Pontiff Explains Messianic Significance of Psalm 110

Says Christ Is Model of True Royalty

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today concluded his series of catecheses on the Psalms with a reflection on Psalm 110, which he says is an invitation to contemplate the paschal mystery of Christ.

The Pope spoke of this psalm at today’s general audience, noting that the New Testament authors and Christian tradition see it as an Old Testament prayer fulfilled in Christ.

«The Church’s tradition has held this psalm in high regard as one of the most significant messianic texts,» he said. «And in an eminent way, the Fathers made continual reference to it as a Christological key: the king of whom the psalmist sings is Christ, the Messiah who establishes the Kingdom of God and who conquers the powers of the world. He is the Word generated by the Father before every creature — before the dawn — the Son who was made incarnate, who died, rose and ascended into heaven, the eternal priest who in the mystery of bread and wine, grants the remission of sins and reconciliation with God, the king who lifts up his head by triumphing over death with his resurrection.»

The Holy Father cited St. Augustine’s commentary on Psalm 110, where the bishop of Hippo said Christ’s mystery «had to be prophesied; it had to be announced in advance; it had to be signaled as destined to come, for occurring suddenly it may have caused fear, but rather, having been preannounced, it could be accepted with faith, joy and anticipation.»

The Pontiff continued: «The paschal event of Christ is therefore the reality the psalm invites us to consider; [and we are invited] to look to Christ in order to understand the meaning of true royalty, which is to be lived in service and in the gift of oneself, on a path of obedience and love ‘to the end’ (cf. John 13:1 and 19:30). 

«As we pray this psalm, let us therefore ask the Lord to enable us also to proceed along his paths in the following of Christ, the Messiah king — ready to ascend with him the mountain of the cross so that with him we might attain to glory and contemplate him seated at the Father’s right hand, the victorious king and merciful priest who grants pardon and salvation to all people.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33840?l=english

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