In The Word on the Street, John Martens brings the Bible to where people live: in the church, at home, at work, and in the broader world. This Lectionary commentary for every Sunday of the liturgical year, offers readers a way in which the Bible can speak to them in light of their lives today.
John Martens is known for his contributions to "The Word", a popular column in America magazine. The Word on the Street, Year A is the first book in a three-volume series that presents scriptural, liturgical, and preaching commentary for Sundays throughout the year.
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A collection of substantial relatable, and insightful pieces that offer a fresh perspective on the relevance of the Bible for today. Whether one is looking for a little inspiration for preaching or simply wants to enjoy reflecting on the Word, this volume is worth considering.
Every week at America magazine, I wait with eager anticipation to see what John Martens is going to say about the Gospel for the coming Sunday or Feast Day. And I am never, ever, disappointed. Firmly grounded in the latest Scripture scholarship, wonderfully practical, and beautifully written, his reflections always teach me something new. Martens is that rare scholar that can write well for the general audience, and, even rarer, say something new.
This book feels like a warm conversation with a friend who is faithful, wise, smart, and kind. John Martens guides the reader on a spiritual journey through the Christian year with reflections that stimulate the mind and refresh the soul.
In a cultural environment where religion is often used to enhance one's identity, John Martens' The Word on the Street is a good example of what Pope Francis called "theology on one's knees". Doing theology begins with Scripture and worship: in this sense, a book of Sunday reflections for the liturgical year stands at the center, at the beginning, and the end of what nurtures the Christian experience, beyond the different liturgical and political commitments that divide the Church today. But John Martens' book is far from indifferent to the meaning of Scripture for the life of Christians in the world of today.
John Martens is not only an excellent biblical scholar, he also has a pastor's soul. These weekly reflections help us get inside the scriptures each Sunday in a way that is scholarly, accessible, and spiritually rich. He makes the Word of God alive in so many thoughtful ways. This volume is a perfect synthesis of heart and mind, a place I can go to learn about the biblical readings for each week, be touched by God and grow spiritually. I enthusiastically recommend The Word on the Street for all Christians, from thoughtful high school and college students to lay adults of all ages, and even (and especially) to theologians. Each reflection has something for everyone.
John W. Martens is professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas and director of the Master of Arts in Theology program at St. Paul Seminary, School of Divinity, St. Paul, Minnesota.