Today’s “Words Made Flesh” brings to a conclusion my three-year series of biblical reflections on the Sunday readings. The idea for the weekly biblical reflections flows from the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church held at the Vatican during the month of October 2008. Having served as the English language Media Attaché for that international ecclesial gathering, I worked closely with Spanish language Media Attaché, Jesús Colina, a friend and colleague, who was also founder and director of the Zenit International News Service until recently. In addition to my Synodal media role, Jesús invited me to write the daily “Synod Diary” for Zenit. Those daily reports were published in various languages on Zenit during the month of October 2008. We never imagined the positive response that followed the daily entries relating the inside story of the Synod of 2008!
At the Synod’s conclusion, Jesús Colina invited me to succeed the renowned Italian Capuchin scripture scholar and Preacher to the Papal Household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, in offering weekly Scripture reflections for the Zenit audience beginning in Advent 2008. I accepted the invitation with no small amount of trepidation, aware of the great master and teacher I would be following. I agreed to prepare the weekly reflections for the full liturgical cycles of Years A, B and C.
Over the past three years, I have received hundreds of messages from readers throughout the world who found the reflections helpful for their personal prayer life, preaching, bible study, and many other aspects of Church life. I tried to respond to every person who took the time to write - to Cardinals, bishops, priests, permanent deacons, seminarians, consecrated women and men, catechists, countless lay people, and dozens of missionaries in distant lands. Questions often raised by the readers developed into a regular correspondence with many whom I have never met in person, but feel I now know because of “Words Made Flesh.”
Many of those who have written asked if there would be a published collection of “Words Made Flesh.” I am happy to say that the Publication Services of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has agreed to publish the three volumes (Years A, B, and C) in English and French, beginning with Year B at the beginning of December 2011. I invite you to contact the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Publications Services to place your individual or group orders: firstname.lastname@example.org
Year B: The Gospel of Mark
This second volume of weekly reflections will focus on the Gospel of Mark, briefest in length of the Gospels of the New Testament and most likely the first to have been written. Mark’s Gospel will be proclaimed throughout the coming liturgical year. It is hoped that these reflections might lead to an understanding of the mystery being celebrated in our Sunday liturgical assemblies, a privileged moment of teaching for the Church, and serve as a summons to mission in the world. Future volumes for Year C (volume 3) and Year A (volume 1) will be published over the next year.
The Zenit International News Service is a very good instrument of information, teaching, evangelization and unity for the Catholic Church. It needs all of our support, especially in this time of transition. I express sincere gratitude to Jesús Colina, Karna Swanson and Kathleen Naab who showed such patience, professionalism and good cheer over the past three years. I thank Zenit for allowing me to publish the weekly articles in book form.
My thanks to the Publications Services of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Ottawa for their encouragement and generous assistance with the publication of these reflections in the English and French languages.
If you found these reflections helpful, let us thank God together. I invite you to pray for me and all who are entrusted with teaching and preaching the Word of God, that we may give flesh and blood to the words of “Verbum Domini,” Pope Benedict XVI’s masterful Apostolic Exhortation
that followed the Synod on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church:
In their work of interpretation, Catholic exegetes must never forget that what they are interpreting is the Word of God. Their common task is not finished when they have simply determined sources, defined forms or explained literary procedures. They arrive at the true goal of their work only when they have explained the meaning of the biblical text as God’s Word for today (#33).
Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
CEO Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation