Meet the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith as described by James Martin, a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, popular media commentator, and a New York Times bestselling author. Using the latest Biblical scholarship, insights from Catholic tradition, and vignettes from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a Jesuit companion, the author takes a hard look at the life and brief ministry of the man from Nazareth. Father Martin sees this multidimensional work as "the result of a lifetime of passionate prayer, study, and work."
The author uses the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and his experiences from being a spiritual director as probes to animate his encounters with Jesus as he works with his father Joseph, as he enlists the help of Mary, as he shakes off his failure in the "backwater town" where he was raised in poverty, as he is tempted in the wilderness, as he calls Peter as a disciple, as he cures many people, as he curses a fig tree, as he orchestrates the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, as he teaches the Beatitudes, as he revels in creating parables that shed light on the kingdom of God, as he washes the feet of his band of twelve, as he suffers the betrayal of Judas, as he surrenders himself to the authorities, as he dies on the cross, and as he mysteriously joins the men on the road to Emmaus.
All of these events and experiences are brought to bear on the question posed by Jesus to the disciples on the way to Caesarea Philippi: Who do you say I am? Martin spices the proceedings up with fresh takes on the blessings that will be lavished on the poor, the hungry, the meek, and the peacemakers. He ponders Jesus' rejection of the universal yearning for the approval of others. He salutes this spiritual teacher’s esteem for intimate friendships and affirms the inclusion of women in this ministry. Finally, he rests in the many mysteries swirling around the Resurrection.
Jesus: A Pilgrimage is built upon a sturdy faith in the incarnation and a bold affirmation of its power to change lives. As Martin puts it:
“When we say yes to God, we are usually surprised by the results. We say 'I do' during a wedding and receive blessings far beyond what we could have imagined. We accept a position as a teacher and our lives are changed by our students. More simply, we say yes to God and are completely transformed."
Jesus: A Pilgrimage is the kind of a book that might well enable many readers to say yes to God and be completely transformed.