Ideal books to study Scripture during the Jubilee Year of Mercy:

Divine Mercy  (Threshold Bible Study)
The Sacred Heart of Jesus  (Threshold Bible Study)
Jesus, The Compassionate Savior: Luke 1-11  (Threshold Bible Study)
Jesus the Compassionate Savior: Luke 12-24  (Threshold Bible Study)


To involve your whole parish in studying Scripture, recommend that individuals study either in groups or personally on their own.

"In order to be capable of mercy, we must first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God. This means rediscovering the value of silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us. In this way, it will be possible to contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle." (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus: Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, 13)

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Bestselling author and biblical scholar Stephen J. Binz offers the first book to combine the ancient Western practice of lectio divina (sacred reading) with the lesser-known Eastern Orthodox tradition of visio divina (sacred seeing). Binz suggests a life-changing way to pray through twenty gospel readings paired with beautiful, never-before-published contemporary icons.

St. Benedict urged his followers to listen to God's Word "with the ear of the heart." Eastern Orthodox spiritual writers focused on gazing at icons, as St. Paul said, with "the eyes of the heart." Binz draws on the richness of both traditions by combining lectio and visio divina.

Contemplation is more difficult than ever during this digital age and Binz offers a proven and profound way to cut through the noise and pray the gospels. He will walk you through six steps: reading, seeing, meditating, praying, contemplating, and acting. Binz also provides simple suggestions for self-reflection that can lead to practical changes in your everyday life.

The book's twenty Bible passages--starting with the Annunciation and ending with Pentecost--are paired with full-color icons of each story. The original, never-before-published icons, written by Ruta and Kaspars Poikans, are displayed in the Unity Chapel at the Mary of Nazareth International Center in Israel.

"As one who both practices and teaches visio divina, I highly recommend this book that beautifully links art, prayer, and the healing power of both." --Br. Mickey McGrath, O.S.F.S., BeeStill Studios

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Saint Peter: Flawed, Forgiven, and Faithful (Walking with Peter from Galilee to Rome)

In Saint Peter: Flawed, Forgiven, and Faithful, biblical scholar Stephen Binz takes readers on a pilgrimage from Galilee to Rome—from the spot where Peter first dropped his nets to follow Jesus to the place where he gave his life out of love for his Lord. Through sound scholarship, first-hand experiences at places of pilgrimage, and spiritual reflection, Binz helps us embrace the reality that God works through broken human beings to accomplish truly beautiful things.

"A marvelous book, which seamlessly combines biblical scholarship, travel narrative, historical research and spiritual reflections, to help us more fully understand one of the most fascinating men ever to have lived, and surely one of the most human."  - James Martin, SJ, editor at large at America Media, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

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Threshold to God's Word: A User-Friendly Guide to Scripture Study

Newcomers and scholars alike will appreciate Binz' accessible, insightful style as he shows that reading the Bible is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but a devoted and passionate search, an enthusiastic and joyful discovery. Taking us into the gospels and books such as Jonah and Exodus, Binz explores everything from contextual interpretation to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Written for individual or group study, and with reflection questions that help connect the transforming power of Scripture to our own spirituality, this captivating, informative and deeply prayerful guide is an invitation to unlock the doors to Scripture, to joyfully welcome Christ across the threshold, and receive the fullness of life he offers.

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Scripture, God's Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics

In Scripture-God's Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics, Stephen Binz brings to light the power of scripture to not only renew our lives, but make us living witnesses of the Gospel. Inspired and influenced by Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis, Binz shows us the indissoluble connection between their call to New Evangelization and its necessary connection to the Word of God.

Every chapter brings you closer to Christ and closer to His Word as you:

  • Grasp the importance of recovering the evangelical dimension of Catholicism
  • Discover the "hero evangelizers" in Scripture and history
  • Learn to read the Bible as an evangelizing Catholic
  • Understand the key link between lectio divina and the New Evangelizatiion
  • Identify the obstacles to hearing and witnessing to God's Word today
  • Understand the role of Mary, the Star of the New Evangelization


Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington

Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, President of the USCCB
Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, President of the CCCB

Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago

David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay

Dianne Bergant, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago

Scott Hahn, President of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Mary Healy, Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary 

Daniel P. Horan, OFM, author, Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province

James Martin, SJ, author, Colbert Report chaplain, and editor at America magazine

Ralph Martin, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit

Sr. Edith Prendergast, Director of Religious Education, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Mary DeTurris Poust, columnist, journalist and author

Brian Schmisek, Director of the Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago

Catherine Upchurch, Director of Little Rock Scripture Study

Brandon Vogt, Content Director at Word on Fire

Kerry Weber, author and managing editor of America magazine

Ronald D. Witherup, S.S., Superior General of the Sulpicians, Paris

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Threshold Bible Study is a thematic Scripture series designed for both personal study and group discussion. The thirty lessons in each study may be used by an individual for daily study over the course of a month or they may be divided into six lessons per week, providing a group study of six weekly sessions. Through the spiritual disciplines of Scripture reading, study, reflection, conversation, and prayer, readers will cross the threshold to a more abundant dwelling with God. Ideal for Bible study groups, small Christian communities, adult faith formation, and individual learning.

The series included the following titles: Stewardship of the Earth, The Feasts of Judaism, The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts, The Sacred Heart, Eucharist, Angels of God, Mysteries of the Rosary, The Names of Jesus, People of the Passion, The Tragic and Triumphant Cross, The Resurrection and the Life, Advent Light, The Lamb and the Beasts, Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Jesus, and Jerusalem:The Holy City.

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The Threshold series now includes the studies of the four gospels, ideal for the Lectionary Cycles A, B, and C, and for the Lent/Easter seasons. Titles include Jesus, the Messianic King: Part One (Matthew 1-16); Jesus, the Messianic King Part Two (Matthew 17-28); Jesus, the Suffering Servant: Part One (Mark 1-8); Jesus, the Suffering Servant: Part Two (Mark 9-16); Jesus, the Compassionate Savior: Part One (Luke 1-11); Jesus, the Compassionate Savior: Part Two (Luke 12-24); Jesus, the Word Made Flesh: Part One (John chapters 1-10); Jesus, the Word Made Flesh: Part Two (John chapters 11-21), Church of the Holy Spirit: Part One (Acts 1-14); Church of the Holy Spirit: Part Two (Acts 15-28).

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Enthrone the Bible in your Home - Prayer Service for Bible enthronement

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Ancient-Future Bible Study: Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina


Ancient-Future Bible Study incorporates contemporary study of the Bible with an experience of the church's most ancient way of reading Scripture, lectio divina. This time-honored practice consists of five basic movements: biblical study (lectio), reflection (meditatio), prayer (oratio), discernment (contemplatio), and contemplative action (operatio). In six clearly written volumes, bestselling author Stephen Binz helps readers study the Bible in a way that leads to spiritual transformation and brings them closer to God. 

Stephen Binz leads readers in a vivid study of key biblical characters, including Abraham, Paul, Peter, David, the women of the Torah, and the women of the Gospels. He shows all Christians who desire to have a transforming experience with the inspired Word of God how studying Scripture through lectio divina can enrich their discipleship. This ecumenical Bible study, designed for use by individuals or groups, includes questions for personal reflection and suggested action. Each volume includes leader's notes for guiding a study over the course of six sessions.

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Lectio Divina Bible Study


In an exceptional combination of one of the most ancient forms of Scripture study with historical, theological, and scriptural perspectives, Lectio Divina Bible Study leads us on an incredible journey of enlightenment and appreciation in the areas of the Creed, Prayer, Sacraments, and the Mass.

Lectio Divina, the ancient practice of Scripture immersion, is at the heart of this process. Each lesson leads you forward through a sequence of listening, understanding, reflecting, praying, and acting. This series is suitable for parish, small group, or individual use.

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Conversing with God in Scripture


Conversing with God in Scripture: A Contemporary Approach to Lectio Divina                                                     

Lectio divina is the most ancient and fruitful way of studying Scripture. This revered practice is rooted in the Jewish tradition of Jesus, and it has been nourished through the desert spirituality of the early centuries, the patristic writers of the ancient church, and the monastic tradition through the ages. In our day, lectio divina is experiencing a world-wide revival as Christians are returning to age-old wisdom to experience the Scriptures in a deeper and more complete way. This book will explain this ancient practice and show readers how to experience the ongoing power of the Spirit within the inspired text. Participants will learn how to move from attentive listening, to reflective prayer, to contemplative action.  

Seasonal books include Conversing with God in Lent, Conversing with God in the Easter Season, and Conversing with God in Advent and Christmas. Each of these books leads readers through the movements of lectio divina for the Sunday lectionary readings from cycles A, B, and C. These are perfect seasonal resources for both individuals and parish groups. 

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Introduction to the Bible: A Catholic Guide to Studying Scripture

This work provides an easy access to the Bible for the beginning student of the Bible. With sensible advice, it will allow readers to discover how the Bible came to be, how to choose a Bible translation, how to interpret the Bible within Catholic tradition, and how to benefit the most from Bible study. Readers will find practical explanations that will make the Bible less foreign and more familiar.

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Intoduccion a la Biblia: Una guia catolica para el estudio de las Sagradas Escrituras

Introducción a la Biblia permite que sus lectores descubran cómo se desarrolló la Biblia y cómo escoger una traducción de la Biblia, interpretarla dentro de la tradición católica y beneficiarse lo más posible del estudio de ella. De mayor importancia, sin embargo, es que los lectores llegarán a entender el poder transformativo de la palabra de Dios mientras conocen más íntimamente la Palabra Encarnada, Jesucristo.

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Stewardship of the Earth 

As the only Bible study on ecology, this is a perfect companion to Laudato Si, by Pope Francis. The Earth, its environment and its creatures, is a wonderful gift and a sacred trust to humanity. Celebrate the beauty and rich diversity of the created world and develop a sense of loving care for our planet through the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Listen anew to the biblical texts which help us understand our privilege and responsibility in caring for the earth and humbly recognize our place within it. In our present age of vast environmental degradation, a biblical spirituality of God's creation can help motivate believers toward an understanding of ecological justice.

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Advent of the Savior: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives of Jesus

The biblical accounts of Jesus' conception and birth are the formative stories of seasons of Advent and Christmas. They serve as overtures to the writings of the evangelists and as bridges connecting the Old and New Testaments, pointing back to the history of Israel and forward to the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The work will enrich the reader's understanding of these Advent texts and prepare the reader for the Savior's coming.

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The God of Freedom and Life: A Commentary on the Book of Exodus

The experience of Exodus is ancient, yet always new. The journey from bondage and death to freedom and life is what God wants for all people. By entering into the liberating journey with Israel, we can more deeply encounter the God of freedom and life ourselves. The work helps the reader to understand the text and enter more personally the experience of Exodus.

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The Passion and Resurrection Narratives of Jesus: A Commentary

The accounts of the passion and resurrection are the climax of each of the Gospels. The work will illumine the reader's understanding of the text in each gospel and the reasons for the differences in each of the four gospels. A study of these texts will enrich the reader's experience of Lent and Easter.

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St. Joseph, My Real Estate Agent: Why the Patron Saint of Home Life is the Patron Saint of Home-SellingSt. Joseph, My Real Estate Agent

The work is a light and humorous look at the wildly popular custom of burying a statue of St. Joseph in the yard in order to sell a home and a serious look at how Joseph of Nazareth can be a mentor and guide for home life today. Whether the practice is pious tradition, popular spirituality, or a powerful source of heavenly aid, people throughout the world are attributing a successful transition to a new home to the influence of Joseph of Nazareth. The work speculates about the origins and motives for this fashionable practice and discusses the value of popular spirituality in the 21st century. It presents details of real estate in Nazareth and the Jewish home life of Joseph as well as spiritual inspiration for home-building, home-making, and home life. The work concludes with model prayer services for selling a house and blessing a new home. 

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The above books have been endorsed by the following scholars and pastoral leaders:

Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Dr. Craig Bartholomew, Sr. Dianne Bergant, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Rev. Richard Clifford, Kathleen Chesto, Sarah Christmyer, Bishop Blase Cupich, Dr. Marva Dawn, Sr. Carol Dempsey, Rev. Alexander De Lella, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rev. John Donahue SJ, Rev. Demetrius Dumm, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher, Rev. John Endres SJ, Cardinal Francis George, Dr. Scott Hahn, Aidan Hart, Dr. Mary Healy, Rev. Leslie Hoppe OFM, Daniel P. Horan OFM, Bill Huebsch, Sr. Kathleen Hughes, Rev. Msgr. Kevin Irwin, Rev. Jan Michael Joncas, Dr. Tony Jones, Sr. Judith Kubicki, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Rev. Francis Maloney, Dr. George Martin, Rev. James Martin SJ, Dr. Ralph Martin, Rev. Msgr. Alfred McBride, Carl McColman, Br. Mickey McGrath, Rev. George Montague, Rev. Jacques Nieuviarts, Sr. Irene Nowell, Dr. Kathleen O'Connor, Rev. Peter Phan, Abbot Gregory Polan, Dr. John Pilch, Bishop Anthony Pilla, Rev. Msgr. Charles Pope, Mary DeTurris Poust, Sr. Edith Prendergast, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, Rev. Thomas Ranzino, Dr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Bishop David L. Ricken, Eric Sammons, Dr. Brian Schmisek, Sr. Sandra Schneiders, Mark P. Shea, Dr. James K.A. Smith, John Michael Talbot, Bishop Donald Trautman, Rev. Paul Turner, Catherine Upchurch, Sr. Catherine Vincie, Brandon Vogt, Nick Wagner, Kerry Weber, Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, Rev. Ronald Witherup SS, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl. 

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