During the four decades since Vatican II the Catholic community has been transformed into a Bible reading, Bible praying church which continues to attract new or renewed members. Hearing the Word of God contributes to the Gospel in its liturgical context by offering ideas and perspectives that are useful for preaching or in personal prayer and reflection.
The commentaries on the lectionary readings in Hearing the Word of God first appeared as a popular weekly column in America, covering Cycle B. Since some of the Sundays in the Cycle were displaced by particular feasts, reflections on these Sundays have also been added.
Hearing the Word of God includes Scripture readings for the Sunday, followed by a reflection on the reading and concludes with "Praying with Scripture," a series of questions and meditations to guide readers in making a personal application of the reflection.
John R. Donahue, SJ, PhD, is the Raymond E. Brown Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland. He is the co-author with Daniel Harrington, SJ, of the Sacra Pagina commentary on The Gospel of Mark, published by The Liturgical Press.