Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 16 March 2022
Summary of the Holy Father’s words on the topic of being older:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: 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. 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. 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-centred 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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