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Wednesday, October 12, 2005


VATICAN CITY, OCT 12, 2005 (VIS) - Psalm 121, "the joy of reaching Jerusalem, the holy city upon which we wish peace," was the theme of the Benedict XVI's catechesis during the general audience held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 50,000 people.

  Jerusalem, said the Pope, "a city 'bound firmly together,' symbol of security and stability, is the heart of the unity of the twelve tribes of Israel which converge upon the city as the center of their faith and their worship. ... Jerusalem contains another important element, which is also a sign of God's presence in Israel: the 'thrones for judgement' of the house of David: the dynasty of David is reigning, an expression of divine action in history."

  "Thus Jerusalem, the political capital, was also the highest judicial center where controversies were ultimately resolved. And so, leaving Sion, Jewish pilgrims returned to their villages pacified and with a greater sense of justice."

  The Holy Father went on to explain how the psalm also defines the city in terms of its "religious and social function, showing that biblical religion is neither abstract nor intimistic but is a ferment of justice and solidarity. Communion with God is necessarily followed by communion between brothers."

  Benedict XVI observed that the invocation with which the psalm ends emphasizes the Jewish word 'shalom' (peace), which "alludes to the Messianic peace that contains within itself joy, prosperity, goodness and abundance, ... and anticipates St. Francis' greeting of 'peace and goodness'."

  In closing, the Pope recalled the figure of St. Gregory the Great who, in his "Homilies on Ezequiel," writes that the holy city of Jerusalem "is already being built here in the customs of the saints. In a building, one stone supports another, ... and he who supports someone is in his turn supported by someone else. Thus, precisely thus, in the Holy Church each supports and is supported."

  It must not be forgotten, the Holy Father concluded, that "there is a foundation that supports the entire weight of the building, and that is our Redeemer, ... of Whom the Apostle writes: 'no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ'."
AG/PSALM 121/...                                VIS 20051012 (380)

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