God of Incredible Surprises (Celebrating Faith Series): Jesus of Galilee / Edition 160

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Why was Jesus, Son of God, from an obscure village in Galilee? What does it mean to our spirituality that he chose not to seek favor from the powerful, but identified with the marginalized, the powerless and those in need of healing? In this remarkable rereading of the life of Jesus, theologian Virgilio Elizondo, cited by TIME Magazine as one of the spiritual innovators of our time, focuses on the humanity of Jesus and the healing his life offers to ourselves and our world today. Readers of this book will see Jesus in a new and powerful way. This is a thought-changing and life-changing book.

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Editorial Reviews

Today's Catholic
Father Elizondo does not finger-point but rather demonstrates how one can live the Christ-centered life.
— Brian T. Olszewski
Elizondo . . . opens our eyes to what it might have been like for Jesus and Mary and other Galileans of their time.
Religious Studies Review
Thought-provoking and occasionally provocative. Simply written with a powerful message.
National Catholic Reporter
Elizondo has produced a succinct personal testament to his life and thought.
Book Review Digest
This is a remarkable new work on Jesus...I recommend the book highly.
— William A. Barry
John Cavadini
This book is an example of the truly visionary in theology, a book where scholarly and pastoral insight into the biblical text are one and the same. The very best theology seamlessly provides the reader with intellectual and spiritual profit, and Fr. Elizondo's book delivers admirably on both.
Robert Goizueta
Elizondo masterfully weaves together moving personal stories and profound theological insights. In a style as dramatic as it is irresistible, Elizondo conveys the sheer extravagance of Christ's love and the radical character of Christ's witness.
Sandra Cisneros
A surprising reading of the gospels that helped me see the God in myself. It empowered me to understand how I too could work for unity and peace in these troubling times.
Sister Maria Elena Gonzalez
By examining the most basic elements of the gospel narratives, Virgilio Elizondo expands the understanding of the journey for justice, dignity and acceptance. Women especially will find healing strength and courage in his insights into the humanity of Mary.
Dr. Jesse Miranda
Maravilloso! It is Jesus up close and personal. I was unable to put the book down until I had read it all. As the center of gravity of Christianity is shifting to the periphery and the accent of theology moves to a more cultural exegesis, the reading of A God of Incredible Surprises makes the transition all the more exciting.
Today's Catholic - Brian T. Olszewski
Father Elizondo does not finger-point but rather demonstrates how one can live the Christ-centered life.
Book Review Digest - William A. Barry
This is a remarkable new work on Jesus...I recommend the book highly.
Elizondo . . . opens our eyes to what it might have been like for Jesus and Mary and other Galileans of their time.
Publishers Weekly
What would happen if Jesus came to San Antonio? Would Jesus feel at home in this Texas city? In a series of reflections about Jesus' humanity, Elizondo concludes that Jesus' Galilee was indeed much like modern-day San Antonio. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, like the Jews of Jesus' time, are marginalized by the dominant powers. San Antonio, like Galilee, is a melting pot where people from all nations and ethnic groups come to live. Like many of these dispossessed people, Jesus grew up in an environment where he would have assimilated many of the traits of these peoples. He would have empathized with the marginalized and would have appeared to them as their hope in the midst of a broken world. According to Elizondo, this Jesus of Galilee brings the same measure of hope to the dispossessed of San Antonio as he brought to the marginalized of Galilee. Although the religious authorities in Galilee also rejected Jesus, he sought to reconcile all peoples, uniting them in love. Elizondo passionately proclaims the human Jesus as the living "Mestizo Messiah" who offers hope and liberation to the oppressed. Although Elizondo writes with the ardor and enthusiasm of an evangelist, his reflections on Jesus offer little that is truly new or compelling, and the book's main point that Jesus would have identified with the marginalized Mexicans and Mexican-Americans of modern-day San Antonio is repeated again and again. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
One of the principal messages of Elizondo's (theology, Notre Dame; The Way of the Cross of the Americas) new book is to liken the Scriptures to our own lives and thereby come to know Jesus as a man, not just a member of the Christian godhead. Drawing on the basic elements of the gospel narratives and on many personal experiences as a Mexican American, the author, one of the leading Latino theologians in the United States today, characterizes mestizos as modern-day Galileans and identifies Jesus with the marginalized, the powerless, and those in need of healing. Thought-provoking and life-changing, this book is at once devotional literature, visionary theology, and a challenging call to all Christians to love and tolerate exploited ethnicities in every society and culture. Decrying destructive racial, ethnic, and religious barriers, especially in the United States, Elizondo imagines a culture where humans are equal in dignity, value, and beauty. Michelle Gonzalez's recent Sor Juana: Beauty and Justice in the Americas discusses similar issues; however, the spirit of Elizondo's book may be best reflected in the 1986 film The Mission. Recommended for all libraries and readers.-Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Virgilio Elizondo is one of the leading Latino theologians in the U.S. today. Founder of the Mexican-American Cultural Center in San Antonio, TX and past Rector of the San Fernando Cathedral there, he is currently on the faculty of theology at the University of Notre Dame. His twelve books include Galilean Journey, Guadalupe: Mother of the New Creation, and The Way of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in the Americas. In 2007 Rev. Elizondo was the recipient of the Catholic Theological Society of America's John Courtney Murray Award, for distinguished achievement in the study of theology.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 A Family Friend Chapter 2 So Human, He Must Be Divine Chapter 3 Troublesome Beginnings Chapter 4 Unsuspected Beauty Chapter 5 Where Are You From? Chapter 6 A Transformative Experience Chapter 7 Restored Innocence Chapter 8 Scandalous Fiestas Chapter 9 Sacrifice: The Price of Love (The Beauty of Sacrifice) Chapter 10 A Dying Gift Chapter 11 A New Humanity Chapter 12 If Jesus Had Been Born in San Antonio

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