The homilies that I would love to hear, but never will

I sometimes find myself thinking about the homilies I wish I’d heard but haven’t. Here are a few of those I would most like to hear; I’m sure you will have some of your own. To an outsider, one of the odder things that many of us Catholics do occurs when we go into church: apparently, rather absent-mindedly, we dab a bit of water on our faces, or thereabouts, and then (apparently) swat an invisible fly or brush a cobweb off our noses before grabbing a Mass book and parish newsletter. What should we really be doing? I have never had it explained. I would like to have been told that, when we dip into the holy water stoup and cross ourselves we are publicly acknowledging that we have been taken up into the life of the Blessed Trinity in the waters of baptism and mysteriously united with the heavenly host of angels and saints to whom we prayed at the last Easter Vigil when that water was blessed. I would like Father to go on to explain that, when we say “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, as we so often do (and often so casually), we are professing our faith in the triune God, affirming our Christian identity and proclaiming the fact that, as heroic explorers of old claimed new-found lands “in the name of” their princes, so the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity have “claimed” us, “named” us and committed themselves to us.