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home : from the bishop : from the bishop January 22, 2019

Homily for Senior Spirituality Day

Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

St. Gregory the Great Church in Hamilton
July 18, 2018

The great gift of growing older is a cherished treasury of memories, memories of family and friends, memories of joyful celebrations and difficult moments, memories that make us laugh and smile, memories that bring a tear to our eyes, memories of a long life most of which has filled decades of our past and which sustain us in the present, for the future. Some of the people closest to us have gone home to God while many others continue to surround us with love.  We pray for them all.  Today is a celebration of all our memories and of the God who gave us all the gifts that have filled our lives.  Today is a celebration of the faith that joins us all together in the present and of our gratitude for that faith.

As seniors - and, at age 63, I include myself in that group - we are here at St. Gregory Church to think and pray about the spirituality that defines our past, our present and our future.  We pause in the midst of our everyday activities to quiet ourselves, to be still and let God speak to us.  Despite what our aging ears may tell us, we don’t need a hearing aid to listen to his voice.

There is a popular hymn that is sung at Mass that goes something like this:

“We remember how you loved us to your death and still we celebrate, for you are with us here.  And we believe that we will see you when you come in your glory, Lord.  We remember, we celebrate, we believe.”

That pretty much sums up the core of our spirituality as Catholics, whatever age we might be.  We remember what we learned as children, how those memories deepened as we grew.  We remember God’s love for us and his presence in our lives, in our prayer, in the sacraments we received, in our families and parishes, in our lived experience of Jesus leading and guiding us.  And he is with us still.

The older we grow, the more we believe that the Lord will bring us home to his glory one day.  Yes, “we remember, we celebrate ... we believe.”

The Lord’s loving presence is what sustains us. Our faith keeps us going, even when our memories start to fade.  It is the Lord’s loving presence that transforms us from senior citizens into senior saints.  Our prayers continue; our spiritual lives bring us comfort and peace; and our faith and hope invite us to joyfully place our lives in the Lord’s loving hands every day “until we see him in his glory.”


Related Stories:
• At annual Spirituality Day, seniors urged to be ambassadors of faith during Year of Youth

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