In his General Audience this week, Pope Francis addressed the “spread of throwaway culture” that the elderly face in today’s society. The Pope continued to emphasize the theme of his theme of his current catechesis, the value of old age, through verses from in the Book of Psalms.
The Pope said, “the elderly offer us a much-needed example of such perseverance in prayer and hope-filled surrender to the Lord.”
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 consider the heartfelt prayer found in the first verses of Psalm 71: “You, O Lord, are my hope; my trust, O Lord, from my youth” (v. 5).
Sensing the growing frailty and vulnerability that come with the passing of the years, the Psalmist implores God’s continued protection and care. In our own day, his anxious concern is shared by many of the elderly, who see their dignity and even their rights threatened by the spread of a “throwaway culture” that views them as useless and indeed a burden to society.
In the face of this sense of frailty and uncertainty, the Psalmist reaffirms his trust in God’s covenant fidelity and his provident care.
In every generation, the elderly can offer us a much-needed example of such perseverance in prayer and hope-filled surrender to the Lord. By their presence and example, they can open minds and hearts, and inspire the building of a more just and humane society – one that respects all the stages of life and values the contribution of each of its members to the common good.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, especially those from England and the United States of America. I extend a special greeting to the many groups of young students. With the upcoming Solemnity of Pentecost, I invoke upon you and your families an abundant outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord bless you!