God sustains us “in the desert of history,” Pope says

Commenting on Psalm 113 A, “Miracles of the Exodus from Egypt,” Pope John Paul II said this Wednesday during the general audience that God sustains human beings while they journey through the “desert of history.”

The Pope has been commenting the psalms and canticles that the Church prays in Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. In September, the Pope concluded commenting on the psalms and canticles of Laudes.

The Pontiff said Psalm113 celebrates the “liberation of Israel from the oppression of the Egyptian Pharaoh” which is a “symbol of another more radical and universal liberation.”

In the psalm, the Holy Father said, the exodus of Israel is described up to “the entrance into the promised land which is God’s ‘sanctuary’, or the place where He is present in the midst of the people.”

 “At the beginning of the psalm, during the exodus, the Red Sea parts so that the people of Israel may pass, and, at the end of the journey in the desert, the Jordan takes its course again, leaving its bed dry in order to allow the sons and daughters of Israel to cross.” 

“In the middle,” he continued, “ the experience of Mt. Sinai is evoked: now even the mountains participate in the great divine revelation which is fulfilled on their peaks, similar to living creatures.”

“The upheaval of the mountains and of hills was therefore an expression of adoration for the Lord, God of Israel, an act of glorious exaltation of God, transcendent savior,” he added.

John Paul II explained that “God transforms the rock into a pool of water which then becomes a lake: at the root of this miracle is His paternal concern for the people.” 

“The gesture takes on a symbolic meaning: it is the sign of the Lord’s saving love that sustains and regenerates the people while they go forward in the desert of history,” he concluded.

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