In today's general audience in the Paul VI Hall, Pope John Paul II catechized on the theme of Psalm 66, "May all peoples glorify the Lord," which he said instructs us to “break down the walls of division, hostility and hatred so that the family of God can gather in harmony” and praise Him.
The Pope said that the phrase "'the earth has yielded its fruit', makes us think of a hymn of thanksgiving, addressed to the Creator for the gifts of the earth, a sign of divine blessing."
"The divine blessing asked for by Israel manifests itself in the fertility of the land and in fecundity, or the gift of life,” he said. “Thanks to the blessing that Israel begged God for, all of humanity will be able to know 'the way' and 'the saving power' of the Lord, that is His saving plan.”
The Holy Father explained that “it is revealed to all creatures and all societies that God judges and governs the peoples and the nations in the entire world, leading everyone toward the horizons of justice and peace."
He pointed out that the psalm alludes to the "wall of separation that separated the Jews and the Pagans in the temple of Jerusalem," as described in the Letter to the Ephesians:
"'But now in Jesus Christ, you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. In effect, He is our peace: He who made us both one and who has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, enmity. ... So that you are no longer strangers or guests but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."
"There is a message for us,” said the Pope, “we must break down the walls of division, hostility and hatred so that the family of God can gather in harmony around one table to bless and praise the Creator for the many gifts with which He enriches our lives, with no distinctions."
He also pointed out that Christian tradition "has interpreted Psalm 66 in a Christological and mariological way. For the Fathers of the Church, 'the earth has yielded its fruit' refers to Our Lady who gave birth to Christ."
During the Holy Father’s customary greetings to the pilgrims at the end of the audience, he also addressed the families of the Italian soldiers who died a year ago in Nassiriya, Iraq, while “carrying out their mission of peace."