We come to you in eager pilgrimage.
We come as part of a great throng of pilgrims
who through the centuries have come to this place,
where you are pilgrim and host, apostle and patron.
We come to you today
because we are on a common journey.
Place yourself, patron of pilgrims,
at the head of our pilgrimage.
Teach us, apostle and friend of the Lord,
the WAY which leads to him.
Open us, preacher of the Gospel,
to the TRUTH you learned from your Master’s lips.
Give us, witness of the faith,
the strength always to love the LIFE Christ gives.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
James, Witness to the Glory of Christ (Matthew 17:1-9)
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
In the Gospel according to Matthew, the Transfiguration of Jesus comes immediately following his first prediction of his Passion. This is a hard teaching indeed: how can the Messiah, the Chosen One of God, the Savior, be crucified?
Peter speaks for all of them when he says, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you” (Matthew 16:22). Jesus reply is harsh: “get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” The disciples begin to understand that to follow Jesus is to carry the cross. But there is more. Jesus allows Peter, James, and John a blinding glimpse of his heavenly glory. They see him shining brighter than the sun, speaking with Moses and Elijah; and they hear God’s voice, urging them to listen to what he says. In glimpsing the Transfiguration of Jesus, Peter, James and John are glimpsing the Resurrection. Jesus shows them this glimpse to help them understand that for all who follow Jesus, suffering and glory go hand in hand.
More on St. James the Greater novena click here