Cardinal Rivera exhorts faithful to reach out to elderly during Lent

.- Presiding at Ash Wednesday services at the Archdiocesan Cathedral, the Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, called on the faithful to live intensely “the Lenten conversion” and to reach out in charity to the “abandoned elderly.”

Referring to the Pope’s 2005 Lenten message, Cardinal Rivera explained that “the number of elderly in this city is on the increase and their living conditions should inspire true conversion in us.”  He added that during this Lent, “our neighbor has a collective face: the multitude of elderly who are alone, abandoned and many times poor and marginalized.”

The cardinal underscored that “Lenten conversion is presented to us this year as a call of John Paul II to reach out to the elderly in our daily lives, to show them signs of openness so that they are not marginalized but are part of family and community life.”

Joined by more than ten priests, the cardinal recalled that the Ash Wednesday celebration is a call to reflection and conversion, in which we remember that “we are dust and unto dust we shall return.”

“What we are going to receive signifies our encounter first with God, but it should also be for us an encounter with those most in need, especially with our elderly who are abandoned,” he added.

On the other hand, the cardinal reaffirmed the importance of forsaking false security, which “ties us down and keeps us from looking forward in our lives.”  The Holy Father, he concluded, “has desired that during this year we take this path as members of the ecclesial community, in our families, schools and parishes, together with our elderly.”

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