VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2002 ( Every person has a vocation from God and is invited to join in praise of the Almighty, says John Paul II.

The Pope used his address at today's general audience to meditate on Psalm 66(67), a hymn of thanksgiving. The 36th general audience of the year attracted 16,000 people to St. Peter's Square.

The Old Testament hymn invites all nations to be associated "with the praise that Israel raises in the temple of Zion," the Holy Father said. He noted that it repeats its famous antiphon: "May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you."

Continuing his series of reflections on Old Testament canticles, the Pontiff explained that even "those who do not belong to the community chosen by God receive a vocation from him: Indeed, they are called to know the way revealed to Israel."

"The way is the divine plan of salvation, the kingdom of light and peace, in whose realization the pagans are also involved, invited to hear the voice of Yahweh," the Pope explained.

The blessing of God is the greatest good to which every man and woman can aspire, John Paul II clarified.

This is a desire that, he recalled, was included in the famous blessing taught, in the name of God, by Moses to Aaron: "The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!"

According to the Psalmist, "this blessing over Israel will be like the seed of grace and salvation, which will be planted in the earth of the whole world and of history, ready to sprout and to become a luxuriant tree," John Paul II continued.

Quoting thinkers of the first centuries of the Church, the Pope concluded that this promise of blessing found its culmination in Christ.