Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said that priests should always prepare and think carefully about the content of their homilies.
“It is unfair to God. It is unfair to the people. It is also unfair to me because I’m depriving myself of the good encounter with God,” Villegas said.
“The Mass is the highest form of prayer for every Catholic and I, as a priest, should go into the Mass with the utmost preparation,” he said.
In the third episode of his “The Life of Faith” videos on YouTube, the archbishop cited reasons why he sometimes failed to deliver better quality preaching.
These include, he said, his failure to prepare for the liturgy and because he did not pray before the Mass.
“I have done that a few times in the past when I rush into the Mass because of the many schedules that preceded it,” Villegas said.
The incoming president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also attributed his long and winding homilies to his failure to “know my people well”.
“In other words, I was speaking about hunger when I did not feel the hunger myself. I was speaking about death, sorrow and loneliness but I have not felt the loneliness, the death and the sorrow that the parishioners are going through,” said Villegas.
“We priests can preach to empty stomachs but only if our stomach is as empty as our parishioners. When our life is so different from our parishioners, then we end up giving long and winding homilies. I don’t speak about anyone. I speak about myself and I’m guilty,” he said. (CBCPNews)