The gospel today is about the cleansing of the temple, (John 2:13-25). Jesus is angry that the house of prayer is not respected. Jesus himself becomes the new temple, the new place and cause of worship. His own body will be destroyed in death and risen for us, for the redemption of his people and forgiveness of sin. We are called to respect our human lives since we now bear the name of the Body of Christ here on earth. Today, I invite you to ponder the rich lives and stories of our older members of our communities.
Pope Francis challenged us this week to respect the elderly, to cleanse our negative opinions especially about people who age without good health, without adequate money for housing, food and healthcare. Here is the article from the Vatican:
Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis urged his followers at his weekly prayer on Wednesday to show affection and respect for the elderly, saying they must not be treated as “aliens”.
“It’s a mortal sin to discard our elderly,” said the pope, seen by his supporters as a champion of the poor and marginalized.
“The elderly are not aliens, we are them, in a short or in a long while; we are inevitably them, although we choose not to think about it,” he told 12,000 followers gathered on Saint Peter’s Square.
“A society where the elderly are discarded carries within it the virus of death,” said the 78-year-old Argentinian pontiff.
The pope said that while life expectancy has increased in recent decades, old age is treated like “an illness to be kept at arm’s length”.
He warned his followers: “If we do not learn to look after and to respect our elderly, we will be treated in the same way.”