Welcome to our virtual book club! We're reading Fr. James Martin’s bestseller, Jesus: A Pilgrimage. Each week we will tackle a chapter and look forward to a lively discussion together.
Jesus A Pilgrimage is made for a book club discussion. It is one of the most “conversational” books I have ever read. Fr. Jim’s style is breezy and affable while at the same time, delivering content that gives much on which to ponder. I have filled my Nook copy with notes and feel like I am talking back and forth with him. I imagine that many of you have said to yourselves, “If only I could talk about this book with someone!” Well, here is your chance.
Fr. Jim lays out his vision for the book in the introduction, a must-read if you are going to understand and appreciate where he goes. It is part travel log (sharing reflections and adventures encountered during his two week sojourn to the Holy Land), part reflection/teaching on the scriptures, and part memoir. Fr. Jim weaves these different elements seamlessly throughout the book. It is intimate, funny, sometimes controversial, and definitely thought-provoking.
What Fr. Jim hopes to accomplish is to help the reader to better appreciate the complete Jesus – human and divine. He opens the introduction with the question Jesus posed to his disciples: “Who do people say that I am?” By visiting the places where Jesus lived and taught, by speculating on the hidden years of Jesus through scholarly and archaeological study of the Holy Land in his time, by examining his miracles and teachings, we can decide for ourselves who Jesus is.
To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:
- What were your impressions of the introduction?
- Who do you say Jesus is? What is your perception of him as a man? As God?
- Was there a section in the introduction that made you pause and think, “I’m not sure how I feel about that”? What was it and what were you thinking?
- Have you ever visited the Holy Land? Would you like to? How would you feel about visiting the places where Jesus lived, preached, died and rose again?
Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from the Introduction, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.
Next week, we'll cover Chapter 1: Pilgrims. For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Jesus Book Club page.
Copyright 2014 Susan W. Bailey
About the Author
Susan Bailey is the author of River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times (Ave Maria Press), and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message (ACTA Publications), part of their Literary Portals to Prayer series. Along with her blogs Be as One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion, Susan writes for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press.