This procession in the darkness of St. Peter's Basilica marked the beginning of the Mass on the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, which coincides with World Day for Consecrated Life.
During his homily, Pope Francis focused on the figure of Simeon, who waited his entire life to meet Jesus. The pope remarked that Simeon's patience is a reflection of God's patience.
“He patiently trusts in the promise. He trusts in the promise and does not let himself be consumed by regret for times past or by the sense of despondency that can come as we approach the twilight of our lives.”
The pope also clarified that patience isn't just about “tolerating difficulties or showing grim determination in the face of hardship.”
“Patience is not a sign of weakness, but the strength of spirit that enables us to 'carry the burden,' to bear, to bear the burden, of personal and community problems, to accept others as different from ourselves, to persevere in goodness when all seems lost.”
He urged consecrated men and women to avoid falling into interior sadness and impatience, which he said can lead to despair.
“Interior sadness in us, consecrated men and women, is a worm, a worm that eats away at us from within. Run away from interior sadness.”
To conclude, the pope reminded men and women religious to avoid gossip and to not lose their sense of humor.