Speaking before some 31,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the subject of Psalm 123: "Our help is in the name of the Lord," and he reminded the faithful not to fear "the snares of evildoers, who not only threaten life but also want to destroy all human values. However, the Lord arises to defend and save the righteous”.
The Pope explained 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 blessing expressed in the psalm,” continued the Holy Father, “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 also 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'" he remarked.
The audience was held under intense heat that the Holy Father likened to “that of the hearts of the faithful” packed in St. Peter’s Square. Before concluding, Pope Benedict greeted in many languages the groups of pilgrims gathered around him, including a group of Chinese Catholics from the Diocese of Hong Kong.