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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

Theme of Pope’s general audience: ‘Old age, a resource for carefree youth’

March 16, 2022

On March 16, Pope Francis continued his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to old age. The February 23 audience, the first in the series, was entitled “The Grace of Time and the Covenant of the Ages of Life”; the second, on March 2, was devoted to “longevity, symbol and opportunity.”

“In our continuing catechesis on the meaning and value of old age, viewed in the light of God’s word, we now consider the vital role of the elderly in handing on to new generations life’s true and sustaining values,” Pope Francis said on March 16 to pilgrims gathered in Paul VI Audience Hall, in the words of the official summary of his remarks. “In the very first pages of the Bible, God entrusts to the elderly Noah the task of restoring the goodness of his creation, which had become corrupted by the spread of violence and wickedness.”

The summary continued:

Jesus himself speaks of the “days of Noah” in warning us of the need for conversion in view of the imminent coming of God’s Kingdom, which brings mankind definitive salvation and spiritual renewal. In every age, as in the days of Noah, we can be tempted to accept sin and corruption as normal, to avert our eyes from the unjust suffering of the poor and the destruction of our natural environment.

In our own day, these are the fruits of a materialistic, self-centered and spiritually empty culture of waste. The elderly, like Noah, can warn us of this danger and remind us of our God-given call to be guardians and stewards of his creation.

May Noah’s example and prayers inspire our elderly to appreciate this, their special charism, and help to build a new “ark” of welcome, care and hope, for the future of our world and the dawn of the new creation.

 


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