The Gospel offers us the image of Simeon and Anna as two older persons who hope in the Lord’s promises and then, when perhaps least expected, see them at last fulfilled. Simeon and Anna are models of a spirituality for the elderly.
They point to the centrality of prayer; indeed, the prayer of grandparents is a great grace for families and for the Church. In prayer, they thank the Lord for his blessings, otherwise so often unacknowledged; intercede for the hopes and needs of the young; and lift up to God the memory and sacrifices of past generations.
The purifying power of faith and prayer also helps us to find the wisest way to teach the young that the true meaning of life is found in self-sacrificing love and concern for others.
Young people listen to their grandparents! I still treasure the words my grandmother wrote to me on the day of my ordination. In a society which overlooks and even discards the elderly, may the Church acknowledge their contribution and gifts, and help them to foster a fruitful dialogue between the generations!