Over time, the homilist should cover the entire scope of the Church's rich catechetical teaching, including its stance on critical issues such as the respect for human life, the importance of religious freedom and justice for the poor and migrants.
"Homilies are inspirational when they touch the deepest levels of the human heart and address the real questions of human experience," the bishops said, noting the importance of incorporating both ordinary experiences and the deeper hopes and longings that give meaning to them.
"Our encounter with Jesus inevitably leads to mission," they noted, adding that homilies are incomplete if they do not inspire a sense of mission that translates love of Christ into love for others.
Building on the New Evangelization, the Year of Faith and the call for a renewal of preaching by Pope Benedict XVI at the 2008 Synod on the Word, the bishops explained that preaching is a participation in the apostolic continuation of Jesus' ministry.
They pointed to Mary as an example of hearing and proclaiming the Word of God without hesitation.
In their personal lives, homilists should work towards ongoing spiritual renewal, seeking to lead lives of holiness with a deep love of Scripture and respect for Tradition, they said.
The effectiveness of preaching can also be improved through an understanding of contemporary culture, including the music, movies and websites that are a part of the people's lives.
The bishops offered several factors to consider when preparing homilies, including the growing individualism in modern culture, the need to speak respectfully about other religious traditions and the cultural diversity of Church communities.
"Once he has come to know the customs, mores, practices, history, and religiosity of a people, a homilist can draw on that richness in order to make his presentation of the faith fresh and enlivening," they said.