Ascending the Mountain is a collection of homilies for Year A of the liturgical cycle, the year of Matthew. It is a companion to a similar volume for Year C, Welcoming the Outsider. Each of the evangelists offers us a different perspective on the life and ministry of Jesus, portraying him in a way that would meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of the community for which he was writing. Matthew's community consisted of Jews who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah, but also of gentiles. These Jewish Christians were no longer welcome in the local Jewish synagogues and they were struggling to hold in tension their Jewish identity with the revelation of God in Christ, the old with the new. They're going through an identity crisis. Matthew's gospel places the Sermon on the Mount at the beginning of Jesus' public ministry, thereby presenting Jesus as the new Moses. Jesus, like Moses before him, ascends the mountain. Matthew is like the 'householder who brings out of his treasure new things and old' (Mt 13:52). He then organises his teaching into five sermons, thereby suggesting a new Torah, a fulfilment not an abrogation of the old. In Matthew's gospel even the tiniest part of the ancient Jewish Law must remain, but only as radically interpreted by Jesus. - From the Introduction In this second volume of Homilies, Geoff Plant once again proves that he is an eloquent and engrossing master storyteller. He breaks open the word, drawing together the biblical and contemporary contexts. His stories inform and delight illuminating the text to deepen understanding of the Gospels and enhance participation in the Sunday liturgy. These homilies will be welcomed by priests and pastoral associates, students of Biblical Studies, Bible Study groups, teachers and individuals wishing to enrich their own spiritual understanding. GEOFFREY PLANT is pastor of St Michael’s Parish, Lane Cove, within the Archdiocese of Sydney. Ordained in 1972, Geoffrey's ministry has been in education at secondary and tertiary levels, but parish work is his first love. He studied theology at the Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne, and at Sydney University.