"In reality, the true 'owner' of the world is not man but God," said the Pope to the thousands gathered in St. Peters Square on the first Sunday of Advent.
The Pope reflected on the day's scripture reading in which the Prophet Isaiah tells God there is "none who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to cling to you; for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt."
"How can we not be impressed by this description?" asked Pope Benedict, who spoke of its relevance to today's world.
The prophet's description "seems to reflect certain views of the postmodern world where life becomes anonymous and horizontal," he said, "where God seems absent and man is the only master, as if he was the creator and director of everything: construction, employment, economy, transport, science, technology, everything seems to depend on man alone.”
In such a world, the Pope indicated, God can even appear to have "withdrawn" when catastrophe strikes.
It is for this reason, he said, that Jesus reminds believers to "be watchful" and "alert," in the day's Gospel reading.
The Pope said Christ's words were "a salutary reminder to us that life has not only the earthly dimension, but is looking forward to ‘a beyond’ as a seedling that sprouts from the earth and opens up to the sky."
Each person must be alert toward eternity, because he is "endowed with freedom and responsibility," and will "be called to account for how he has lived, how he used his abilities: if he kept them to themselves or put them to use for the benefit of his brothers and sisters."
While entering a new liturgical year and heading toward Christmas, the Pope said, "let us heed the message in today’s Gospel by entering prayerfully into this holy season, so that we may be ready to greet Jesus Christ, who is God with us."
He wished the pilgrims a "good Sunday," before giving his apostolic blessing.
.- Advent offers a chance to remember that all things belong to God, Pope Benedict XVI told pilgrims in his Angelus address on Nov. 27.