.- Speaking before some 35,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Wednesday General Audience, Commenting Psalm 110 during the general audience, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on God’s maternal love portrayed in Psalm 110.
The Pontiff explained how "this hymn of praise and thanksgiving contains many terms defining God's attributes and His work of salvation. Words are used such as: 'gracious,' 'merciful,' 'power,' 'faithful,' 'uprightness,' 'trustworthy,' 'covenant,' 'wonderful works,' and even 'food'."
The psalm "opens with thanks to the Lord for His works not only from the heart of the psalmist, but also from the entire liturgical assembly. The aim of this prayer ... is expressed in the word 'works,' meaning the Lord's salvific acts and expression of His 'justice,' a term that in biblical language refers primarily to the love that generates salvation."
“'Graciousness' is the divine grace that envelops and transfigures the faithful, while 'mercifulness' is expressed in the Hebrew original with a characteristic term evoking the Lord's maternal 'womb,' even more merciful than that of a mother," the Holy Father explained.
Benedict XVI said that "this bond of love includes the fundamental gift of food, and hence of life, which in the Christian interpretation will be identified with the Eucharist."
The psalm closes "with the contemplation of the divine countenance, of the person of the Lord, expressed by His holy and transcendent ‘name’'"
"The psalmist,” he continued, “invites all the faithful to cultivate 'fear of the Lord,' the beginning of true wisdom. This term does not conceal fear or terror, but sincere and serious respect, genuine and active adherence to the liberating God."
"If the first word of the psalm was one of thanksgiving, the last is one of praise: the Lord's salvific justice is without end. Thus the psalmist's gratitude knows no pause, it resounds in his prayer that 'endures forever'," he concluded.