Pope Francis turned his attention to inter-generational relationships within marriages during his continued his series of catechesis on the value of old age.
The Pope reflected on the biblical figure of Ruth, who, after the death of her husband, followed her mother-in-law to Judah, where she eventually remarried.
This story, says Pope Francis, shows that “the covenant of love and fidelity uniting the generations can prove immensely enriching for our families and for the growth of a society that respects the dignity and gifts of each of its members, however young or old.”
SUMMARY OF THE POPE’S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis on the meaning and value of old age, in the light of God’s word, we now reflect on the figure of the widow Naomi as presented in the biblical Book of Ruth.
This short yet beautiful story speaks of the relationship of love and mutual support between the elderly Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth.
Naomi, dwelling in a foreign land, is left alone when her two sons die. Despite her grief, she encourages her two daughters-in-law to remain among their own people as she returns to Bethlehem, her native town.
Ruth chooses not to abandon her beloved mother-in-law, and accompanies her to Judah, telling her: “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (1:16).
Ruth’s love supports Naomi, and Naomi in turn helps Ruth to find a new husband, Boaz. God blesses this marriage with a son, Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The story of these two faithful women shows us that, in God’s providential plan, the covenant of love and fidelity uniting the generations can prove immensely enriching for our families and for the growth of a society that respects the dignity and gifts of each of its members, however young or old.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Denmark and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father.
May the Lord bless you!