To the unstudied eye, St. Matthew’s Gospel can seem a terse narrative, almost a historical document and not the tremendously spiritual (and doctrinal) storehouse that it is. In these three volumes on Matthew, Erasmo Leiva shows Matthew’s prose to be not terse so much as economical—astoundingly so given its depth. The lay reader can derive great profit from reading this. Each short meditation comments on a verse or two, pointing to some facet of the text not immediately apparent, but rich with meaning.
Leiva’s work is scholarly but eminently approachable by the lay reader. The tone is very much of “taste and see how good the Lord is” and an invitation of “friend, come up higher!” These volumes help the reader experience the heat of the divine heart and the light of the divine Word.
Leiva points to Matthew’s Gospel as being deeply ecclesial because it is first Christological. Leiva comments on the Greek text, demonstrating nuances in the text that defy translation. He uses numerous quotes from the Fathers and the Liturgy of the Church to demonstrate the way the Tradition has lived and read the Word of God. His theological reflection vivifies doctrine by seeking its roots in the words and actions of Jesus.
The Logos edition helps you to study the Gospel of Matthew more thoroughly than ever. Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word will appear in your Passage Guide and Sermon Starter Guide as you study passages in Matthew, and you can read it side-by-side with any of your Bible translations. References to Church Fathers or saints in your library will appear on mouseover. With just a click, let your studies on Matthew take off.
“Spiritual childhood represents the full blossoming of all the Beatitudes at once” (Volume 2, Page 608)
“Spiritual childhood is a goal to be achieved after long journeying” (Volume 2, Page 607)
“Eyes of faith can see glory shining forth from Jesus here and now. The event of the Transfiguration is essential for us to understand that life in Christ is about fullness of life now. Christianity is not a religion of the continual postponement of joy and delight, as some would like to caricature the Christian virtue of hope. The Transfiguration is the experience of the fullness of divine Presence, action, communication, and glory now, in our very midst, in this world of passingness and disappointment.” (Volume 2, Pages 549–551)
“God wants nothing from us; rather God yearns, with all the passion of a lover, to give himself to us, to take us forever into his embrace. ‘Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and has sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins’ (1 Jn 4:10). God wants no thing from us, except ourselves.” (Volume 1, Page 716)
“Whatever the ‘kingdom of heaven’ may be in itself, we are to conclude from this omnipresent motif of hiddenness, first, that the Kingdom for a long while passes wholly unperceived by human eyes; second, that it develops nonetheless according to laws of its own; and, third, that its eventual coming into the light coincides with God’s dearest design for the world’s salvation.” (Volume 2, Page 293)
This is a biblical commentary with scholarship and, above all, a prayerfulness that is a great gift to the Church.
—Sr. Wendy Beckett, OCD
Fire of Mercy has become a classic of Catholic culture. It is certainly original, like no other meditation on the Scriptures you will ever read.
—John Saward, professor of dogmatic theology, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis obtained his PhD in comparative literature and theology from Emory University. Formerly a professor of literature and theology at the University of San Francisco, he is now a Trappist monk at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.