Castel Gandolfo (Fides Service) – Pope John Paul II met about 2,500 people in the courtyard of his Summer residence at Castel Gandolfo for the weekly audience on Wednesday July 23. His teaching focussed on Psalm 146: “The power and goodness of the Lord” morning prayer of Thursday of the 4th week.
“The psalm opens with a call to praise the Lord and then gives a long list of reasons for this praise all expressed in the present – the Holy Father explained -. It is a question of God’s activities considered characteristic and always timely; but they differ greatly: some regard God’s intervention in human life and in particular in favour of Jerusalem and Israel; others regard the created universe and especially the earth with its vegetation and animals. Speaking at the end of those who please the Lord, the Psalmist invites us to have a twofold attitude: religious fear and trust. We are not abandoned to ourselves or to the cosmic forces, we are always in the hands of the Lord in his plan for salvation”.
After calling us to praise the Lord, the Psalmist “introduces first of all God’s work in history, with the image of a builder who is rebuilding Jerusalem returned to life after the Babylonian exile. But this great builder, who is the Lord, also reveals himself as a father who heals the spiritual and physical wounds present in his people humiliated and oppressed…But God’s work is not manifested only as alleviating the suffering of his people. He surrounds the poor with tenderness and concern, rises as a stern judge of the wicked. The Lord of history is not indifferent to the raging of the powerful who think they are the only arbiters of human vicissitudes: God lowers to the dust of the earth those who defy heaven with their pride”.
In the second part of the Psalm we see again the scene of God’s creative work in the cosmos and the Lord who cares for the just and the humble. “Once again the logic of the Lord ignores the pride and arrogance of power and he takes sides with those who are faithful and who <hope in his grace> that is, those who let themselves be guided by God in their thoughts and deeds, in their plans and even in their daily lives”. SL (Fides Service 24/7/2003 EM lines 27 Words: 400)