Friday, January 01, 2021

The Sunday Gospels for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter: My Review


About the Book

This book presents the complete texts of the gospel readings for every Sunday throughout the three-year cycle of the Sunday lectionary in the Catholic Church during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. It may be used for personal study to enhance understanding and appreciation of the Sunday gospel.

Each reading is accompanied by a short commentary, two questions for personal reflection and two prayers, to enable the gospels to be read in the contemplative tradition of Lectio Divina. These reflections have been written by the Revd Dr Adrian Graffy, a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

The gospels are from the Revised New Jerusalem Bible, a bold new rendition of the scriptures designed for study and proclamation, and acclaimed for the richness, accuracy and inclusivity of its language.

A companion to this volume, The Sunday Gospels for Ordinary Time, will be released in January 2021.

Revd Dr Adrian Graffy was awarded a doctorate at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and taught Scripture for many years. He is now a parish priest in the Diocese of Brentwood and director of the What Good News website ( He was appointed in 2014 to be a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, which takes a lead in Bible scholarship, interpretation and promotion for the Catholic Church.

My Comments

Yes, reflections on the Gospels of the day are a dime a dozen, can be emailed to you by any number of organizations/people and cover the entire spectrum of Catholic belief/practice from the Latin Mass aficionados to the Praise and Worship music fans to prolife leaders to social justice warriors.  This one is pretty middle of the pack ideologically.

It covers all all three Lectionary cycles but none of the "green" Sundays.  

To give you a taste of the style/content, I'm going to talk about the readings for today, the feast of Mary, the Mother of God.  Dr. Graffy points out that the Gospel is similar to one read on Christmas, the only difference is the addition of the last verse. He points out that the focus today is on Mary, without whom none of this could have  happened.  He ties in the second reading (which isn't printed in the book) which says that God sent his Son, born of a woman and that the first reading from Numbers invokes God's blessing on God's people as the new year begins.  He then asks the following reflection questions:
  • Do I appreciate the courage and love of Mary and see her as an example?
  • Do I imitate Mary's silence and her pondering of God's goodness in her heart?
Graffy then leads us in prayer
  • We pray that we may follow the example of Mary, the first servant of Jesus Christ, who listened to God's word and responded with generosity. 
  • We open our hearts to God at the beginning of a new year, that God may bless us day by day.
The author is English, the spelling is English but I looked him up and he is Catholic, not Anglican.  

If you are looking for something to lead you into prayer on the Sunday Gospels during these sacred seasons, this is a good option.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+

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