One of the most influential movements in the Church today is centered on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB), of whose teachings Christopher West is the preeminent translator for a popular audience. In Word Made Flesh: A Companion to the Sunday Readings (Cycle C), West offers reflections on an entire cycle of Sunday Mass readings through the lens of TOB, providing a fresh way to process and act on the Good News by orienting our desires for union with God with our understanding of ourselves and our relationships with others.
St. John Paul II’s TOB is most often framed as an extended catechesis on human sexuality and married love. It is that, to be sure, but, as John Paul II observed, what we learn in the TOB “concerns the whole Bible” and the “whole mission of Christ.” Wearing John Paul II’s “spousal lenses,” West takes us on a tour of the Sunday readings throughout the liturgical year and opens their hidden meaning, allowing God’s word to take flesh in our own lives.
In a clearly written introduction, West provides a primer on TOB—an overview of its main teachings and an explanation of how these teachings brilliantly illuminate the whole story of salvation from Genesis to Revelation.
In Word Made Flesh, West offers distinctive reflections on all fifty-two Sunday readings from the first Sunday of Advent through Christ the King Sunday. Some weeks he focuses primarily on the Gospel, while in others he emphasizes a specific passage or verse from one of the other readings. The reflections naturally and deeply connect with the human experience of living with body and soul in the world while also contemplating the nature of the glorified body in the eternal kingdom to come.
The material in Word Made Flesh can be used as a weekly devotional or as a preparation for Sunday Mass. Subsequent editions of Word Made Flesh will be released prior to the start of liturgical cycles A (Advent 2019) and B (Advent 2020).
"Every Catholic can benefit from this companion."
"The entirety of the Scriptures—from Genesis to Revelation—recounts the story of God's profound love for his creation. Christopher West’s Word Made Flesh provides an ongoing reflection on this love through the lens of St. John Paul II’s catechesis on the nuptial meaning of creation. Since these meditations follow the Sunday Lectionary, every Catholic can benefit from this companion as they pray their way through the liturgical year."
Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend
"A secret dream of many familiar with Theology of the Body."
"Christopher West's new book has been a secret dream of many familiar with Theology of the Body, including myself. So many liturgical Bible readings lend themselves to an explication through the lens of John Paul II's masterwork, and now West has connected the dots. As Catholics, we have three sources of Revelation: Creation (the Father), Scripture (the Son), the Church (the Holy Spirit). In Word Made Flesh, West, with his gift of clarity, helps us to discern all three sources working together, and assists both clergy and laity in breaking open the Word of God in all its physical and spiritual richness and beauty."
Sr. Helena Burns, F.S.P.
Theology of the Body presenter
"Christopher West does it again!"
"Christopher West does it again! Through the lens of Theology of the Body he helps break open the Sunday readings to reveal the deep mysteries of our desires. Let him personally walk alongside you each week and you will find your heart burning within you."
Catholic author, speaker and retreat leader