Nothing is more central to the Church than preaching the gospel, and few have preached the gospel with the intensity and insight of St. Paul. Paul's letters play an important role in the New Testament and in the Roman Lectionary. Yet, despite their importance, Paul's teaching is seldom proclaimed from the pulpit. In Strategies for Preaching Paul, Frank Matera provides preachers with the comprehensive background needed to successfully preach the Pauline readings.
More than a collection of homily hints, Strategies for Preaching Paul provides preachers with three strategies for preaching the Pauline readings in the Sunday Lectionary during Ordinary Time. It offers summaries first of the historical setting, then the literary context, and finally the theological themes of all the Pauline readings as well as the readings of the Letter to the Hebrews. Each letter is introduced by explaining the historical circumstances that caused it and its literary structure. Next, each Sunday reading is explained in light of its wider literary context and its historical background, suggesting ways in which preachers might employ the text in the Sunday homily. Finally, after considering the letter, Matera suggests the major Pauline themes of the letter that need to be preached, such as justification by faith, the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the moral life of believers.
An exceptional resource for preachers, Strategies for Preaching Paul also serves as an introduction to Paul's thought. It may be used in Lectio divina to reflect upon the Sunday Pauline texts.
Chapters are "Paul in Ordinary Time, Year A," "Paul in Ordinary Time, Year B," "Paul in Ordinary Time, Year C," "Index of Pauline Readings," and "Index for the Sundays of Ordinary Time."
Frank J. Matera, Ph.D., is a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford. He is professor of New Testament at The Catholic University of America and the author of Galatians from the Sacra Pagina series published by The Liturgical Press.