VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2003 (VIS) - Psalm 107, "Song of Praise to God and plea for help", was the theme of the catechesis during today's general audience which took place in St. Peter's Square and in which 18,000 people participated.
John Paul II explained that Psalm 107 is the product of the fusion of two sections of Psalms 56 and 59, "that demonstrates how Israel already in the Old Testament was acting out the Word of God that had been revealed."
"Psalm 107, the result of this combination," he said, "is therefore something more than the simple union and juxtaposition of two lines. Hope and fear unite and become the substance of a new prayer in order to plant the seed of faith in difficult times, experienced by the whole community."
The Holy Father recalled that the psalm begins with "a joyous hymn of praise." Because of "the Lord's loving fidelity, the people are sure they will never be abandoned by God in the abyss of nothingness and desperation."
In the second part of the psalm, he continued, "in the midst of the distress of Israel, which feels as if God is absent and distant, the voice of the oracle of the Lord that resounds in the temple is raised. In this revelation, God presents himself as arbiter and Lord of the whole earth. ... If the Lord reigns there is nothing to fear: we will not be shaken by the dark forces of destiny or chaos. There is also a greater plan which governs history even in dismal moments."
"This faith," he concluded, "sparks hope. ... This means that despite the trial and the silence, God will reveal Himself to us once again, to sustain and guide His people. Decisive help can come only from Him, not from external military alliances, that is, from armed force. And only with Him can freedom be obtained and 'great things' be accomplished."
AG;PSALM 107;...;... ;VIS;20030528;Word: 330;