VATICAN - The Pope’s teaching at the Wednesday audience: “The face of Christ, messianic King is the irradiation of the Father’s glory. He is the Son in the fullest sense and therefore the perfect presence of God among humanity ”.

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

Vatican City (Fides Service) - During the Weekly Audience this morning, 17 March, in St Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul II addressed thousands of visitors from all over the world and he focussed his teaching on Psalm 20,2-8.14 (“Thanksgiving for the victory of the King-Messiah ”) Vespers Tuesday 1st Week (Ps 20,2-5.8.14).
“The text which is the object of our meditation belongs to the regal collection of Psalms -the Pope explained -. At the centre therefore there is the work of God’s assistance to the Jewish king portrayed perhaps on the day of his solemn enthronement ... It is easy to see that this psalm - as with other regal psalms - was given a new interpretation when the monarchy in Israel disappeared. It became, already in Judaism, a hymn in honour of the king-messiah: and this paved the way for the Christological interpretation which is adopted by the liturgy.”
The text describes “an atmosphere of joy and singing”, it describes God’s gifts to the king. “In ancient times in the Near East a king was thought to be surrounded by a luminous circle of light which proved his participation in the very life of divinity.” The blessing, a relevant theme in this short hymn, “is a sign of the divine presence operating in the king, who becomes, in this way, a reflection of God’s light amidst humanity. The blessing, in biblical tradition, includes the gift of life which is poured out on the consecrated king ”.
“Reciting this psalm - said Pope John Paul II -, behind the portrait of the Jewish king we see the profile of the face of Christ, the messianic King. He is the «irradiation of the glory» of the Father. He is the Son in the fullest sense and therefore the perfect presence of God amidst humanity, He is the light and the light, as Saint John proclaims in the prologue to his Gospel.”
(S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 17/3/2004 - Righe 21; Parole 312)