Vatican City – Pope Francis prayed for families in economic difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic and for the conversion of loan sharks who feed off them.
“In many places you hear about one of the effects of this pandemic: many families in need, who are hungry and, unfortunately, a group of loan sharks are ‘helping’ them. This is another pandemic.” , the Pope said on April 23. at the start of his morning mass.
The Pope described as a “social pandemic” the fact that many day laborers or people paid illegally were not able to work during the confinement, so “they have nothing to eat for themselves or their children”.
“And the pawn shops take what little they have,” he said. “Let us pray. Let us pray for these families and their many children” and also “for the usurers that the Lord touches their hearts and converts them”.
In his homily at Mass, which was broadcast live from the chapel of his residence, Francis focused on the transformation of Saint Peter from a “coward” who denied Jesus into a daring preacher who stood up to the rule. Sanhedrin.
“What was the secret, what was the force that brought Peter to this point?” Asked the Pope.
The answer, he said, is found in what Jesus said to Peter at the Last Supper: “I prayed that your own faith would not fail; and once you have turned around, you must strengthen your brethren.
“This is the secret of Peter: the prayer of Jesus. Jesus prays for Peter,” said the Pope. “And what Jesus does for Peter, he does for all of us. Jesus prays for us, he prays for us before the Father.”
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 to give us such and such a grace, that he will help us”, said the Pope, “but we are not used to contemplate Jesus who shows his wounds to the Father, Jesus. the intercessor, Jesus who prays for us. “
“Peter was able to make the journey from a coward to being courageous with the gift of the Holy Spirit through the prayer of Jesus,” he said.
“We should think about this. Let’s turn to Jesus, thanking him for praying for us. Jesus is praying for each of us,” he said. “We need to trust more, more in Jesus’ prayer than in our prayers.”