Vatican City (Fides Service) – On Wednesday 1 October, Pope John Paul II held his usually general audience in St Peter’s Square and he concluded the series of teaching on the Psalms, with a discourse on the Benedictus (Lk 1, 68-69.76.78-79) “the canticle pronounced by the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah, when the birth of his son changed his life, removing the doubt that had rendered him mute a significant punishment for his lack of faith and praise”.
“We have before us a blessing which proclaims the salvific work and liberation which the Lord offers his people – the Pope explained -. This is therefore a prophetic interpretation of history, the discovery of the innermost and deepest meaning of the human life, guided by the hidden but active hand of God, which holds the weaker and uncertain hand of man”.
The Holy Father underlined that the apex of the psalm comes in the last sentence: <A rising sun comes to visit us>. With Christ therefore comes the light which illuminates every creature and all humanity wrapped <in darkness and shadows of death> and brightened by this shining light. “This sun <will direct our steps on the path of peace>. We move then, having as a point of reference this light; and our uncertain steps which during the day often deviate onto dark and slippery roads, are sustained by the splendour of the truth which Christ diffuses in the world and in history”.
At the end of his teaching, greeting visitors from different countries, the Pope encouraged those present to pray the Rosary: “Today is beginning of the month of October which is particularly significant in the Year of the Rosary. I call on you dear young people, dear sick people, dear newly weds to recite with devotion this prayer so dear to Catholic tradition. Place yourselves with trust into the hands of Mary, invoking her help incessantly with the Rosary, a prayerful meditation on the mysteries of Christ”. SL (Fides Service 2/10/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 349)