The insights here are always fresh, relevant, and thought provoking. Holyhead has delivered a fine resource for preachers, teachers, faith-sharing groups, and others who wish to delve deeper into the Sunday readings.
By presenting a grand sweep of the literature of ancient Israel, Dianne Bergant offers readers a marvelous introduction to studying the Hebrew Bible. Because she is both an outstanding scholar and popular teacher, Dianne Bergant offers an overview of Israel's sacred history that is equally insightful and accessible. Readers will be enlightened and elated by this synopsis of Israel's inspired writings, which are the inheritance of both Judaism and Christianity.
Stephen J. Binz, biblical scholar and author of Threshold Bible Study
With Burning Hearts should strike a flame in the hearts of readers and make them eager to witness to the Word of God throughout the church year.
If it is especially in the sacred liturgy where the Church offers to the faithful the bread of life found in the Scriptures, as Vatican Council II taught us, we need help in breaking the life-giving bread. The thoughtful worshiper at each Sunday's Mass depends on a well-prepared lector and a gifted homilist. These are precisely the readers who will benefit from Verna Holyhead's reclaiming of the Liturgy of the Word, together with parish groups in Lent and Advent that traditionally ponder and pray over the Sunday texts. Here every reading in the Sundays of the year of Luke comes alive with her impeccable grasp of the biblical author's intention coupled with a sense of readers life situation. Her sureness of touch arises from long experience in mediating the inspired Word to people hungry for that bread of life.
Robert C. Hill, Australian Catholic University
Verna Holyhead's hope that this will strike a tiny flame is too modest. Short, pithy introductions to each season, Sunday-by-Sunday commentaries bristling with fresh images that throw scripture and contemporary experience together to converse with one another, footnotes that hint at the depths of scholarship that ground this most readable book-all these threaten to start a conflagration among faithful hearers of the Word! A final chapter, "With the Gospel as Our Guide," brings the Benedictine spirit into the conversation as yet another lens for the firelight by which we read. Welcoming the Word is a pearl worth the price.
Genevieve Glen, O.S.B., Abbey of St. Walburga, Editor for Daily Offices--Magnificat
Anyone seeking fresh reflections on the Sunday readings will find the book full of liturgical insights and pastoral challenges. . . . [Holyhead's] reflections build on fresh images, which unite the words of the Rule to contemporary experience. This book can be a worthy addition to your resource library.
Verna Holyhead's Welcoming the Word is an elegant complement to the liturgical readings of Year C. It provides us with a frame which brings out the deeper artistry of the biblical selections used at the Sunday Eucharist. The author draws on liturgical and scriptural knowledge, poetry, common experience and personal reflection to offer a counterpoint to the familiar texts and to start us off on fresh avenues of meditation. This wise and mellow book will become a valued companion as we journey through the Church's year, opening up the riches of the liturgy, and calling us to a more fruitful listening and a fuller practice.
Fr. Michael Casey, OCSO, Tarrawarra, Abbey, Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia
Perfect for personal reflection or communal discussion.