14 Book Review

posted Mar 6, 2019, 8:55 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 6, 2019, 8:55 AM ]

Justice & Solidarity

(Stories and Reflections on the Gospels – Cycle C) – Rev. Fr John D'Mello
Published by Daughters of St Paul, Waterfield Road, Bandra, Mumbai 400050. pp 192. Price: Rs 150/-

This offering from Fr John, with its stories and reflections on the Gospels of Year C, completes the trilogy on the liturgical cycles, and in true biblical tradition, the best wine has been kept for last. The first two books (Gospel Confronts Life and From Empathy to Justice) are deeply inspiring and motivating, but Justice & Solidarity goes beyond, in that it is a marvellous eye-opener in many ways, making the reader see the familiar Gospel narratives in a very different and thought-provoking light. The over-riding theme, reflected in the title, is 'solidarity' - the coming together of groups in a network in order to transform society, thus making sure that no one walks alone. These reflections, then, are a stirring call to action, as we shall see.

From Sunday to Sunday, and one liturgical season to the next, the Church chooses for us the readings that still resonate in our present situation, though they come to us from the past. But, because they are familiar, we sometimes fail to connect with the deeper message, or perhaps we need to see the old message with new eyes and insight. The author provides us, upfront, with his reasons for the interpretation he presents to the readers. "…I have dwelt on the "front of the text" as opposed to the "behind of the text". Scripture scholars speak of the "behind of the text" as referring to the mind or intention of the biblical author when they wrote 2000 years ago. Scholars speak of the "front of the text" when they refer to "contemporary" applications that can be made by the interpreter, applications that are relevant for today." The emphasis, therefore, is contemporary and relatable.