From the Pastor’s Desk
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
World Day of Prayer for Grandparents & the Elderly
July 23, 2023
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
Brothers and Sisters,
Both my grandfathers had careers with the Social Security Administration (SSA). For my maternal grandfather, starting a job with SSA meant better opportunities and a move. He, my grandmother, and my mom – then five- would have to leave the Midwest and make a new home in the Baltimore-Washington area. My paternal grandfather lived in the Hamilton neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore. There he shared a house with his parents – his mom and dad on the main floor, while my grandparents, father, and siblings lived in the rooms above them, which included a kitchen and the attic, where my father slept (I cannot imagine how hot it must have been in the summer!). Both men worked in different parts of Baltimore and in different lines of work while at SSA, one landing in the legal department and sometimes traveling internationally, and the other in security (I guess a bit wordy to put as his job title Social Security Security Guard). Despite or maybe because of those slight differences, it’s neat to think if not for their friendship formed at SSA, my mom, and dad probably would have never met.
I share these origin stories because they perfectly illustrate why my grandparents’ generation is called “the Greatest Generation.” They were among a group of Americans born between 1900 and 1925, and as s a result, they knew the challenges of the Great Depression and World War II. These seminal experiences helped form a group willing to sacrifice for others, their families, and the greater community—folks like my grandparents who aimed to improve the world by being willing to do without or more. While I realize society certainly wasn’t without issues back when my grandfathers each worked for SSA. Still, neighborhoods and communities seemed far more connected with neighbors willing to lend a hand.
Today the Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly. Hopefully, you have fond memories of your grandparents like I do, or your parents if you are a bit older. Please take the opportunity to remember their positive impact. Ask yourself if you could have handled the restrictions and challenges that were theirs while they were growing up. Then, let’s look to them for their wisdom and guidance to help us make the world we share better. May the Lord bless their lives, and for those who have passed, may he receive them into the joys of the eternal kingdom.