VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 14, 2005 ( Benedict XVI invited the faithful attending a general audience to put God at the center of social life.

Commenting on Psalm 131(132), the Pope explained that this is the reason why the Bible presents the temple that housed the Ark of the Covenant as the center of the holy city, Jerusalem.

Under a pleasant sun, the Pope dedicated his weekly meeting with the public to meditate on the poetic biblical passage in which David promises that he will not rest until he finds a dwelling place for the ark.

"At the very center of social life there must be, therefore, a presence that evokes the mystery of the transcendent God," the Holy Father told the 20,000 people who gathered today in St. Peter's Square.

"God and man walk together in history, and the temple has the task to point out this communion in a visible way," he added.

At the end of his meditation during the audience, Benedict XVI applied this psalm to Jesus, as the Christian tradition has done from its origins. He quoted Ezechias of Jerusalem, a fifth-century priest, who held that Mary can be considered as the ark of the definitive covenant, because she bore in her womb the redeemer of the human race.

The Holy Father's commentary continued the series of meditations on canticles and Psalms found in the Liturgy of the Hours. Others are posted at ZENIT's Web page.