The theme of Pope Francis’ homily in the Mass he celebrated, in the Vatican’s Pauline Chapel, with the cardinals present in Rome, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination, was to not remain seated, but to rise and go out–as Abraham, whom the Lord invited to do so when he was already elderly–and thus, transmit their dream and horizons particularly to the young generations.
The Holy Father began with the “rise” and “go” of Abraham, who “was always on the way” and “the symbol of the tent,” specifying that he never built a house for himself, but “only an altar.”
“Look” is the second imperative: lift up your eyes, “look at the horizon, do not build walls, look always and go forth.” “It is the mysticism of the horizon that, the more one goes forward, the farther the horizon becomes.
The third imperative is “have hope”: the heir will come from you, have hope, said to a man who could not have descendants because of his age, because of his wife’s sterility. “Look at the sky and count the stars if you can, so shall be your descendants.”
The Pontiff recalled that, when he was called, he was “more or less, our age,” ready to retire and rest, instead, he “began at that age.”
An elderly man, with the weight of age, with his pains, as if he were a youth: “go,” as “if he were a scout”: “go.”
“This word is also for us, with our age, as Abraham’s, although there are some who are younger here among us.” The Lord says to us: rise, look and have hope. “He says to us that our history is open until the end.”
“Some who do not love us say we are the gerontocracy of the Church; it is a mockery, we are not the aged, we are grandfathers, and if we do not feel it, we must ask for the grace to feel it.”
The Pope assured those in the Chapel that they must give young people the sense of life with their experience. Not closed in and melancholy, but open.
“We are grandfathers called to dream and to transmit our dream to today’s youth, because they will draw from our dreams the capacity to prophesy and to carry out their tasks.
Pope Francis also recalled the capacity that Simeon and Anna had to dream. Anna went everywhere pointing out that Jesus was the awaited Messiah. Young people, said Francis, await “our experience and positive dreams.”
“I ask the Lord to give us all the grace to be grandfathers, to dream and to give this dream to our young people,” he said.