Cardinal Pell Publishes Commentary on Sunday Readings

Reflection on St. Luke’s Gospel Shows Jesus’ Many Facets

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In time for this year’s liturgical cycle, Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, published a book with reflections on the Sunday readings taken from Saint Luke.

With some additional commentaries for special feast days there are 56 reflections in all. “Contemplating the Year With Luke,” (Connor Court Publishing) also contains a number of color plates with paintings by Francisco (Kiko) Argüello, cofounder of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.

Luke’s Gospel is notable for a number of features, Cardinal Pell remarked in his introduction. Not only is it in Luke that we find the infancy narratives, but we also have seven parables not found in the other gospels, including that of the Good Samaritan and the Pharisee and the tax collector in the temple.

Luke also provides us with three notable canticles, Cardinal Pell added: the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc Dimittis. We also find in Luke more about the women of the New Testament.

While less dramatic than St. John, St. Luke is a polished story teller who reveals the many facets of Jesus, both his compassion as well as his passionate opposition to injustice and hypocrisy, Cardinal Pell observed.

Regarding the theme of compassion he noted that it is only in Luke that we find the story of how Jesus raised to life the son of the widow of Naim. We too hope to rise through the redemptive power of life, he commented, not to an extended human life, but to the eternal life in Heaven.

The reflections themselves mainly follow the gospel texts, but also include some personal notes and references to other books of the Bible, along with the occasional mention of some local Australian events and places.

They also challenge the reader at times to reflect on the need for a deeper faith and when it comes to the calling of the disciples the cardinal brings up the topic of vocations and the priesthood. “May we have the light to see what is God’s will and the wisdom and strength to act,” he commented.

In his usual forthright style Cardinal Pell uses some of the reflections to urge people to reflect on their own lives and to continue searching for God and for truth. “No adult should ever opt out of the search for truth, especially in faith and morals,” he affirmed.

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