The Pope's General Audience on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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.

“Surrounded 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.”

The Pope then 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.

As published by the Vatican.

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