Pope Francis has said that the faithful who attend Mass lack a fundamental right if they do not receive a well-prepared and well-preached homily.
Speaking in St Peter’s Square during his weekly general address on Ash Wednesday, the Pontiff said that in the Liturgy of the Word, the Lord speaks for both pastors and faithful, and he “knocks on the door of those who participate in Mass, each one in their condition of life, age and situation”.
Because of this, after the readings are done, people in the pews are entitled to a “well-written, well-preached” homily, the Pontiff said, explaining that “when the Word of God is not well-read or preached by the priest, deacon or bishop, the faithful lack a right. We have the right to hear the Word of God.”
He focused his reflections for the day on the Creed and the Prayers of the Faithful, saying that after the brief moment of silence after the homily is finished, “our personal response of faith is included into the profession of faith.”
“There is a vital link between listening and faith, they are united,” he said, adding that faith isn’t the result of a “fantasy of human minds,” but rather comes from “listening, and listening involves the Word of Christ”.
When we recite the Creed, then, it allows the entire congregation to both meditate on and profess “the great mysteries of faith, before their celebration of the Eucharist”.
The Pope also said that this is a time for the faithful to express their own personal desires to God, adding that “it is the strongest time in the liturgy to ask the Lord for what we want, what we desire”.
“It will be done, in one way or another, but it will be done,” he said.
If someone is struggling with faith, he urged them to pray the same prayer as the man in the Gospel who had asked Jesus to heal his child, saying: “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.”