Pope Francis on Saturday, March 28, 2020, prayed for families who find themselves in hunger as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
He expressed his concern for the hungry during his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican reported by Vatican News.
“We’re beginning to see people who are hungry because they can’t work,” the Pope said. “They may not have had a regular job, and from many other circumstances. We’re beginning to see the aftermath that will come later. But it’s beginning now. We pray for the families who are beginning to find themselves in need because of the pandemic.”
The Holy Father referred to the Gospel of the day, John 7:40-53, where Jesus describes the gap between the people and their leaders:
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Then each went to his own house.
“The holy, faithful People of God believe in Jesus, they follow him…. They can’t explain why, but they follow Him,” Francis said. “He enters their hearts, and they don’t get tired…. We can think of the day of the multiplication of the loaves. They were with Jesus the entire day to the point that the Apostles say to Jesus, ‘Send them away so that they can go buy something to eat.’ …The People of God had a huge grace: the sense of knowing where the Spirit was, even though they were sinners like us, that sense of knowing the path to salvation.
“And this small group of the elite, the doctors of the law, they separate themselves from the people and don’t welcome Jesus. They had lost the memory of their own belonging to the People of God. They had become sophisticated. They had risen to another social class. They felt authoritative. This is clericalism that we see here.”
The Holy Father also shared the story of a priest in a mountain village, Vatican News recounted. Notwithstanding freezing temperatures and snow, he brought Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the small villages in his area to give benediction.
“It didn’t matter that it was snowing or that the cold metal of the ostensorium was burning his hands,” Francis recalled. “The only thing that mattered was bringing Jesus to the people.”