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As early as the sixteenth century, Christians have reflected on the seven last words of Christ, the phrases he spoke as he hung on the cross on Good Friday. In 2015, Jesuit priest James Martin followed that tradition by preaching on the Seven Last Words at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.This slight volume is based on that sermon.

The overarching theme of Martin’s reflection is “the way that Jesus’ sufferings help him to understand us.” This truth has profoundly encouraged Martin, as well as those who come to him for spiritual direction.

With compassion and wisdom, Martin spells out how Jesus understands the following realities: the challenge of forgiveness, doubts about the afterlife, a parent’s love, feelings of abandonment, physical pain, disappointment, and self-offering.

Martin’s reflections include the veneration of Mary, the mother of Jesus, a tradition Reformed Christians don’t hold to. However, they will find much in Seven Last Words to deepen their friendship with Jesus. (HarperOne)

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