My homily yesterday (no need to scroll down; click here to see the whole thing)included a part that was humorous. I've noted how a couple of ad-libs and some of my body language emphasized this:
I know when they’re infants,
they don’t always do well at Mass—
as one parent put it, they have "meltdowns"!
Sometimes, other sets of eyes
turn like laser beams!
[I swung my eyes around like laser beams]
But let me say this to anyone
who is distracted:
If you’re distracted at Mass,
it’s not the baby’s fault—
it’s not the parent’s fault.
It’s your fault!
We do our best;
yes, it’s considerate
to turn our phones to silent;
but we can’t turn off babies!
But, if you want Mass without these things?
[I waved my arms as if to say, everyone leave]
Only when this church is empty
of people will that happen!
So, instead, here’s some practical advice.
You’re at Mass, and there’s a noise;
Don’t look: [I lowered my head, using my hands as shields around my face.]
don’t think about it;
just go right back to praying.
I guarantee you’ll forget about it.
[I added here: "Because that's what I do!" with a smile.]
You know what the true distraction is?
Not what happens over there,
but here, in our heads!
It’s what we start thinking right afterward.
[Here, with a whiny voice and a pinched expression, I mimicked someone fussing, "I don't know why she...myeh, myeh myeh!"]
So, parents, don’t hold back
from bringing the little ones.
Now, the whole homily did not feature this use of humor -- I would say, this was the middle third. It began and ended on a serious note. I don't often attempt humor in a homily, although I find it happens when I don't expect it, with an ad lib -- such as when I ask a server to get me some water -- or just when something I said strikes folks as funny and I didn't realize it would.
Anyway, I offer this for your thoughts, because I've noticed on some sites a great deal of upset from Catholic faithful when their priests use humor in a homily. I have my reasons, and I will share them if anyone pursues this.
I imagine some will post comments saying they like this, and that's fine; but I am especially interested in comments from those who disagree.