Continuing his weekly catechesis on the value of old age, Pope Francis said “the elderly, through their faith, wisdom and experience, can bear convincing witness to the presence of God’s kingdom.”
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 words spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus: “No one can see the kingdom of God without being born anew” by water and the Holy Spirit. This spiritual rebirth does not negate or detract from the value of our earthly existence, but points it towards its ultimate fulfilment in the eternal life and joy of heaven.
Our age, with its frantic pursuit of the myth of eternal youth, needs to relearn this truth and to see every age of life as preparation for the eternal happiness for which we were created. Jesus tells Nicodemus: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.
The elderly, through their faith, wisdom and experience, can bear convincing witness to the presence of God’s kingdom in our midst and the authentic meaning of our earthly existence as a foretaste of that true “eternal youth” which al awaits us in the new creation inaugurated by Christ and his Holy Spirit.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, the Philippines and the United States of America.
I offer a special greeting to the many student groups present. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!