As he presided at Mass in the Vatican basilica on February 2 for the 18th World Day for Consecrated Life, Pope Francis said that there should be no conflict between observance of religious law and a prophetic witness.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on the Gospel for the day, the feast
of the Presentation, and the encounter in the Temple between Mary and
Joseph on one hand, Simeon and Anna on the other.
The Pontiff described
the meeting as an “encounter between observance and prophecy, the young
and the elderly.”
Mary and Joseph, the Holy Father explained, were a young couple,
fulfilling the prescription of the law after the birth of their child.
Simeon and Anna were elderly people with prophetic gifts. Their meeting
centered on Jesus, the Pope pointed out: “It is He Who sets everything
The Holy Spirit guides religious to fulfill the norms of their lives,
the Pope said, and the wisdom of older religious helps guide the young
members of their communities.
“It is good for the elderly to communicate
their wisdom to the young; and is good for the young to gather this
wealth of experience and wisdom, and to carry it forward, not so as to
preserve it in a museum, but to bring it forward in addressing the
challenges of life, to carry it forward for the good of the various
religious orders and of the entire Church.”