To give some context: Corpus Christi is a small (average weekend attendance of about 140-160) urban parish that draws parishioners from around the city and the suburbs. In that sense, it is very much a “destination” parish. Many of the parishioners are professionals with post-graduate degrees, including some with degrees in theology. Most would identify themselves as on the “progressive” end of the Catholic spectrum and older parishioners in particular will speak of it as a “Vatican II parish” (younger parishioners are more likely to say, “Vatican II? Wasn’t that in the 60s?”).
This homily was given at the two parish Masses: the 4:00 Saturday “low Mass” (no music) and the 10:30 Sunday Mass. It is always an interesting experience to preach the same homily at these two different Mass. The first tends to be older parishioners who are seeking a quieter (and shorter) liturgy and they rarely if ever comment after Mass on the homily, or give much indication during the homily if the message is hitting any targets. The latter is more lively, with fairly robust congregational singing and a mix of generations, including a number of young families with small children, and they will frequently let you you whether they thought it was a good homily or not. At this Mass I depart occasionally from the text to expand a point. Also, the presence of music can make for some serendipitous connections with the homily; on this Sunday, David Haas’s “Deep Within” was the communion song, which connected nicely with the focus of the homily.