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December 15, 2023 — “There is no faith without an encounter, because faith is a personal encounter with Jesus,” Pope Francis writes. He goes on: “One of the things that helps us when we have the Gospels before our eyes is to imagine those encounters with Jesus—recreate them, look at him ourselves, meet him ourselves. In the Gospels, to look and to see are two very important verbs. So let us approach the episodes in the life of Jesus with eyes filled with contemplation.”

This is a brief excerpt from the introduction to the new book “The Life of Jesus” by veteran Vatican reporter and current editorial director of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, Andrea Tornielli. Andrea is today’s guest. And as you’ll quickly learn, in his work and his writing, he lives out Pope Francis’ words.

His new book isn’t just a retelling of the Gospel. It’s an experience. It’s an invitation to immerse ourselves in the story, to use our imagination and bring to life the words of Scripture. We hear, too, throughout his book the teachings of Pope Francis. In short, this book is a compilation of biblical text, imaginative prayer and papal insights.

It’s very Ignatian.

And, as Pope Francis reminds us, we are challenged to approach these key episodes in the life of Jesus with contemplative spirit. And we’re approaching one of those key moments now: Christmas, the Incarnation. In the conversation today, Andrea pulls from his book and his own personal prayer life to help us as we journey through these remaining Advent days and prepare anew for Christ.

If you’d like to learn more about “The Life of Christ” and pick up a copy, visit the Loyola Press website.

AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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