Vatican City (Fides Service) – For his teaching during the weekly Wednesday audience on 28 January the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, took Psalm 10: “Unshaken confidence in the Lord” which is part of Vespers of Monday Week One of the Liturgy of the Hours.
“The spiritual tone of the entire chant is well expressed in the closing verse: «The Lord is just and he loves just deeds». This is the font of all confidence and source of all hope in the hour of darkness and trial – the Pope said. God is not indifferent to good and evil, he is a good God, not some obscure, indecipherable and mysterious fate.”
The first part of the psalm describes the apparent triumph of the wicked, in a bellicose and hunting style: “the wicked man bends the bow to shoot in the dark at the upright of heart. The latter is therefore tempted by the idea of evading to free himself from such an implacable grip ... The just man is somewhat discouraged, he feels abandoned and powerless in the face of the irruption of evil. The very foundations of human coexistence appear to be undermined and the basis of social order shaken.” The second part of the psalm presents the Lord seated on his throne in heaven: “From his transcendent position, sign of divine omniscience and omnipotence, God sees and examines every person, he distinguishes good from evil and vigorously condemns injustice... The Lord is not a sovereign remote, closed in his golden world, he is a watchful Presence who sides with good and justice. He sees and provides, he intervenes with words and deeds.”
The just know that, as with Sodom, the Lord will intervene to condemn evil and purify history. However the psalm does not end on this tragic not. “The closing verse opens to a horizon of light and peace destined for the just who will see the face of their Lord who is just and above all a merciful saviour...this is an experience of joyful communion and serene confidence in God who liberates man from evil. This has been experienced by countless just men and women in the course of history. Numerous are the descriptions of Christian martyrs’ confidence in the face of torture and the firmness with which they did not shun trial.”
(S.L.) (Fides Service 28/1/2004 – lines 25; words 359)
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