Friday, 30 May 2003

Vatican City (Fides Service) – During the general audience on Wednesday 28 May, in St Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul II gave his teaching on Psalm 107: “Praise to the Lord and call for help”. “The psalm presents, at first glance, a surprising characteristic. The composition is simply the fusion of two existing psalm passages – the Pope explained -. In fact Psalm 107 shows how already in the Old Testament Israel re-used the revealed Word of God applying it to the present.”
In the new composition “hope and nightmare are fused and they become the substance of a new prayer, tending to instil confidence even in times of trial lived by the whole community”. The Psalm opens with a joyous hymn of praise for “the Lord’s loving fidelity to his Covenant with his people. On the basis of this fidelity, the people are sure that they will never be abandoned by God on the brink of void and desperation.”
In the second part of the Psalm Israel’s anguish because God seems to be absent and distant, is countered by the voice of the oracle of the Lord: “With colourful images of a military or juridical type Divine Lordship over the promised land is proclaimed. If the Lord reigns then we need not fear: we cannot be thrown here and there by the obscure powers of fate and chaos. There is always, even in the darkest moments, a higher plan which sustains history. This faith lights the flame of hope. God will always show us the way…God will reveal himself again, he will sustain and guide his people. Only from Him can we obtain decisive help, not from foreign military alliances, that is from the power of arms. Only from Him will freedom be obtained and <great things> achieved”. SL (Fides Service 30/5/2003 EM lines 21 Words: 342)

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