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Pope's General Audience on Psalm 126: “May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy”

2011-10-12

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, In our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to Psalm 126.  This Psalm is a joyful prayer of thanksgiving for God’s fidelity to his promises in bringing about Israel’s return from the Babylonian Exile: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced” (v. 3). 

A similar spirit of joy and thanksgiving should mark our own prayer as we recall the care which God has shown to us in the events of our lives, even those which seem dark and bitter.  The Psalmist implores God to continue to grant Israel his saving help: “May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy” (v. 5). 

This imagery of the seed which silently grows to maturity reminds us that God’s salvation is at once a gift already received and the object of our hope, a promise whose fulfillment remains in the future.  Jesus will use this same imagery to express the passage from death to life, from darkness to light, which must take place in the lives of all who put their faith in him and share in his paschal mystery (cf. Jn 12:24). 

As we pray this Psalm, may we echo the song of the Virgin Mary by rejoicing in the great things which the Almighty has done for us (cf. Lk 1:49) and by awaiting in hope the fulfillment of God’s promises. 

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, especially the members of the NATO Defense College, and pilgrims from England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Lebanon, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada and the United States of America.  Upon all of you I invoke God’s abundant blessings of joy and peace!"