the place of preaching in the whole life of the assembly.

Gabe Huck
Gabe Huck is living now in Damascus, Syria. He may be contacted at Anyone wishing to make a donation based on any usefulness found in these homilies could send funds to an organization founded in the summer of 2007 to help young Iraqis continue their university education at U.S. colleges and universities during these times when higher education is nearly impossible in their own country. Checks may be made out to Iraqi Student Project and sent to:
Iraqi Student Project
5459 Rosa Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63109