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When God Speaks
Reflections on the First Readings of the Sunday Lectionary
Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk
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"All too often the first readings are either totally neglected in reflecting and preaching on the Sunday readings, or they are looked on exclusively as illustrating the gospel. There's nothing wrong with looking at them that way, but each of these first readings does have a meaning and a context of its own, and being aware of that will provide further enrichment." —from the Introduction

The first readings from the lectionary we hear at Mass on Sundays and holy days are often overlooked by homilists. Coming largely from the Old Testament, these passages require a thorough understanding of the history and culture that produced them, as well as an insight into their relation to the Gospel readings and their relevance to modern Christians. In these short commentaries, Archbishop Pilarczyk focuses on the first readings of all three liturgical years (A,B,C) in order to clarify their relationship with other Mass readings and communicate their significance. Each reflection puts the reading in context, discusses its content and application and ends with questions for discussion or reflection. An ideal resource for Scripture study groups and prayer groups, or for individual preparation for Mass.
DANIEL E. PILARCZYK is archbishop of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a past president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. His books include Practicing Catholic, Twelve Tough Issues and More: What the Church Teaches and Live Letters: Reflections on the Second Readings of the Sunday Lectionary (St. Anthony Messenger Press).
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