Vatican City, 28 December 2014 (VIS) – “Jesus brings the generations together”, affirmed Pope Francis, addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square today for the midday Angelus. The Gospel reading narrated the episode of the Presentation in the Temple, when Mary and Joseph, forty days after Jesus' birth, take Him to the temple in Jerusalem, in obedience to the Law of Moses. There, they meet the elderly people Simeon and Anna.
“We can imagine this little family, in the midst of so many people, in the great courtyard of the temple. They do not stand out, they are not distinguished. However”, observed the Holy Father, “they do not go unnoticed. Two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, moved by the Holy Spirit, approach them and praise God for that Child, in Whom they recognise the Messiah, the light of the peoples and the salvation of Israel. It is a simple moment, yet rich in prophecy: the meeting between a young couple full of joy and faith by the grace of the Lord, and two elderly people also full of joy and faith by the action of the Spirit. Who brings them together? Jesus. Jesus brings about the encounter between the young and the elderly. Jesus is the One who brings the generations together. He is the source of that love that unites families and people, overcoming all distrust, all isolation, every distance. … Good relations between the young and the elderly are fundamental to the path of civil and ecclesial community. Looking at these two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, we greet with applause all the grandparents in the world”, exclaimed Francis.
“The message that comes from the Holy Family is above all a message of faith”, he continued. “This is why the family of Nazareth is holy. Why? Because it is centred on Jesus. When parents and children breathe together the same climate of faith, they possess an energy that allows them to face difficult trials, as shown by the experience of the Holy Family, for example, during the dramatic events of the flight into Egypt”.
The child Jesus with his mother Mary and St. Joseph are the icon of the family, simple yet illuminating. The light they radiate is a light of mercy and salvation for the whole world, a light of truth for every man, for the human family. … The light that comes from the Holy Family encourages us to offer human warmth in those family situations that, for various reasons, lack peace, harmony or forgiveness. Our concrete solidarity is not lacking, especially in relation to those families who experience difficult situations such as sickness, unemployment, discrimination, or the need to migrate”. He concluded by asking those present to pray a moment in silence for these families.
Following the Angelus prayer, the Pope mentioned the passengers on the aircraft that disappeared in flight between Indonesia and Singapore, and those on the ferry that caught fire in the Adriatic Sea. "I am close, with affection and prayer, to the relatives of the victims, those who are living through these difficult situations with anxiety and suffering, and those involved in the rescue operations”.