Thursday 25 July | St James the Apostle

Today is Thursday, the 25th of July, the Feast of St James the Apostle, in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time.

One Hope Project sing, ‘In Your Truth’.

Today’s reading is from Psalm 126.

The Psalms were Israel’s prayer-book. The Psalms were what Jesus would have prayed every day, even as a young boy. He would have prayed them with his mother Mary, with his loving foster-father Joseph, as well as on the Sabbath in his community, gathered for worship. Any time we pray a Psalm, we pray just as Jesus did … what does that thought spark within your own soul? Is there something you’d like to ponder a little more?

Our Psalm-reading today records the rejoicing of the people when they reflect on the great things God had done for them: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced”. It continues with a plea to God to restore their fortunes, turning tears of sorrow to shouts of Joy. It’s a confident plea: as God has done these great things for us, so will He again.  Take time in your prayer, now and perhaps again later today, to ask God to increase your confidence in Him and in His desire to do great things for you.

Where there are areas of doubt, ask God’s help to dispel those …

As you listen to the Psalm again, notice those key words like joy, tears, rejoice, fortunes, great things … let those words echo some of your own hopes, joys and tears … speak quietly to the Lord about these things …

Think back to a time when, like those people in the Psalm, you too went out weeping but came back full of joy. Think back to a time when you went out empty-handed, ill-equipped, maybe even feeling not up to it but you returned, like those people, enriched by a full harvest. In the last moments of this reflection, ask God to show you those times.