July 9.   Closeness. Anna asked herself, “Why is it often only for funerals that families come together? Long ago families were more close and met more often. In those days many sons and daughters and wives and kids and all the men experienced a strong sense of belonging.   Modern life and of course the restrictions imposed by the COVID pandemic make it more difficult to keep in touch physically but the value of family and the need for belonging still exists. 

Jacob and all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt. Joseph made ready his chariot and went to meet Israel his father, fell on his neck and wept. Israel (Jacob) said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” Gen 46: 28-30 From the story of Jacob, Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37 to 50. 

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”.  AL 191.   In highly industrialized societies, where the number of elderly persons is growing even as the birth rate declines, they can be regarded as a burden.  The care they require often puts a strain on their loved ones.  The elderly who are vulnerable and dependent are at times unfairly exploited for economic advantage. AL 48