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Strategies for Preaching Paul Paperback – February 1, 2001
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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."?He notes how unfortunate it is ?that there is such silence from the pulpit when it comes to preaching from the Pauline texts.? In order to remedy that situation, he provides pastors with strategies for preaching from the Pauline readings of the Sunday Lectionary.? Theology Digest?It offers a concise and intelligent source for sermon preparation.? The Priest?. . . Matera can make a believer out of you. He gives preachers, catechists, RCIA ministers and others the courage and the method to use Paul?s words for the pastoral purposes and needs of our day. Keep this wonderful little book handy and it will teach you to take a fresh approach to the Sunday lectionary.? Liturgy Re/Sources". . . helpful both in collecting in one place brief exegesis on all these readings and in lifting up ways Paul speaks to congregations today." Currents"Frank Matera does it again! Once again, Fr. Matera gracefully performs the difficult feat of bringing the fruits of technical exegesis to a wider audience. Priests, deacons, and lay ministers will all profit immensely from Fr. Matera's ability to make the historical Paul of the first century (and other New Testament writers traditionally associated with Paul) speak?and preach?to congregations of the twenty-first century." John P. Meier University of Notre Dame"Matera is a master teacher, and he has provided a wonderful resource not only for preachers but also for all who use the Sunday lectionary as a basis for prayer and Bible study. His book helps to unlock one of the church's treasures?the Pauline epistles. The biblical scholarship is sound, the writing is clear, and the homiletical insights are fresh." Daniel J. Harrington, S.J. Weston Jesuit School of Theology