WelCom October 2021
Older people are not ‘leftovers’ to be discarded, Pope Francis said in the homily he wrote for the Mass marking the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
‘Let us ask ourselves, “Have I visited my grandparents, my elderly relatives, the older people in my neighbourhood? Have I listened to them? Have I spent time with them?”’ the Pope said in his homily, which was read aloud at the Mass by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
‘Let us protect them, so that nothing of their lives and dreams may be lost. May we never regret that we were insufficiently attentive to those who loved us and gave us life,’ the homily said.
The Mass, 25 July 2021, was celebrated in St Peter’s Basilica with about 2,000 people in attendance, including multi-generational families, older people and their caregivers. Pope Francis, who had colon surgery in early July, did not preside over the Mass as he was still convalescing from his surgery.
‘Grandparents and the elderly are not leftovers from life, scraps to be discarded. They are a precious source of nourishment,’ the Pope wrote in the homily.
‘They protected us as we grew, and now it is up to us to protect their lives, to alleviate their difficulties, to attend to their needs and to ensure that they are helped in daily life and not feel alone.’
The Pope asked people to reconnect with older people, to visit or call and ‘listen to them and never discard them. Let us cherish them and spend time with them. We will be the better for it, young and old alike,’ he wrote.
‘Our grandparents, who nourished our own lives, now hunger for our attention and our love; they long for our closeness. Let us lift up our eyes and see them, even as Jesus sees us,’ the Pope wrote.
Sources: Catholic News, Vatican News