Grandparents and elderly Day

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Let me firstly greet our Grandparents and elderly friends on this first day dedicated to you by the Church. I thank you for all you have been throughout the years, the lives you have touched and enriched especially within your families, the Church but also for countless other people. God alone knows the good which has occurred through you.

The pandemic has been a heavy burden for everyone including our elderly who have been anxious for their health and that of their loved ones. Many of you have been isolated, cut off from your family and normal social contact. In today’s Gospel many are inspired by Jesus’ care for the sick and isolated and so seek him out. I rejoice that your own faith in the Lord continues to widely inspire.

In today’s Second Reading St Paul urges that we all live a life worthy of our vocation. A vocation is a calling from God. Perhaps some of you feel too old, isolated or frail to have a vocation. In his beautiful letter to our grandparents and elderly friends Pope Francis encouragingly reminds you that you have a crucial Vocation. Pope Francis urges us to build a better post-pandemic society and that you with your dreams and experience have much to touch the younger generations while your prayers are powerful. Of course, we can all feel we can make little difference and on our own that is true. Today we read how both Philip and Andrew doubted that anything could be achieved since they had so little. Yet when the 5 loaves and 2 fish were offered Jesus fed the multitude. Whatever we offer to the Lord he abundantly increases for the benefit of all.

I hope that the Church’s focussing on the crucial contribution of our grandparents and elderly today will inspire all of us to a greater love, respect and inclusion throughout society of these special people. I again thank our elderly friends for all they are and do and I ask God to bless you today and always.