Once a week, on Sundays, the sermon and avis were used to give a summary of all the instructions of the previous week. In this way the people were kept focussed on the directions which the missionaries were proposing to them as guidelines for their lives.
After the Gospel, sermon which should always be a résumé of the week’s instructions. One must hold interest by being orderly and speedy. It is impossible to include all the morning and evening instruction; a choice has to be made according to greater importance and usefulness.
Diary of the Marignane Mission, 24 November 1816, O.W. XVI
I see this text as an invitation today in our Oblate parishes and ministries – which are meant to be centres of permanent mission – to ask ourselves whether we have an overall pastoral plan in our preaching for a period of time. Do those who listen to us understand the journey we are accompanying them on, or does our approach change every Sunday according to our own changing moods and inspirations?