Pope Benedict XVI flew by helicopter to the Vatican on Wednesday to hold his weekly
general audience. Meeting thousands of pilgrims in the Paul VI Audience Hall, the
Pope continued his series of talks on prayer, with Psalm 22.
It is one
of the most familiar and begins:
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why
so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by
day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief.
by enemies who are persecuting him, the psalmist cries out by day and by night for
help, and yet God seems to remain silent,” Pope Benedict said.
He then spoke
about the significance of the psalm for Christians.
“In the Gospels of Matthew
and Mark, the opening line of this psalm is placed on the lips of Jesus as he calls
upon the Father from the Cross,” said the Holy Father. “He too seems to have been
abandoned to a cruel fate, while his enemies mock him, attacking him like ravenous
and roaring lions, dividing his clothing among them as if he were already dead.”
Pope the said despite all appearances, the Psalmist can not believe that the relationship
with the Lord has stopped completely.
“The psalmist recalls how, in the
past, the people of Israel called trustingly upon the Lord in times of trial, and
he answered their prayer. He remembers the tenderness with which the Lord cared for
him personally in his earlier life, as a child in his mother’s womb, as an infant
in his mother’s arms, and yet now God seems strangely distant. Despite such adverse
circumstances, though, the psalmist’s faith and trust in the Lord remains. The psalm
ends on a note of confidence, as God’s name is praised before all the nations. The
shadow of the Cross gives way to the bright hope of the Resurrection. We too, when
we call upon him in times of trial, must place our trust in the God who brings salvation,
who conquers death with the gift of eternal life.”
After the audience, the
Holy Father returned by helicopter to the Papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.