Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Jesus
by Stephen J. Binz
(Twenty-Third Publications, 2006)
We’re used to making our Advent and Lent spiritual journeys. We might also walk further with Jesus, then, or walk where He walked.
Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Jesus is one of the titles in the Threshold Bible Study series, in which Bible study programmes are organised according to themes that run through different parts of the Bible. This is an alternative to Bible study by book. It takes us on a reading and study pilgrimage of the “geography of salvation”. We visit significant places of Our Lord’s life and study the related events and Bible passage(s) at each stop.
There are 30 chapters, moving from Nazareth (the Annunciation) to the Mount of Olives (the Ascension). Each chapter is anchored at a pilgrimage site, such as the Basilica of the Annunciation and Shrine of the Ascension, with a (rather small) picture of each place. There is a Bible passage (sometimes more than one), a write-up and reflection on the passage, questions for reflection and discussion, and a prayer.
For example, session 28 is at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Bible reading is Mark 15:42-16:8, recounting Jesus’ burial and resurrection. The reflection reminds us that this may be the “last station of the sorrowful way of the cross” but it is also the “beginning of the glorious way of resurrection.” The angel points out the empty tomb but also says “He has been raised; he is not here”. Binz writes that the “truest pilgrimage is going out to tell others the good news and living the new life given to us by our risen Lord.”
This chapter is followed by the last two stops: Church of Peter’s Primacy at Tabgha (John 21:1-19) and Shrine of the Ascension (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-12). The final chapter reiterates a life-giving purpose of pilgrimage: “the other side of pilgrimage means going somewhere else in order to bring God in a new way to that place… We can discover God’s presence in the least likely places, and we can bring the presence of God to places that wait in darkness for the dawning light of our Risen Lord.”
In other words, we are called to share our Easter joy with others.
♫ Join in the Dance
Other titles in the Threshold series include Advent Light, The Resurrection and the Life, The Mysteries of the Rosary, The Beast and the Lamb and The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts.