VATICAN CITY, NOV. 17, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Today’s strife-torn world needs to recognize God as Father in order to break down the walls of hatred and realize that it is one family, says John Paul II.
The Pope explained this to thousands of pilgrims gathered for today’s general audience in Paul VI Hall, when he commented on Psalm 66(67), which is recited in vespers, the evening prayer of the Church.
The biblical composition prays that “the whole of humanity will be able to know ‘the way’ and ‘the salvation’ of the Lord,” the Holy Father said.
“To all cultures and to all societies is revealed that God judges and governs the peoples and nations of all parts of the world, leading each one toward horizons of justice and peace,” he added.
“There is a message for us here,” the Pope said. “We must break down the walls of divisions, hostility and hatred so that the family of the children of God will come together in harmony in the one table, to bless and praise the Creator for the gifts that he lavishes on all, without distinctions.”
“This will also be the Christian proclamation,” John Paul II explained, quoting in particular several passages from St. Paul.
In Ephesians 2:13-14, the apostle said: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, he who made both one and broken down the dividing wall of enmity.”
John Paul II greeted pilgrims in seven languages. He greeted some of the faithful personally, and was moved when meeting widows and relatives of the Italian soldiers who died a year ago in Nasiriyah, Iraq.
The Pope also had special greetings for young people, the sick, and newlyweds, to whom he said: “Seek in Jesus the light for all daily decisions.”
The Holy Father was continuing his series of reflections on the Psalms and canticles of vespers. Other commentaries are posted at in the Wednesday’s Audience section of ZENIT’s Web page.