Vatican City (Fides) - “We are in the presence of a regal psalm of ancient Israel proclaimed in the temple of Zion during a solemn rite. It invokes divine blessings on the king...” with these words Pope John Paul II began his teaching on Psalm 19 (“Prayer for the King in time of War” - said at Vespers, Tuesday week one), during his weekly audience on Wednesday 10 March.
“It is easy to understand why Christian tradition made this Psalm a hymn to Christ the King, the «consecrated» par excellence, «the Messiah» - the Pope said -. He enters the world not with armies but with the power of the Spirit and he launches the definitive attack on evil and misuse of power, on pride, falsehood and egoism.”
Examining the psalm we see it “reveals, in the background, a service in the temple of Jerusalem. On scene the assembly of the children of Israel praying for the king, the head of the nation”... “The prayer is marked by the firm conviction that the Lord is the source of safety: he will hear the trusting call of the king and the whole community to which he is bound by the covenant. The atmosphere is certainly one of war with all the fear and danger it entails. The Word of God does not appear as an abstract message, but rather as a voice attentive to the minor and major troubles of humanity.”
Pope John Paul II then said that in Psalm 19 (20) verse 7, unlike the previous verses which make requests to God, “affirms with certainty that the request has been granted. ‘Now I know that the Lord has given victory to his anointed, that he has answered him from his holy heaven’. Then it expresses “the complete contrast between the position of the enemies, who rely only on the material strength of their chariots and horses, and the position of the Israelites, who put their faith in God and are therefore victorious.” The Pope ended his teaching by recalling that “to counter all forms of evil the just man puts faith, goodness, forgiveness and an offering of peace”. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 11/3/2004 - Righe 23; Parole 344)