Pope Francis reflects on the gratitude of elderly persons

Pope Francis continued his series of catechesis on the value of old age by reflecting on how St. Peter’s mother-in-law served her house guests immediately after being healed by Jesus.

The story is an example of how the elderly “offer a precious service by their own example of gratitude for the gift of faith and the experience of the Lord’s healing touch in their lives.”

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 consider the healing of Saint Peter’s mother-in-law.

The Gospel of Mark tells us that as she lay in bed with a fever, Jesus took her by the hand and the fever left her; and she began to serve them. The fact that Jesus wished to heal her in the company of the disciples reminds us that the entire Christian community is called to be present to our brothers and sisters in need. We proclaim Christ’s salvation and the hope offered by the Gospel precisely by reaching out to those who, like so many elderly people in our communities, feel isolated and even abandoned.

Peter’s mother-in-law then responds with gratitude for the gift of God’s mercy by getting up and immediately serving her guests. Within the Christian community, the elderly offer a precious service by their own example of gratitude for the gift of faith and the experience of the Lord’s healing touch in their lives.

They teach us that Christian discipleship is expressed in acts of charity, inspired by gratitude for the merciful love that touches and transforms our lives.

I greet the English-speaking visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the various pilgrimage groups from the United States of America. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

 

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