Pope Francis prays following Mass in Casa Santa Marta on March 23, 2020. Credit: Vatican Media
Pope Francis offered Mass on Monday for people facing economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Let us pray today for those persons who are beginning to experience economic problems because of the pandemic because they cannot work,” Pope Francis said March 23.
“All of this affects the family. We pray for those people who have this problem,” he said at the beginning of the daily Mass livestreamed from his residence in Vatican City.
The economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak have rippled across the globe in 2020. As restaurants, shopping centres, factories, and other businesses close throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, millions of people may lose their jobs.
According to Bloomberg, the global pandemic has caused the biggest decline in consumer confidence in the US economy since October 2008. The S&P 500 economic index sits at its lowest level since 2017, unemployment is rising, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tumbled.
In his homily, Pope Francis focused on the virtues needed to sustain a consistent prayer life.
“Faith and perseverance go together because if you have faith you are sure that the Lord will give you what you are asking. If the Lord makes you wait, knock and knock and knock. In the end, the Lord gives the grace,” he said.
Pope Francis said that it takes courage to persevere in prayer. He pointed to the example of Moses and Abraham, whom he said both had courage in their dialogue with the Lord.
“This virtue of courage is very much needed, not only for apostolic works but also for prayer,” he said.
“Faith, perseverance and courage. These days, it is necessary to pray more. Imagine if we were to pray like this. With faith – that the Lord can intervene; with perseverance and with courage. The Lord never deludes. He makes us wait. He takes His time, but he never deludes. Faith, perseverance and courage,” Pope Francis said.
For the quarantined watching the Mass on television or online, Pope Francis offered the following spiritual communion to be said at home:
“At your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart that abysses itself in its nothingness and in Your holy presence. I adore you in the sacrament of your love, I wish to receive you in the poor dwelling that my heart offers you. Waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I come to you. May your love inflame my whole being for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it,” the pope prayed.