Relationship With God Is an Exchange of Gazes, Says Pope

Comments on Psalm 122(123) at General Audience

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 15, 2005 ( For Benedict XVI, the relationship of the human being with God is an exchange of loving gazes.

«The faithful one lifts his eyes to the Lord and waits for a divine reaction, to perceive a gesture of love, a look of benevolence,» the Pope told a crowd of 30,000 people at today’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The Holy Father was commenting on Psalm 122(123) as part of an ongoing series of reflections on the biblical passages that make up vespers, the evening prayer of the Church.

To illustrate the sentiments of the believer who turns to the Lord, Benedict XVI referred to the image of the ancient East that the Psalmist presents in the Bible, «that of the slave and the maid who look to their master for a liberating decision.»

With this language, the Pontiff said, the sacred book highlights «the adherence of the poor, the hope of the oppressed, and the availability of the just to the Lord.»

«The Psalmist is waiting for the divine hands to move, as they will act according to justice, destroying evil,» the Holy Father said.

He added that the «just man waits for God’s gaze to reveal itself in all its tenderness and goodness.»

Need of intervention

The Pope said that the poetic biblical passage presents «God’s loving glance» invoked by the faithful one with the exclamation, «Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us.»

«The faithful are in need of God’s intervention because they are in a painful situation of contempt and derision by proud people,» he noted.

Putting his papers aside, Benedict XVI added: «And we know that today many nations, many individuals are full of worries; they are too satiated with the worries of the satisfied, the contempt of the arrogant. Let us pray for them and let us help these humiliated brothers of ours.»

Still, «the just have entrusted their cause to the Lord and he is not indifferent to those imploring eyes, he does not ignore their invocations or ours, nor does he disappoint their hope.»

Taking note of the weather as the audience began, the Holy Father told his listeners: «Unfortunately, you have suffered under the rain. Let’s hope the weather will improve.»

At the end of the audience, the skies cleared. «A bit of sun,» the Pope noted. «The Lord has given us this sign of tenderness which we were hoping for.»

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