On Psalm 136 (135)
"God Is; God Is Good, and His Mercy Is Eternal"
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 19, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the Italian-language catechesis Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience held in St. Peter's Square. The Pope today continued his catecheses on prayer with a reflection on Psalm 136 (135).
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Dear brothers and sisters,
Today I would like to meditate with you on a psalm that summarizes the whole of salvation history as recounted for us in the Old Testament. It is a great hymn of praise that extols the Lord in the manifold, repeated manifestations of His goodness throughout the course of human history; it is Psalm 136 -- or 135 according to the Greco-Latin tradition.
A solemn prayer of thanksgiving known as the "Great Hallel," this psalm is traditionally sung at the end of the Hebrew Passover meal, and was probably also prayed by Jesus during the final Passover celebrated with the disciples; the Evangelists seem in fact to allude to it in their annotations: "And when they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives" (cf. Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). The horizon of praise thus illumines the difficult road to Golgotha. The whole of Psalm 136 takes the form of a litany marked by the refrain "for His steadfast love endures forever."READ MORE...