General audience from last Wednesday - 14.9.05


I'm a bit behind on posts. Here's last week's General audience held by Pope Benedict XVI.

Our hymn seems to imply a liturgical dimension: It was probably used during the course of a procession, with the presence of priests and faithful and the involvement of a choir.

Following the Liturgy of Vespers, we shall pause on the first 10 verses of the Psalm, those now proclaimed. In the heart of this section is the solemn oath of David. It is said, in fact, that he -- leaving behind the sharp disagreement with his predecessor, King Saul -- "swore an oath to the Lord, vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob" (Psalm 131[132]:2). The content of this solemn commitment, expressed in verses 3-5, is clear: The sovereign will not step into the royal palace of Jerusalem, will not go calmly to rest, unless he has first found a dwelling place for the ark of the Lord.

At the very center of social life there must be, therefore, a presence that evokes the mystery of the transcendent God. God and man walk together in history, and the temple has the task to point out this communion in a visible way.

At this point, after David's words, is introduced, perhaps through the words of a liturgical choir, the memory of the past. Re-evoked, in fact, is the rediscovery of the ark in the country of Jaar, in the region of Ephrata (see verse 6): It remained there for a long time, after being restored by the Philistines to Israel, which had lost it during a battle (see 1 Samuel 7:1; 2 Samuel 6:2,11). For this reason, it was taken from the province to the future holy city and our passage ends with a festive celebration that shows, on one hand, the worshipping people (see Psalm 131[132]:7,9), that is the liturgical assembly and, on the other hand, the Lord who makes himself present and acting with the sign of the ark placed in Zion (see verse 8).

The soul of the liturgy is in this crossing between priests and faithful, on one hand, and the Lord with his power, on the other.

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on September 21, 2005 8:31 AM.

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