By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
The Gospel story of the woman at the well provides a perfect example “of what preaching is all about,” said Father Brendan Moss, OSB. It is “a story about encounter. Jesus has an encounter with this woman, and as a result of the encounter, her life is completely changed.”
Preaching should invite people into an encounter with Jesus Christ, he told Vision 20/20 Convocation participants during his breakout session, Preaching in an Evangelical Mode, at St. Ambrose University in Davenport in June. Father Moss is a monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana, and an educator at the Seminary and School of Theology.
Father Moss explained to the group that Vatican II (which concluded in 1965) promoted an evangelical approach to preaching, and that it is a primary duty for priests. “It is no longer (just) about teaching on or about the Scriptures, but to provide the congregation of the faithful with words to express their faith, with words to express the human realities to which the faith responds. In other words, our preaching is to have an impact in the life of the hearer, not just their catechetical knowledge.”
Evangelical preaching, he said, invites people in by showing God’s love and mercy. “It’s hard to invite people when you’re yelling at them. It’s hard to invite people when you’re telling them what they should think. And, it’s even harder to invite people when you’re telling them that they’re wrong. Sometimes when we are preaching, even though we don’t mean to, we do those things. Somehow, our preaching must be invitational.”
Father Moss emphasized that “preaching” isn’t just for clergy. The primary job of all baptized Catholics “is to preach, in some capacity, the Good News and the love of God.”
This presentation on Preaching in an Evangelical Mode is not available online. Persons interested in receiving a copy of the presentation by mail may contact Laurie Hoefling at (563) 888-4220 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A majority of the presentations from the Vision 20/20 Convocation are available for viewing and/or listening.
Topics include, accompanying immigrants; reaching out to families; evangelizing youths and young adults; evangelizing the “churched;” evangelizing in an age of secularism, atheism and scientism; hospitality; evangelizing in small parishes; and church teaching on sexuality and sexual identity.