This is the first of a series of four books covering the four gospels.
Based on the work of contemporary scripture scholars, and using the New Revised Standard Version of the gospels, it is an attempt to offer some overall insights into the gospel. It is intended for the general reader who wishes to know how the gospel came to be written and what it has to tell us about Jesus who once walked the dusty roads of Palestine demonstrating God's love for humanity. Jesus is our everyday God showing us how to live and die in a meaningful way. As St Paul said of him, though he was in the form of God, (he) did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself taking the form of a slave. (Philippians 2:6ff)
These pages should not replace reading and meditating on the gospel itself. While it is important to understand what the evangelist means, the reader is also invited to let the gospel speak to the heart as well as the head. There is an age-old tradition of contemplating the gospels, and so the reader is invited to undertake an imaginative journey, looking at the people, places and actions of the various actors in the gospel stories, identifying with them imaginatively in the hope of better appreciating each gospels message.
Philip Fogarty is an Irish Jesuit who works in Ireland and in the US. A writer and retreat-giver, he is a regular contributor to The Sacred Heart Messenger.