Here it is: wrinkles are a symbol of experience, a symbol of life, a symbol of maturity, a symbol of taking a journey. Touch them so as not to get young so you can get young in the face. What matters is the whole personality, what matters is the heart, and the heart stays with the youth of “good wine,” which is so much better the older it gets.
Life in the mortal flesh is a beautiful unfinished reality: like certain works of art that possess a unique charm precisely in their incompleteness. Because life down here is ‘initiation’, not fulfillment: we come into the world like that, like real people, like people who are getting older but are real forever.
But life in mortal flesh is a space and time too small to remain intact and complete the most precious part of our existence in world time. Faith, which welcomes the gospel proclamation of the kingdom of God to which we are destined, has a first extraordinary effect, Jesus says. It allows us to “see” the kingdom of God.
Love of the final destination
We become able to truly see the many signs that we are approaching our hope of fulfilling what in our lives bears the mark of our destiny for eternity in God. The signs are those of evangelical love that are enlightened in many ways by Jesus. And if we can “see” these signs, we can also “enter” the realm of the passage of the Spirit through the water that is reborn.
Old age is the condition many of us assign, where the miracle of this birth from above can be intimately taken in and made credible to human society. Old age does not communicate nostalgia after birth in time, but love of the final destination. In this light, old age has a unique beauty. We go to the Lord. No one can return to her mother’s womb, not even by using her technological and consumerist substitute.
The tenderness of the elderly
This does not give wisdom, this does not give a perfect path, this is artificial. It would be sad if it were possible. The elder goes forth, the elder goes to the goal, to the heaven of God. The elder walks with his wisdom, which he has experienced over the course of his life. Old age is therefore a special time to free the future from the technocratic illusion of biological survival and robotic survival. Especially because old age opens man to the tenderness of God’s creative and fruitful womb.
Here I want to emphasize this word: the tenderness of the elderly. Watch a grandfather or grandmother watch their grandchildren, hug their grandchildren. The tenderness, free from all human trials, which has overcome human trials and is able to give love freely. It is the loving closeness of one to the other. This tenderness opens the door to understand the tenderness of God. Let us not forget that the Spirit of God is nearness, compassion, and tenderness. God is such, he knows how to embrace.
And old age helps us to understand this dimension of God, which is tenderness. Old age is the special time to free the future from the technocratic illusion, it is the time for God’s tenderness to create, and create a path for all of us. May the Spirit give us the reopening of this mission of spiritual – and cultural – old age, which reconciles us to birth from above.
When we think of old age in this way, we say: why does this forging culture decide to throw out the elderly because we do not consider them useful? The elderly are messengers of the future, the elderly are messengers of tenderness, the elderly are messengers of the wisdom of a lived life. Let’s move on and look at the elderly.