A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Continuing to Bring Forth Fruit

Posted on: April 17, 2015

grandparents

My grandfather continued to fix watches after he retired, and my grandmother was involved in her church choir and women’s group.

Sport and leisure programs start and wrap up at the same time as the school year, even when they’re not aimed at children and youth. Many radio stations target teens and college students as their audience, as do movie studios in releasing summer features. And the dizzying array of anti-aging products on the market speaks volumes.

Our culture revolves around the young.

But what happens when we’re not the target market anymore—when we have grandchildren, when we’re retired?

With families more spread out geographically these days, people of faith in their 60s and up may not play the same role in their extended families as in earlier generations, but God tells us their contributions matter:

The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

They are planted in the house of the LORD, they flourish in the courts of our God.

They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green,

to show that the LORD is upright….

~ Psalm 92:13-15*

When our children are grown, that may be the time to help with sacramental preparation, music ministry, or parish activities we didn’t have time for when we had young children at home. To explore our spiritual gifts at retreats and workshops we didn’t have time for in the past. To ask God how we can serve him now.

And when we organize parish activities, we need to look beyond running events for retirees and seniors in the congregation to running activities with their help. For example, we could seek out retired or long-time teachers to help with sacramental preparation or a Bible study, professional musicians to provide music for Mass or parish events, accountants to assist in managing the finances of the parish, or writers and photographers to produce content for our parish website.

I pray that we would remember we all have a role to play—whatever our age—in the Church and beyond by using our gifts to support and encourage those in our family and our faith community, to minister to those in need, and to pray for the needs of all of God’s people—in short, to glorify God and draw others to him.

(*Scripture quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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