On June 27th, the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop, Pope Francis had some reflections on the role of grandparents. Speaking to the Cardinals in a homily delivered entirely off the cuff, the Pope said:
When Abraham was called he was more or less our age: he was about to retire, to retire to rest . . . , an elderly man, with the weight of old age. . . But the Lord said to him: “Rise! Look! Hope!”
So the Lord says to us: “Rise! Look! Hope!” He tells us that it is not the hour to close our life, not to close our history, not to truncate our history. The Lord tells us that our history is still open: it is open to the end; it is open with a mission. And with these three imperatives, he indicates to us the mission: “Rise! Look! Hope!”
Those who do not love us say that we are the gerontocracy of the Church. That is ludicrous. We are not the aged, we are grandfathers. And if we do not feel this, we should ask for the grace to feel it — grandfathers whose grandchildren look at them. Grandfathers who must give them a sense of life with our experience. Grandfathers not closed in on the melancholy of history, but open to giving. And for us, this “rise, look, hope,” is a call “to dream.” We are grandfathers called to dream and to give our dream to today’s youth. They need it because they will draw from our dreams the strength to prophesy and to carry their task forward.
The passage of Luke’s Gospel (2:21-38) comes to mind, Simeon and Anna, two grandparents, but what capacity to dream these two had! They spoke what they dreamed to Joseph, to Our Lady, and to the people. And Anna went tattling all over saying: “It is he! It is he!” She told the dream of her life. And this is what the Lord asks of us today: to be grandparents, to give enthusiasm to young people. Because young people expect it from us, let’s not close ourselves but give our best.
I ask the Lord to give all of us this grace, the grace to be grandparents, the grace to dream, to give this dream to our young people: they need it.
Pope Francis lives in Rome and is the head of the Catholic Church.
Copyright © 2017 Grandly – The Strategic Grandparents Club.
Photos courtesy of CTV.