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Wednesday, December 15, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 15, 2004 (VIS) - Thousands of students and faculty members from Roman universities, delegates from other European universities and civil and religious authorities were in St. Peter's Basilica last evening for their annual Mass with the Holy Father. The Pope thanked them for their presence saying, "as 'sentinels of the morning', you wish to be vigilant - today, during these weeks of Advent, and throughout life - to be ready to welcome the Lord Who comes."

  "Dear university students," he said, "we are in the year of the Eucharist and, in preparation for World Youth Day, you have been reflecting on the theme 'Eucharist and the Truth about Man'. This is a demanding theme. In fact, before the Eucharistic mystery, we are moved to verify the truth about our faith, our hope and our love. We cannot remain indifferent when Christ says: 'I am the living bread, come down from heaven'. Into our minds comes the question He asked: 'Do you believe it is I? Do you really believe?' In light of His words: 'Whoever eats this bread will have eternal life', we cannot not ask ourselves about the meaning and value of our daily lives."

  Noting that the greatest love was that of Christ "Who sacrificed Himself for the life of the world", the Holy Father said we must ask ourselves if we live our lives for others. "Is my humanity, my existence filled with the love of God and love for my neighbor? Or is it rather imprisoned in the oppressive cycle of selfishness?"

  The Pope said that the search for "truth about man is not reached only by the means that science offers us," but also "thanks to Christ's gaze filled with love. It is He, the Lord, Who comes to us in the mystery of the Eucharist. Never stop looking for Him and you will discover in His eyes an attractive reflection of the goodness and beauty that He Himself has placed in our hearts with the gift of His Spirit."
HML/MASS STUDENTS/...                        VIS 20041215 (340)

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