Pope Francis yesterday prayed for families struggling economically during the COVID-19 pandemic and for the conversion of loan sharks who prey on them. Source: CNS.
By Cindy Wooden, CNS
“In many places you hear about one of the effects of this pandemic: many families who are in need, who are hungry and, unfortunately, a group of loan sharks ‘helps’ them. This is another pandemic,” the Pope said at the beginning of his early morning Mass.
The Pope described as a “social pandemic” the fact that many day laborers or people paid under the table have not been able to work during the lockdown, so “they have nothing for them or their children to eat.”
“And moneylenders take what little they have,” he said. “Let us pray. Let’s pray for these families and their many children” and also “for the moneylenders that the Lord would touch their hearts and convert them.”
In his homily at the Mass, which was livestreamed from the chapel of his residence, Pope Francis focused on the transformation of St Peter from a “coward” who denied Jesus to a bold preacher who stood up to the Sanhedrin.
“What was the secret, what was the strength that got Peter to that point?” the Pope asked.
The answer, he said, is found in what Jesus had told Peter at the Last Supper: “I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”
“This is Peter’s secret: the prayer of Jesus. Jesus prays for Peter,” the Pope said. “And what Jesus does for Peter, he does for all of us. Jesus prays for us; he prays for us before the Father.”
Pope Francis told his listeners that it is helpful to contemplate the idea of the risen Jesus appearing before God and showing God the wounds in his hands and feet — “the price of our salvation.”
“We are used to praying to Jesus that he would give us this or that grace, that he would help us,” the Pope said, “but we are not used to contemplating Jesus who shows the Father his wounds, Jesus the intercessor, Jesus who prays for us.”