Vespers tonight was just what I needed. The Psalm was Psalm 73, one I had hunted up earlier in the day, and I needed to hear it again. Somewhat curiously, the Psalm Prayer for Psalm 73 doesn’t even mention the wicked, while they are very evident in the psalm itself:
O Lord, make us ever hold fast to Thee, and in Thee put all our trust, that we may tell of Thy praises in the everlasting gates; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
However, if you think about it, that’s entirely appropriate, because at the end of the psalm the psalmist isn’t looking at the wicked anymore; he’s looking at the Lord and all his attention and thoughts are focused on Him. Only then does he find peace. This Psalm Prayer is very spare in its wording but also very rich in its devotional content and in its thoughts — one of the characteristics shared by many of the ancient prayers of the church.
The antiphon (= themed refrain) for the Magnificat was also just what I needed:
Verily, verily I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament: but the world shall be joyful; And ye shall be sorrowful: but your sorrow shall be turned into joy, alleluia.
The verse is John 16:20, part of Jesus’ last long talk with His disciples on Maundy Thursday. That whole section in John 16 has always been precious for me…great food for thought. It was a verse I needed to hear today. When Jesus tells you not to worry, you can figure that everything is fine — because it is. He is the Good Shepherd who watches over all of His sheep. Not one of them will be lost. Very comforting.
The Lord always knows just what to give us through His Word. He always knows just what we need!