“Approaching the Gospel, contemplating it, and embodying it in daily life is the best way to come to know Jesus and to bring him to others.“

Reflections on the Sunday Gospel by Pope Francis

Though am I not Catholic, I thorough enjoyed the Netflix movie The Two Popes which led me to researching Pope Francis. His writing is succinct and insightful so when “Reflections on the Sunday Gospel” popped up on Netgalley I decided to try and I’m a grateful I did. It has brought me weeks of stimulating, faith-building insights. Each chapter is a Sunday sermon and it follows the Catholic Liturgy Calendar walking the reader through the major themes of the Bible. Based on a few verses, the message of each is deep and specific. The focus being given to one aspect allows for great reflection and Pope Francis shares perspectives on the Scriptures I’ve not heard before and yet are so sound. At the end of each is a quote from a Saint that echoes or expands on the sermon.

“Love, and He will draw near; love, and He will dwell in you.”

Saint Augustine

Owing to it’s thoughtfulness, I decided to only digest one sermon a week and I’m glad I paced it. Whilst you don’t have to read it in order, it feels constructed into a journey and I’m glad I did it in sequence.

“The mentality of survival makes us reactionaries, fearful, slowly and silently shutting ourselves up in our houses and in our own preconceived notions.”

Reflections on the Sunday Gospel by Pope Francis

If you are looking for a gentle but firm guide, filled with wisdom, love and compassion, this one is for you. It’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale and highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Convergent Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

From the back cover:

Pope Francis illuminates a new, vibrant way of experiencing the Gospel through moving, intimate, and deeply meditative reflections that encourage us to live fully with meaning, purpose, and strength.

We live in an unprecedented time that has threatened to upend our daily rhythms, our work, our homes, even our faith. More than ever, we need books like Reflections on the Sunday Gospel to stir us to hope, to comfort, to peace. We need to remember what we live for and how good God is. 

These reflections—published in English for the first time, drawn both from homilies given by Pope Francis and readings from the Fathers of the Church, including Saint Augustine, Saint Jerome, and Saint Ambrose—do more than offer a way to enter into the liturgical year with weekly readings to enrich your devotional time. They offer Christ, and the power of His resurrection. They offer His words of assurance: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33, ESV).

Ultimately, as Pope Francis guides us through these timeless words, we will glean how even the giants of the faith needed God as much as we do, and how we can draw near to a good and faithful God no matter where we are or what season we’re in.

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