Pope Francis is sending a video message as Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Holy Week in an unusual way due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“Tonight, I’m lucky to enter your home in a different way than usual. “
This is how Pope Francis opened his video message sent Friday before Holy Week 2020.
He noted how difficult and painful the past few weeks have been for the many people whose lives have been affected by Covid-19. “I can imagine you in your families, living an unusual life to avoid contagion. “
Stuck and alone
The Pope said he was thinking of children and young people trapped in the house, of those who have to face these difficult times alone and of the elderly.
“I have all families in my heart,” he said, “especially those who have a loved one who is sick or who has unfortunately been grieving due to coronavirus or other causes.”
Pope Francis expressed his gratitude for the “generosity of those who put themselves in danger for the treatment of this pandemic or to guarantee essential services to society”.
He called them “heroes”.
The Pope said he is also thinking of people facing financial hardship, those in prison who worry about themselves and their families, and the homeless, who have no house to protect them.
“This is a difficult time for everyone. For many, it is very difficult. “
Loving creatively to help others
The Pope said he was aware of all the suffering in the world right now. He tried to tell everyone about his closeness and affection and offered advice.
“Let’s try, if we can, to make the best use of this time: let’s be generous. Let’s help those in need in our neighborhood. Let’s look for the most lonely people, maybe by phone or on social media. Let us pray to the Lord for those who are in difficulty in Italy and in the world. “
Despite the isolation imposed by social distancing, “thought and spirit can go far with the creativity of love,” said Pope Francis.
Unlimited love and hope
He acknowledged that Christians will celebrate Holy Week “in a truly unusual way” and added that this week sums up the gospel message: “God’s boundless love”.
“And in the silence of our cities, the Easter Gospel will resonate,” he said. “In the risen Jesus, life has conquered death.”
Hope, said the Pope, is nourished by our Easter faith.
“It is the hope of a better time, in which we can be better, finally freed from evil and this pandemic,” he said. “It is a hope: hope does not disappoint. It’s not an illusion, it’s a hope. “
Pope’s gesture of tenderness
He urged everyone to prepare for a better time “in love and patience” with the extra time we have been given.
Closing his message, the Pope asked all those who were watching to make “a gesture of tenderness towards those who suffer, towards children and towards the elderly”.
“Tell them that the Pope is near,” he said, “and pray that the Lord will soon deliver us from evil. “
The official translation of the Pope’s video message is below:
Dear friends, good evening!
Tonight, I’m lucky to enter your home in a different way than usual. With your permission, I would like to have a conversation with you for a few moments, in this time of difficulty and suffering. I can imagine you in your families, living an unusual life to avoid contagion. I think of the liveliness of children and young people who cannot go out, go to school, live their lives. I have in my heart all the families, especially those who have a loved one who is sick or who has unfortunately suffered mourning due to coronavirus or other causes. These days, I often think of people who are alone and for whom it is more difficult to face these moments. I am thinking especially of the elderly who are very dear to me.
I can’t forget those who are sick with coronavirus, people who are in the hospital. I am aware of the generosity of those who put themselves in danger for the treatment of this pandemic or for guaranteeing essential services to society. So many heroes, every day, every hour! I also remember how many of them are in a precarious financial situation and are worried about the job and the future. A thought also goes to the detainees, whose pain is aggravated by fear of the epidemic, for themselves and their loved ones; I think about the homeless, who have no shelter to protect them.
It’s a difficult time for everyone. For many, very difficult. The Pope knows this and, with these words, he wants to tell everyone of his closeness and his affection. Let us try, if we can, to make the best use of this time: let us be generous; help those in need in our neighborhood; looking for the most lonely people, perhaps by phone or on social media; let us pray the Lord for those who are in difficulty in Italy and in the world. Even if we are isolated, thought and spirit can go far with the creativity of love. This is what we need today: the creativity of love. This is what we need today: the creativity of love.
We will be celebrating Holy Week in a truly unusual way, which manifests and summarizes the gospel message, that of God’s boundless love. And in the silence of our cities, the Easter Gospel will resonate. The apostle Paul said, “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised” (2 Cor 5:15). In the risen Jesus, life conquered death. This Easter faith feeds our hope. I would like to share it with you this evening. It is the hope of a better time, in which we can be better, finally freed from evil and this pandemic. It is a hope: hope does not disappoint; it is not an illusion, it is a hope.
Next to each other, in love and patience, we can prepare a better time in these days. Thank you for allowing me to enter your home. Make a gesture of tenderness towards those who suffer, towards children and towards the elderly. Tell them that the Pope is near and pray, that the Lord will soon deliver us from evil. And you pray for me. Enjoy your meal. See you soon!