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Psalm 110: Prophecy of Christ the King

Annunciation Cathedral in Roslindale, MA

In his final catechesis on the Psalms, Pope Benedict fittingly reflects on Psalm 110 (one of the “royal psalms”) as we head towards the final Sunday of our liturgical year, the Solemnity of Christ the King.  As usual, here is the excerpt as we wait for the full text to be published next week:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to Psalm 110, one of the famous “royal psalms”, originally linked to the enthronement of a Davidic monarch. The Church reads this Psalm as a prophecy of Christ, the messianic king and eternal priest, risen from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father. Saint Peter, in his speech on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:32-36), applies its words to the Lord’s victory over death and his exaltation in glory. From ancient times, the mysterious third verse of the Psalm has been interpreted as a reference to the king’s divine sonship, while the fourth verse speaks of him as “a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedek”. The Letter to the Hebrews specifically applies this imagery to Christ, the Son of God and our perfect high priest, who lives eternally to make intercession for all those who, through him, approach the Father (cf. Heb 7:25). The final verses of the Psalm present the triumphant King as executing judgment over the nations. As we pray this Psalm, we acclaim the victory of our risen Lord and King, while striving to live ever more fully the royal and priestly dignity which is ours as members of his Body through Baptism.

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3 responses »

  1. What would I need to do if I wanted to read the whole of BXVI’s catechesis on the Psalms? Would I have to go through each Wednesday audience myself (and find out the dates of the audiences dedicated to the Psalms) or is there a compilation of the series of catechesis that I could get my hands on?

    • If you are referring to Pope Benedict’s recent series on Prayer where he devotes some time (8 audiences) to the Psalms, this is not available in book form at this point in time (to my knowledge). The series is still ongoing and relatively new. It seems likely that the audiences will be collected and released at some point. Both OSV and Ignatius Press published Benedict’s previous series of catecheses on the Fathers and Lives of the Saints in several volumes periodically as the series was underway. I am keeping an eye on them to see if and when they do the same with this current series.

      I have arranged all the links to the audiences on the Psalms (and the whole series on Prayer) on my page for the Christian Prayer Audiences. That should facilitate looking at all the relevant audiences with minimal back-and-forth (though some back-and-forth is unavoidable).

      I hope this helps!


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