Donal Neary SJ’s latest book is Gospel Reflections on Luke, the evangelist whose gospel is now being read at mass this new Church year. As the title suggests it features a series of reflections mainly on Sunday’s gospel reading and a few on the first reading. Listen here to an interview about the book with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications.
Donal is the newly appointed editor of The Sacred Heart Messenger but before that he spent many years in Gardiner St Church where he was parish priest. He says the book grew out of his homilies and it’s aimed at parishioners, priests, pastoral groups and anyone interested in doing some reflection and praying on the gospel they hear weekly at mass.
He is grateful to biblical scholars whom he’s read who throw light on the Gospels from the important academic point of view. But he says his book is really aimed at helping the reader discover what Jesus might be saying to them in the reading and what action they might be called to as a result of having prayed the text. ‘Ive tried to make it accessible’, he told Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, in an interview which you can listen to here. ” Because I got taught a valuable lesson from an older lady in Gardiner St who came up to me after I had preached the homily at my first novena in Gardiner St. I thought I’d done rather well but she just sighed at me and said ‘ah Father, for God’s sake would you ever come down to earth!'”
One of his reflections for Advent and Christmas focuses on the oft repeated complaint that Christmas is too commercialised. He says he smiles wryly when he sees people frown and hear them moan that the true meaning of Christmas is lost. “It is lost if we can’t find God in the lights and gifts and sharing. Let everything secular about Christmas remind us of its holy meaning. That’s the challenge.”
Gospel Reflections on Luke is published by Messenger Publications and costs €9.99 Click here to buy online.