In Laying Down His Life, Christ Reconciled Humanity, Says Pope

Address at General Audience, in Castel Gandolfo

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 18, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Christ, in laying down his life, reconciled humanity, calling Christians to be “prophets of peace and love,” John Paul II said in his general-audience address.

At today’s audience, which attracted about 3,000 pilgrims to the courtyard of the summer papal residence, the Pope commented on Psalm 109(110), hymn to the “Messiah, King and priest,” in which the early Christians saw a prophecy of Jesus.

The Holy Father confirmed this interpretation of the canticle — which is prayed at Sunday vespers, the evening prayer of the Church — by quoting St. Augustine.

During Lent of the year 412, the bishop of Hippo presented the Psalm as an authentic prophecy of the divine promises on Christ.

“All this … had to be prophesied and announced beforehand … so that he would not cause fright by coming unannounced, but rather be accepted with faith and expectation,” the Father of the Church said.

John Paul II ended with an invocation “to the Father of Jesus Christ, only King and perfect and eternal priest, so that he will make us a people of priests and prophets of peace and love, a people that sings Christ the King and priest who was immolated to reconcile in himself, in one only body, the whole of humanity, creating the new man.”

Thus, the Pope continued his series of meditations on the liturgy of vespers. Other meditations are posted in the Wednesday’s Audience section of ZENIT’s Web page.

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