OVERVIEW JULY: GRANDPARENTS MATTER. There is a growing proportion of older persons in our society due to improved healthcare and nutrition. Some remain active in their own lives into old age. Others are involved with their children and caring for grandchildren. This relationship is important and many grandparents contribute in valuable ways to the wellbeing of their families, but eventually they are often the ones that need care and support. Neglect, exploitation and abuse of the elderly, even by their own grandchildren at times, shows they no longer seem to matter. Pope Francis Our elderly are men and women, fathers and mothers, who came before us on our own road, in our own house, in our daily battle for a worthy life. How I would like a Church that challenges the throw-away culture by the overflowing joy of a new embrace between young and old. AL192. www.marfam.org.za/family-thoughts-for-the-day-july-2019-overview/
SETTING THE SCENE. The “Our Parents’ Home” retirement village had held a family day and invited any family members, siblings, children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren to visit their oldies. It was discovered that not everyone had family members who lived close by and some had none at all. It was therefore a common decision that no one needs to be alone during these later days of their lives. Everyone was to do their best to look out for others and for one another. Occasional group gatherings would be added to the social calendar and scripture reflection and prayer times could be offered to groups or done individually. A grandparents’ Mass with a blessing and prayer can be offered around 26 July. See the Blessing and Prayer below.
A GRANDPARENTS BLESSING AND PRAYER.
Lord, today we bring to you in prayer our grandparents. They may be here with us now, or may already have died and are now at peace. As parents, they gave life and nurtured the life of our own parents. We thank you for them and for that gift. We thank you too for the memories they created and that they have shared with us.
They were born into a world different to ours. As times have changed they may have struggled to keep up and sometimes lost touch. Forgive us for the times we have been impatient with them. Help us to be generous with our love and care for them in their old age.
Bless with eternal rest those grandparents who have died. Bless those of us who are grandparents. And bless all grandparents with peace and contentment and an acceptance that their lives were well spent in your service. We ask St Joachim and St Anne, the grandparents of Jesus, to intercede for us as we offer this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Apart from the Sundays and feast days most of the scripture readings are taken from the biblical stories of the Patriarchs.
Abbreviations from Pope Francis documents used : AL – Amoris Laetitia. EG – Evangelii Gaudium, LS – Laudato Si FM – The Face of Mercy