Over the past couple of weeks I have received numerous compliments on my homily of two weeks past. In this homily, I shared the story of how a Snickers icecream bar one day was a near occasion of sin for me.
The parishioners - young and old - loved the homily and still are talking about it, or at least about the Snickers bar. They keep telling me that I should use more personal stories in my homilies, which leads me to several thoughts:
1. Personally, when I hear another priest's homily (or deacon's, or bishop's, or pope's homily for that matter), I do not want to hear about them, I want to hear the Gospel. Very often whenever a homily begins, "The other day I was..." or "On my last fishing ..." or "As I prepared for this homily..." I drift straight away and rarely do I return until the preacher sits down. Maybe there are some out there like me in this regard.
2. In order to use a personal story in the homily it has to fit with the readings of the day. Some stories can blend rather easily and others take a bit more creative and, frankly, I'm not all that creative. Imaginative, yes; creative, no.
3. In order to use a personal story, it has to be a good story and I simply do not think I have that many good stories for homily use. Perhaps it's simply because they are my stories and I know them well and have thought about them often. At the same, this repetoire is rather limited as I tend to forget things fairly easily.
Just some thoughts of mine. What do you think?