Pope Benedict XVI: July 2009 Archives

I don't think "grandparents day" in the Hallmark manner has hit the pope yet, but he did tell his listeners that grandparents are a central part of the family. The feast of Saints Joachim and Anne is the Church's way of honoring grandparents seeing in Saints Joachim and Anne great models of what grandparents are to be for children and family systems. Pope Benedict's remarks came within a reflection of the Sunday gospel where we heard Saint John's narrative of the Multiplication of the loaves and fish. He asks THAT rather important question which we ask ourselves in front of Christ: who am I?

The Pontiff spoke about yesterday's Gospel in which Saint John narrates the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and in doing so introduces the notion of priestly mediation and the sacrament of the Eucharist. He said "It is as if the Eucharist were anticipated in the great sign of the bread of life. In this Year for Priests, ... we members of the clergy may see ourselves reflected in this text of John's, identifying ourselves with the Apostles when they say: where are we going to find bread for these people to eat? And when we read of that anonymous boy with his five barley loaves and two fish, we too are moved to exclaim: But what are they among so many people? In other words, who am I? How can I with my limitations help Jesus in His mission? And it is the Lord Who provides the answer: By putting in his 'saintly and venerable' hands the little they are, priests become instruments of salvation for many people, for everyone!"

Considering the place of the family in our society, the Pope mentioned Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and, hence, grandparents of Jesus, whose feast day was yesterday (see the blog entry below). Since yesterday was Sunday, the Church didn't observe the liturgical memorial of these two rather important saints because Sunday ordinarily trumps the feast of saints. Careful observers of Benedict's work will notice that he comes back to a constant theme with the vital importance his places on education in Church's pastoral care program. Benedict XVI invited us "to pray for grandparents who, in families, are the depositories and often witnesses of the fundamental values of life." The educational role of grandparents is always important, and it becomes even more important when, for various reasons, parents are unable to ensure an adequate presence alongside their children as they are growing", the Pope added, entrusting all the grandparents of the world to the protection of Saints Joachim and Anna. He also mentioned "all elderly people, especially those who are alone or experiencing moments of difficulty."
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The general intention

That Christians in the Middle East may live their faith in complete freedom and become instruments of reconciliation and peace.

The missionary intention

Through the witness of the faithful, may the Church be the seed and soil of a humanity reconciled to be God's one true family on earth.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Pope Benedict XVI category from July 2009.

Pope Benedict XVI: June 2009 is the previous archive.

Pope Benedict XVI: August 2009 is the next archive.

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