From a reader:
This Sunday my family and I attended a OF mass, [or "Ordinary Form" or Novus Ordo] at the homily, ironically the reading was Christ’s first homily; the priest informed us “This was the Deacons week to preach, do you see a Deacon? No? Therefore no homily” and then proceeded onto the Profession of Faith. I was under the impression that a homily was a must on Sundays and holydays of obligation. Is this correct?
No, this is not correct. This is actually rather shabby. Unless….
Unless the priest was suffering from laryngitis or some other malady which made it difficult for him to talk.
Not being prepared just isn’t a good enough reason.
A priest ought to be able, must be able, to stand up in front of a congregation and at least say something.
Is that to much to ask?
Even if Father just picks a phrase from the Creed … makes a point about the importance of going to confession … gives a fervorino about loving God or some edifying experience he has had as a priest.
He doesn’t have to be erudite or prolix or dynamic.
He just has to be faithful, direct and brief.
In a pinch a sermon doesn’t have to be polished or scholarly or pertain to the readings.
Sooooo many problems for preaching … as well as some advantages … have come from the nearly iron-clad conviction impressed on clergy that they must must must stick to the day’s readings… but I digress….
In any event, unless there is a very good reason, a very good reason, priests are to preach at public Masses on Sundays or see to it that there is a sermon by someone authorized.
So, my reaction to that priest – if that happened as you described, with that rather brutal dismissal of his obligation to preach is…
"Father, shut up and preach."