I recently presided at a wedding for a young couple, the bride being Latina and the groom Anglo. The bride wanted to honor members of her family who spoke only Spanish and so she asked for, among other things, a homily in both Spanish and English. I was able and happy to do that.
The bride’s father approached me after the liturgy with profuse thanks for the homily, expressing in Spanish his great appreciation for the content that he felt would be most helpful to the couple. Then he asked me, “¿De donde la sacó?” meaning, where did you get it (the homily) from? I answered quite spontaneously, “¡De mi corazón!”—“From my heart!”
I have always been careful about preaching. It is a ministry of capital importance in the Church. When I preach, it is always my intention to change hearts in whatever the circumstance. That change might involve sometimes insight, sometimes attitude, sometimes feeling, sometimes behavior. As a preacher, you are in a privileged position to cause change. I want to do that for the sake of the Kingdom.
I did not, and probably never will, have the occasion to verify a change in the hearts of the couple whose marriage I witnessed that day. My great hope—and confidence in the Spirit—is that, in some way, they will be married different because I was the preacher at their wedding. And is that not what is supposed to happen in heart to heart conversation?