noun, plural homilies.
a sermon, usually on a Biblical topic and usually of a nondoctrinal nature.
an admonitory or moralizing discourse.
an inspirational saying or cliché.

1545–55; < Late Latin homīlia < Greek homīlía assembly, sermon, equivalent to hómīl(os) crowd (hom() together + -īlos, masculine combining form of ī́lē (feminine) crowd) + -ia -y3; replacing Middle English omelie < Middle French < Latin, as above

homely, homily.
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World English Dictionary
homily (ˈhɒmɪlɪ)
n , pl -lies
1.  a sermon or discourse on a moral or religious topic
2.  moralizing talk or writing
[C14: from Church Latin homīlia, from Greek: discourse, from homilein to converse with, from homilos crowd, from homou together + ilē crowd]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. omelie (12c.), from Church L. homilia "a homily, sermon," from Gk. homilia "conversation, discourse," used in N.T. Gk. for "sermon," from homilos "a crowd," from homou "together" + ile "troop" (cognate with Skt. melah "assembly," L. miles "soldier"). Hence homiletic, from Gk. homiletikos
"of conversation, affable," from homelein "associate with," from homilos.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
In fact, there is a sermon type cadence and ring to this sociopathic homily.
He led them in prayer that drowned out the protesters' cries and gave out a
  written homily in place of the regular sermon.
Since the audience is made up of people who are themselves sounding off, new
  media are more of a hubbub than a homily.
As a consequence, more than a simple homily was necessary.
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