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Previously in five books comparable to this volume, The Liturgical Press has published Raymond Brown's New Testament reflections on the lectionary readings used in Advent, Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, and the season leading up to Pentecost--in short, that half of the liturgical year where special periods are devoted to salvation history from the coming of Jesus Christ to the coming of the Holy Spirit. In this book he discusses the Gospels as they are used in the other half of the liturgical year, "the Ordinary Time." Here in a three-year cycle, the lectionary of the A Year takes its consecutive readings from Matthew, the B Year from Mark, and the C Year from Luke. In other words, this is the time the Church treats the Gospels consecutively and in detail.

Brown begins by discussing how a Gospel was formed because he is convinced that, although we read and hear a Gospel passage every Sunday, most people have only the vaguest idea about what a Gospel is or what is distinctive about each Gospel. Then he devotes a chapter to each of the four Gospels (since he also treats the readings from John used in Lent). This is not a homily guide for each Sunday. Rather it seeks to fit the Sunday readings, one by one, into an overall picture of each Gospel, showing how the individual Gospel shapes the narrative, its theological emphases, and what it is trying to say to readers/hearers. It is meant to provide an overview so that the Sunday selections can be seen in context and interpreted in the sequence in which the evangelist presents them.

Many liturgists look on this as the time dedicated to the Church when we turn from reflecting on the mystery of Christ in itself to considering directly how that mystery affects the lives of those who believe in him. This book is dedicated to accomplishing that goal.

Raymond E. Brown, S.S., (1928-1998) was the Auburn Distiguished Professor of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Author of some twenty-five books on the Bible and past president of three of the most important biblical societies in the world, by appointment of two popes (Paul VI in 1972, John Paul II in 1996) he was a member of the Roman Pontifical Biblical Commission. Time magazine has called him "probably the premier Catholic Scripture scholar in the US".


Chapter 1: Understanding How Gospels Were Written and Their Use in the Sunday Liturgy

Chapter 2: The Gospel according to Matthew (Liturgical Year A)

Chapter 3: The Gospel according to Mark (Liturgical Year B)

Chapter 4: The Gospel according to Luke (Liturgical Year C)

Chapter 5: The Gospel according to John (Latter part of Lent; post-Easter Season)

Table: The Use of the Gospels in the Sunday Lectionary

This book is included in the Ray Brown package at a special price.

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