Touchstone 2: The Preacher as Mediator
A mediator is one who stands between two parties to facilitate a level of accord between them. In their 1982 document, "Fulfilled in Your Hearing," the United States Catholic Bishops describe the preacher as a mediator. The bishops state:
The person who preaches in the context of the liturgical assembly is ...a mediator representing both the community and the Lord ...The preacher represents the community by voicing its concerns, by naming its demons, and thus enabling it to gain some understanding and control of the evil which afflicts it... [the preacher] represents the Lord by offering the community another word, a word of healing and pardon, of acceptance and love...the preacher acts as a mediator making connections between the real lives of people who believe in Jesus Christ but are not always sure what difference faith can make in their lives and the God who calls us into ever deeper communion with himself and with one another.
This two-segment presentation offers practical suggestions to develop the preacher's proficiency as mediator. The first segment is entitled "Steps to Good Preaching." The second is entitled "Wisdom from Bishop Hedley."
Questions for Reflection
- What insights from Father Kelly and Bishop Hedley standout for you?
- In what ways do these insights challenge you to change elements of your preaching ministry in order to be a more effective mediator of the Word of God?