Frank Johnson reviews a new two-volume series from the pen of Megan McKenna.
[New City magazine – December 2009]
When books containing commentaries on the readings for the Eucharist are published, one’s immediate reaction is to assume that they are aimed at priests, to help them with their homilies. Of course there will always be a market for such books, but there is an ever-increasing desire on the part of the laity to gain a deeper understanding of Scripture, and particularly those passages that have been specially selected as liturgical readings.
A case in point is the new two-volume series written by Megan McKenna entitled Advent, Christmas and Epiphany: stories and reflections on the Daily (and Sunday) Readings. The author is a well-established and popular spiritual writer and retreat leader, not only in her native United States, but also in Britain and Ireland to where she is a frequent visitor.
Besides offering a well-considered commentary on the readings of the day, Megan McKenna also recounts a story to reinforce the Scriptural passage. The stories are from all sorts of different sources, both modern and traditional, Christian and non-Christian. This juxtaposing of the sacred and the profane, as it were, may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is a style that has great appeal to today’s generation. In fact, even if one were to read these ‘commentary-stories outside the seasons for which they are intended, they would be a fruitful source of meditation.
So, whether the potential reader is looking specifically for inspiration for homilies or simply wishes to reflect on the readings of these important seasons in the Church’s year, these two books are highly recommended.