Pope Benedict XVI led university students in a Vespers service at St. Peter’s basilica on December 15, fulfilling an annual pre-Christmas tradition.
In his homily, the Holy Father offered a meditation on the advice of St. James that the faithful should “be patient until the coming of the Lord.” That advice might seem “anachronistic” to young people living in an age of constant and dramatic change, the Pope said. But patience, he said, “is in fact the way to a deeper understanding of the question of God and its importance in life and history.”
“God is not distant from man,” the Pope reminded the students. The Almighty is present and active in the world. “Patience,” he said, “is the virtue of those people who entrust themselves to this presence in history, who do not let themselves be drawn by the temptation to place all their hope in the present moment, in a purely horizontal perspective, in projects that are technically perfect but far distant from the profound truth that gives human beings their greatest dignity: the transcendent dimension, the fact of being created in the image and likeness of God.”