Word Made Flesh - CYCLE A: A Companion to the Sunday Readings (paperback)
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One of the most influential movements in the Church today is centered on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB), of whose teachings Christopher West is the preeminent translator for a popular audience. In Word Made Flesh: A Companion to the Sunday Readings (Cycle A), West offers reflections on an entire liturgical cycle of Sunday Mass readings through the lens of TOB, providing a fresh way to process and act on the Good News by orienting our desires for union with God with our understanding of ourselves and our relationships with others.
St. John Paul II’s TOB is most often framed as an extended catechesis on human sexuality and married love. It is that, to be sure, but, as John Paul II observed, what we learn in the TOB “concerns the whole Bible” and the “whole mission of Christ.” Wearing John Paul II’s “spousal lenses,” West takes us on a tour of the Sunday readings throughout the liturgical year and opens their hidden meaning, allowing God’s word to take flesh in our own lives.
In a clearly written introduction, West provides a primer on Theology of the Body — an overview of its main teachings and an explanation of how these teachings brilliantly illuminate the whole story of salvation from Genesis to Revelation.
In Word Made Flesh, West offers distinctive reflections on all fifty-two Sunday readings from the first Sunday of Advent through Christ the King Sunday. Some weeks he focuses primarily on the Gospel, while in others he emphasizes a specific passage or verse from one of the other readings. The reflections naturally and deeply connect with the human experience of living with body and soul in the world while also contemplating the nature of the glorified body in the eternal kingdom to come.
The material in Word Made Flesh can be used as a weekly devotional, homilies or as a preparation for Sunday Mass.
Rave reviews for Word Made Flesh:
“The more familiar we become with St. John Paul II’s ‘Theology of the Body,’ the more we will benefit from what is arguably his greatest contribution to Catholic life and thought. Christopher West’s Word Made Flesh series will help the homilist, as well as the person in the pew, to integrate John Paul’s nuptial vision with the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass.”
— Most Rev. Michael J. Sheridan, Diocese of Colorado Springs
"As a parish priest, my concerns are more practical than anything else: what will bring my people into greater intimacy with the Trinity and help me do the same? Using John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, as well as other saints and papal statements, Christopher West has written a little book that can help all enter deeply into the Good News, from priest to high school teen to the elderly woman praying her rosary. West’s comments on Scripture are brief, deep and helpful. The Theology of the Body was written for theologians; a parish is about the messiness and busyness of average peoples lives. Someone needed to bridge the gap, and West has done that, again, with this book on the Sunday readings.”
— Fr Ryan Mann, parochial vicar, St. John Neumann, Strongsville, Ohio, in the Diocese of Cleveland. Student and chaplain of Theology of the Body Institute.
Word Made Flesh is a beautiful guide to the Sunday readings that will help guide us all to see the Word of God through the Theology of the Body lens. Christopher West’s gift of making the complex understandable and painting a beautiful picture with his words is once again demonstrated here. Preparing for Sunday Mass by reading the Scripture readings along with these weekly reflections will help draw us closer to The One who wants to marry us, who wants to draw us closer to intimacy with Him, who wants us to know the true and beautiful message of our bodies He created.
This would make a great gift for so many people! The young person in your life that needs to be nudged toward going deeper with their faith journey, a novice or an experienced Theology of the Body student, or someone who has never heard of Christopher or the TOB. Be the one to introduce them to the beauty that is the Theology of the Body!
— Suzy Luecke, pastoral associate, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
This new work by Christopher West is an unparalleled gift to preachers and laity alike, providing insightful reflections on the yearly liturgical readings. His expertise in St. John Paul II’s theology of the body that he brings to bear upon the Scriptural texts is such a gift, as he unfolds the mystical depths of the liturgy. As a priest, I’m always trying to figure out how to communicate this glorious, life-transforming vision of love, humanity, and worship in the limited space of a Sunday homily. West’s book makes that challenge more attainable; it’s a must-have for any priest who desires his people to understand what it means to be invited to the Supper of the Lamb.
— Father Patrick Schultz, Parochial Vicar, Communion of Saints Parish, Cleveland, OH. Student and chaplain of Theology of the Body Institute.
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