Monday, February 12, 2007
"Monday Morning Homiletics" Show Draws Calls and Criticism
Boston, MA: A local talk show host, looking to fill in the void left from the end of the football season, opened his weekly "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" show with "Introducing 'Monday Morning Homiletics': an hour to critique your church's Sunday homily!"
"The phone board just lit up; this was bigger than Super Bowl Sunday!" enthused Billy Ray Tyrone of WUGH, Sports Talk Radio. "We'll definitely be trying this again."
The show was not well-received in all corners, especially in diocesan offices. The problem, according to diocesan public relations spokesperson Sr. Caroline Eccles, is that the show's callers, already a little on the rowdy side, began to "go a bit 'American Idol' in their comments."
"First, attacks about the personal appearance of the priest or deacon, or any human being, truly aren't appropriate," said Sr. Eccles. "I don't care if this Simon Caterwaul, or whoever he is, does it. But the biggest problem is that people began to malign the Scripture itself."
The gospel reading for that Sunday is commonly called "The Beatitudes," and Tyrone ended up leading the audience in a ranking of the Beatitudes on a scale of 1-10, 10 equaling "great news" and 1 equaling "total rot". By the end of the show, the only scripture receiving a 10 was "Behold, your reward will be great in heaven!", whereas "Blessed are you who are poor, the kingdom of God is yours" received a 4, and "Woe to you who laugh now, you will grieve and weep" received a 1. "You can't just pick and choose Scripture like that," said Sr. Eccles.
A number of callers took their respective priests to task for their homilies on the reading. A typical example: "Billy Ray, dude, he totally dropped the ball on the Christian virtues thing. I mean, I'm all for being happy, but the whole being poor, hungry, weeping, people hating you...it's like he was running us the wrong way down the field. Everyone knows being happy means being rich and eating large and laughing. I read that Jabez book, man, I know things. That homily was someone's brain on drugs."
"So, are you thinking he needs to hit the weight room? Be a little quicker at the snap?" asked Tyrone.
"I think he needs to relax and have a Bailey's, man, play from the gut, get into the game."
A few over-enthusiastic sports fans suggested firing the coach. Sr. Eccles responded dryly, "If they mean the Pantocrator, Son of God, and Light of the World, I don't think he's the one who is going to be 'fired.'"