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Pope Francis: Mass for 25th anniversary of Episcopal Ordination, “we are not gerontes” but “grandparents called to dream and pass on this dream to young people”

“When Abraham was called, he was about our age, he was about to retire to rest… He was an elderly man with the weight of old age, that old age which brings suffering and illness. But, as if he were a young person, a scout, he was told instead: arise, go, look, hope”. Pope Francis said this today in the homily he delivered during the Eucharistic celebration he presided over in the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace alongside the cardinals present in Rome to mark the 25th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination. In the homily delivered entirely off the cuff, the Pontiff said: “This word from God is also for us who are about the same age as Abraham”. The Lord “tells us that it is not the time to shut down our lives, nor is it the time to cut our history short, our history is open until the end, open with a mission and He tells us so with these three imperatives”. “Those who do not love us – Pope Francis said – say that we are the gerontocracy of the Church: this is ludicrous, they do not understand what they say. We are not ‘gerontes’ (‘elders’), we are grandparents; and if we do not feel that we are grandparents, we should ask for the grace to feel it; we are grandparents whom our grandchildren look at. With our experience, we should give meaning to their lives”. Grandparents who “are not closed in melancholia, but open: for us, this ‘arise, look, hope’ is what we call dreaming. We are grandparents called to dream, and today’s youth need our dreams, because they will draw from our dreams the strength to prophesy and carry on our mission. I am reminded of that reading from Luke about Simeon and Anna: two grandparents, but how great their ability to dream! “This is what the Lord asks of us today – the Pope concluded: to be grandparents, to have the enthusiasm of giving young people what they expect of us, without closing in on ourselves. Young people expect our experience, our positive dreams to be able to continue their prophecy and work. May the Lord give all of us this grace, the grace to be grandparents, the grace to dream and pass on this dream to our young people, for they need it”.





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