VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2002 ( The salvation of God proclaimed in the Bible is the final goal of every man, and hence it explains interreligious dialogue, says John Paul II.

In Jerusalem, symbol of the covenant of God with his beloved people, all people can "discover their spiritual roots, feel they are in their homeland, meet again as members of the same family, embrace like brothers who have returned home," the Pope explained during today's general audience.

When meeting with over 7,000 pilgrims in Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father reflected on Psalm 86(87), which presents Jerusalem as a "city of peace and universal mother."

This reality, he added, "is, unfortunately, in contrast with the historical experience that the city is living. However, the task of prayer is to sow trust and generate hope."

John Paul II was continuing his series of meditations, begun last year, on the Psalms and canticles of the Old Testament.

Following the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ, God's promise of salvation remains symbolized in the "Jerusalem from above," the Church, of which St. Paul speaks.

Because of this, John Paul II proposed the Psalm as a "page of true interreligious dialogue," as it "gathers the universal legacy of the prophets and anticipates the Christian tradition" that describes the heavenly Jerusalem as "our mother."

Moreover, in "Lumen Gentium," No. 2, Vatican Council II presents the universal Church as the place that gathers "all the righteous, beginning with Adam, and the righteous Abel, to the last elect," the Pope said. It will have "its glorious fulfillment at the end of time," he added.