A homily (sermon), as experienced in most Catholic churches today, is a 10 to 20 minute stand-alone presentation on Sunday mornings. Based on the Gospel reading of the day, it is sometimes a bible teaching, sometimes spiritual guidance, sometimes tied to current events, etc. We refer to it as stand-alone because, in most cases, other than a recording being posted on a website or text copies being emailed, it is usually “finished” on Sunday and then something new prepared for the following week.

Priest after priest has acknowledged that “good homilies” is one of the three influencing factors that keep people going to a particular church. This doesn’t appear to be written down anywhere as fact; perhaps it is taught in seminary.

While many parishioners seem to measure homilies by whether or not they are “good,” being “relevant” is probably far more important. But how can one priest possibly “hit it out of the park” fifty-two weeks a year (plus Holy Days)? Even the greatest authors would not be able to write a book of 52 short essays, have 200 to 500 people in a room read them and like every single one.