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Wednesday, June 22, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2005 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St Peter's Square, the Pope spoke on the subject of Psalm 123: "Our help is in the name of the Lord."

  Benedict XVI explained to the 31,000 people present in the square that the psalm "is a song of thanksgiving sung by the entire community gathered in prayer, who raise praise to the Lord for the gift of freedom. ... If the Lord had not sided with the victims they, with their limited strength, would have been unable to free themselves and the adversaries, like beasts, would have torn them to pieces."

  The Pope continued: "Although it has been suggested that the reference is to a specific historical event, such as the end of the Babylonian exile, it is more likely that the psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving to the Lord for dangers evaded, and an imploration for Him to bring liberation from all evil."

  The Holy Father pointed out that "the life of men is surrounded by the snares of evildoers, who not only threaten his life but also want to destroy all human values. However, the Lord arises to defend and save the righteous."

  "The blessing expressed in the psalm brings us to understand that the destiny of the faithful, which was death, has been radically altered by salvific intervention. ... Prayer here becomes a sigh of relief rising from the depths of the soul: even when all human hopes collapse, the divine liberating force may appear."

  The Pope recalled how the psalm concludes "with a profession of faith that for centuries has formed part of Christian liturgy as an ideal premise for all our prayers: 'Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, qui fecit caelum et terram' - 'Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth'."
AG/PSALM 123/...                                VIS 20050622 (320)

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