How many minutes does it take to make a good homily? This is a typical question that normally divides theological students at the end of every mass. The question sometimes is asked not only by theological student as we can always read it in the face many Christian whenever they are liberated after being trapped in a long and unending homily, which unfortunately characterizes most of our liturgical activities nowadays. It is really pathetic sometimes to be in a parish where average parishioners hardly understand English and the preacher go about moving from Greek to Latin and even sometimes to Hebrew just to show he passed many years in the Seminary. I am surely not saying that those are not necessary but the problem is that many at times, they are done in wrong places.
Yesterday, during the Holy Thursday mass, at the Regina Coeli, the Roman juvenile prison, Pope Francis made “a World record” of the most touching short homily ever. He preached for only three minutes.And I mean three minutes! But it was a three minutes homily full of signification.
The danger in this type of situation is to say that he is not the only person to make a short homily. That’s true but what made his three minutes preaching to win many souls was not only the limpidity of his words but also the gest that followed his sermon.
After this short homily, he took on a stole of the deacon, a stole of service, to concretize what he just said and went down not only washing the feet of the prisoners, but also kissing their feet after washing them. Here is the full text of the world record homily.