Magazine article Pastoral Music

Meeting Jesus in the Gospels

Magazine article Pastoral Music

Meeting Jesus in the Gospels

Article excerpt

Meeting Jesus in the Gospels George Martin. Servant Books, 2009. ISBN 978-0-86716-900-3. 153 pages, paperback. $13.99.

At first glance, one might ask the question, "Do we really need another book of Gospel reflections?" to which we reply, "Do we need another sunrise or rainbow or rose or child's smile?" To the second question we respond emphatically, "Of course!" So, too, we need more opportunities to take in more and more widely and deeply what God has for us in the revealed Word.

Especially today, with the emphasis on lectio divina, we do well to have a book like Meeting Jesus close at hand. In contrast to the technical fourfold division offered for lectio, which suggests compartmentalization of our prayer, Meeting Jesus presents a much more accessible tool. Martin writes that "Jesus was not a Scripture scholar by profession but someone who read and pondered the Word of God and understood his own life in light of that Word" (17). We recall how often Jesus went apart to speak with his Father. (And there are the four "elements" of lectio in everyday language.)

Each of the selections in Meeting God begins with a passage to be read and pondered, followed by a commentary that expands some thoughts and concludes with one or two suggested questions on which to meditate. (This final section, of course, in no way limits the prayer to these few thoughts.)

Martin reminds us that "a basic principle of the Christian life is, when in doubt, look to what Jesus did in a similar situation, and imitate that" (104). By bringing together several episodes in the life of Jesus which touch on the same truth or value, Martin helps the reader to have at his or her fingertips many passages that bear on similar situations in our lives.

Meeting Jesus includes several examples of how a single word might open new vistas. One such example flows from the thoughts of the Twelve when Judas leaves the Upper Room. …

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