Pope Francis continued his series of catechesis on the value of old age. He referenced how Moses passes down his long experience of faith in a song at the end of Exodus as an example of how the elderly are able to transmit the faith to younger generations.
Although one can learn about the faith from books and other resources, “nothing,” says the Pope, “can replace the direct person-to-person testimony of a life-long experience of closeness to God in faith.”
Particularly in today's cancel culture, Pope Francis says “we greatly need the wisdom and experience of the elderly to help new generations know the Church from the inside, to live lives of fidelity to God’s word, to persevere in hope amid trials, and to show compassionate love for all our brothers and sisters.”
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis on the meaning and value of old age, viewed in the light of God’s word, we now turn to the special vocation of the elderly to hand on to new generations their personal experience of the Church’s faith.
At the end of the exodus, the aged Moses hands down in a magnificent song his own long experience of faith in the Lord who remains ever faithful to his promises. This “handing on” of the experience of faith is the essence of the living Tradition of the People of God.
In our own day, the Church’s efforts to evangelize, catechize, transmit and explain her faith certainly takes place with the aid of books, films and other resources, yet nothing can replace the direct person-to-person testimony of a life-long experience of closeness to God in faith.
In a world that at times seeks to cancel aspects of history and culture, or replace truth with fake news or propaganda, we greatly need the wisdom and experience of the elderly to help new generations know the Church from the inside, to live lives of fidelity to God’s word, to persevere in hope amid trials, and to show compassionate love for all our brothers and sisters.
May we value this precious vocation of the elderly as we cherish the gifts of the past and look forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises in the coming of his Kingdom.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States of America. May our Lenten journey bring us to celebrate Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Upon each of you, and your families, I invoke joy and peace in Christ our Redeemer.