Vatican City (Fides Service) – During the general Wednesday audience on 21 May, Pope John Paul II continued his teaching on the Psalms and Canticles taken from the book of Morning and Evening Prayer commenting Psalm 143,1-10: “The King’s prayer for victory and peace”.
“The Lord is represented with martial images – the Holy Father explained -: he is seen in fact as a military instructor, an impregnable fortress, a protective shield and a winner. The intention is to exalt the personality of God who fights the evil of history: he is not an obscure power or a sort of fate, neither is he an impassable sovereign indifferent to human vicissitudes. In front of divine power the Jewish king admits that he is fragile and weak like all human creatures”. The Psalmist underlines that “only with divine help can we overcome the dangers and difficulties with which every day of our life is studded. Only relying on the help of Heaven can we commit ourselves, like the ancient king of Israel, to walk towards freedom from all oppression.”
God’s intervention is represented with traditional cosmic and historical images which intend to illustrate his divine Lordship over the universe and over all human vicissitudes: sudden eruptions of volcanoes, lightening like arrows, <great waters> the symbol of chaos, evil, and void. “This is a most concrete and eastern manner of representing evil, perversion, oppression and injustice: tremendous realities from which the Lord frees us as we penetrate the world”. The Psalm ends with a brief hymn of thanksgiving which stems from the certainty that “God will not abandon us in our struggle against evil”. SL (Fides Service 22/5/2003 EM lines 20 Words: 248)