Journey with Us!

America Media is in the Holy Land on pilgrimage April 17-23, 2016. With Father James Martin, S.J., as our guide, we’re exploring the land of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Join us and our pilgrims here on a virtual pilgrimage as we offer videos and reflections each day.

Since my recent book, Jesus: A Pilgrimage, came out, I have met a great many people who‘ve told me that they’d love to go to the Holy Land, but find that they can’t. You may not have enough time. Or enough money. Your age or health may not allow you to travel. Or maybe you’re afraid of the political jim pilgrimagesituation in the Middle East. It always makes me sad when I meet people who want to go, but can’t, because it’s such an amazing place.

Well, happily, we at America would like to invite you to join us on a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land this month. From April 15th to the 24th, we’re journeying with 50 staff and friends of America to Israel. And we’d like very much for you to join us. We’re visiting all the key sites associated with Jesus’s life, death and resurrection: from Bethlehem to the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem, and everywhere in between.

How can you join us? Well, each day on this website, we’re posting a new video, filmed that day, of a particular site in the Holy Land as well as a short written reflection. So you’ll be traveling right along with us. We also invite you to post your prayer requests here on our prayer log, or on Facebook and via Twitter, using the hashtag #HolyLand16, so that we can pray for you at every site we visit. And we’d like to ask for your prayers too.

Fr. Jim

Track our journey through the Holy Land:

Day 1: Capernaum

Day 2: Nazareth

Day 3: Sea of Galilee

Day 4: The River Jordan

Day 4: Bethany

Day 5: Gethsemane

Day 5: Holy Sepulchre

Day 6: Bethlehem

Day 7: Jerusalem

Please see our archive for more videos and reflections like this one below from previous Holy Land Journeys.

April 25, 2015 | Day Seven: Farewell from Jerusalem

The appearance stories are also a reminder that the Risen Christ is identifiable with Jesus of Nazareth; the Christ of faith is identifiable with the Jesus of history.  The idea that Jesus of Nazareth died and a new person was created is a misunderstanding of the miracle of the Resurrection.  Jesus who is risen from the tomb knows what the disciples need because he knew them.  And they know him now because they knew him during his public ministry.  Mary recognizes his voice because she had heard it before.  The appearances beautifully link Jesus of Nazareth with the Risen Christ. 


Stanley Marrow, S.J., a New Testament scholar, has a marvelous summation of this idea in his commentary The Gospel of John:

The risen Lord had to be recognizably and identifiably the Jesus of Nazareth, the man whom the disciples knew and followed, whom they saw and heard, with whom they ate and because of whom they now cowered behind closed doors for “fear of the Jews.” For him to have risen as any other than the Jesus of Nazareth that they knew would void the resurrection of all its meaning.  The one they had confessed as their risen Lord is the same Jesus of Nazareth that they had known and followed.  Showing them “his hands and his side,” which bore the marks of the crucifixion and the pierce by the lance, was not a theatrical gesture, but the necessary credentials of the identity of the risen Lord, who stood before them, with the crucified Jesus of Nazareth whom they knew.

The Risen One carries within himself the experiences of his humanity.  Jesus Christ is fully human and fully divine. 

Thanks for traveling with us on our pilgrimage. We’ve carried your prayers with us, and we’ve also felt your prayers. Of course pilgrimage is a life-long process, but we hope during this time, you’ve come a little closer to Jesus, as we have, too. God bless.

Fr. Jim