July 9. 14th Sunday A,   Before he began to preach  Fr Fidelis looked around the congregation and noted that there were quite a lot of children but the largest number was older people. He began his sermon by addressing them.  “There are two parts to today’s gospel but I am concentrating on the second part where Jesus says, ‘come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest.’ This month our special family focus is particularly on grandparents.  We are going to have a special celebration for you later to thank you for what you do for our families but today let us give you as a gift the words of Jesus. We know you are tired, and many still labour and many do carry heavy burdens. It may be overwork or rejection and loneliness, especially if you are widowed people.  Jesus promises to give you rest.  We too promise to do our best to be more conscious of your needs.  Can I speak for all of us here?”  Almost everyone, young and the elderly themselves nodded in agreement.

Reflect, share, act. Scripture:   “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11: 25-30 . Pope Francis. In highly industrialised societies where the number of elderly persons is growing even as the birth rate declines they can be regarded as a burden.  On the other hand the care that they require often puts a strain on their loved ones.  Care and concern for the final stages of life is all the more necessary today.  The elderly who are vulnerable and dependent are at times unfairly exploited for economic advantage.  AL 48 We must reawaken the collective sense of gratitude of appreciation and hospitality which makes the elderly feel like a  living part of the community.  AL 191