In this morning’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father taught that the message of Psalm 45, “God, our refuge and strength,” is of the peace and serenity to be found in communion with God, who through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection has delivered us from evil.
This Psalm, said the Pope, "celebrates the holy city of Jerusalem, 'a sacred place where the Most High dwells,' but above all it expresses total faith in God Who 'is our refuge and strength, and Who is always near us in our suffering.’”
“The psalm evokes the most tremendous trials in order to affirm with greater force the victorious intervention of God who provides total security," he continued.
"The first part of the hymn," said the Pope, "focuses on the symbol of water and presents a double, contrasting meaning. On the one hand, there are tempestuous waters, which in biblical language are a symbol of disaster, chaos and evil.”
“On the other hand, the waters which satisfy thirst ...are a sign of the life that prospers in the holy city, of its spiritual fecundity and of its regenerating strength. Therefore, despite the circumstances of history which make peoples sigh and kingdoms shake, the faithful find the peace and serenity that come from communion with God in Zion.”
The second part of the psalm refers to “a world transformed,” said the Pope. “The Lord intervenes with great strength from his throne in Zion against wars and establishes the peace that everyone hopes for.”
Referring to other Old Testament sources to illustrate this point, John Paul II referred to the prophet Isaiah who “praised the end of the arms race and the transformation of the instruments of war into means of development for thepeople: 'They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
"With this psalm," he concluded, "Christian tradition exalts Christ, 'our peace' and our deliverer from evil, through His death and resurrection."
In closing remarks, the Pope recalled that this friday we will celebrate the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which “evokes the mystery of God's love for mankind in all ages.” He invited young people to be taught "in the school of Christ's heart, in order to confront life's commitments with faith."