Prayer for the Morning
Feast of Saint James the Greater
God sends workers into the harvest fields of faith:
let us give thanks and praise!
Glory to the Father…. Alleluia!
With joyous song we greet your feast,
Saint James, apostle of the Lord,
Who called you from a fisher’s nets
To gain far higher a reward.
His call to leave all things and come,
Your younger brother also heard,
And eagerly you both became
Most fervent preachers of his word.
You once declared your eagerness
To share your Master’s pow’r and fame,
And of the Twelve you were the first
To suffer for his holy Name.
O faithful follower of Christ,
And sower of the Gospel’s light,
Enrich our minds with living faith
And hope that guides our steps aright.
PSALM 65:10-11, 13b-14
A sower went out to sow his seed. The seed is the word of God. (Lk 8:5, 11)
The mission of the Apostles was to prepare the earth and plant the seed of God’s word for the harvest of faith. James, the brother of John, was the first of the Apostles to water the soil with his own blood. A century later, Tertullian would say that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.
You care for the earth, give it water,
you fill it with riches.
Your river in heaven brims over
to provide its grain.
And thus you provide for the earth;
You drench its furrows,
you level it, soften it with showers,
you bless its growth.
The hills are girded with joy,
the meadows covered with flocks,
the valleys are decked with wheat.
They shout for joy, yes, they sing.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Just as from the heavens/ the rain and snow come down/ And do not return there/ till they have watered the earth,/ making it fertile and fruitful,/ Giving seed to him who sows/ and bread to him who eats,/ So shall my word be/ that goes forth from my mouth;/ It shall not return to me void,/ but shall do my will,/ achieving the end for which I sent it.
Ground that has absorbed the rain falling upon it repeatedly and brings forth crops useful to those for whom it is cultivated receives a blessing from God.
CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH
As for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance. (Lk 8:15)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet
of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father…
Jesus Christ is the grain of wheat that fell into the ground and died. Let us pray for an abundant harvest:
R/You came to give life and give it in abundance!
Some seed fell on rocky ground:
– soften all hardened hearts to receive the gift of your word. R/
Some seed fell in patches of thorn:
– uproot from our hearts all that would choke off the growth of your word. R/
Some seed fell on good ground and bore much fruit:
– cultivate the love you have poured into our hearts for the good of your Kingdom. R/
O God and giver of all good gifts, you sent your Apostle James to prepare the earth’s soil to receive the good seed who is your Word made flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the works of evangelization, prepare all hearts to welcome with joy the Word of life, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.