– Tej Francis
Pope Francis sent a video message as Christians around the world prepared to celebrate Holy Week in an unusual manner due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
(Vatican News) “This evening I have the chance to enter your homes in a different way than usual.”
That was how Pope Francis opened his video message sent on Friday ahead of Holy Week 2020.
He noted how difficult and full of suffering these 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 about children and young people stuck at home, those who have to face these difficult moments alone, and the elderly.
“I have in my heart all the families,” he said, “especially those who have a loved one who is sick or who have unfortunately experienced mourning due to the coronavirus or other causes.”
Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for the “generosity of those who put themselves at risk for the treatment of this pandemic or to guarantee the essential services to society.”
He called them “heroes.”
The Pope said he is also thinking about those facing financial difficulties, those in prison worried about themselves and their families, and the homeless, who have no home to protect them.
“It is a difficult time for everyone. For many, very difficult.”
Love creatively to help others
The Pope said he is aware of all the suffering in the world right now. He sought to tell everyone of his closeness and affection and offered a word of advice.
“Let us try, if we can, to make the best use of this time: let us be generous. Let us help those in need in our neighborhood. Let us look out for the loneliest people, perhaps by telephone or social networks. 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 measures, “thought and spirit can go far with the creativity of love,” said Pope Francis.
Boundless love and hope
He acknowledged that Christians will celebrate Holy Week “in a truly unusual way” and added that this week sums of the message of the Gospel: “God’s boundless love.”
“And in the silence of our cities, the Easter Gospel will resound,” he said. “In the risen Jesus, life conquered death.”
Hope, said the Pope, is nourished by our Paschal faith.
“It is the hope of a better time, in which we can be better, finally freed from evil and from this pandemic,” he said. “It is a hope: hope does not disappoint. It is not an illusion; it is a hope.”
Gesture of tenderness from the Pope
He urged everyone to prepare a better time “in love and patience” with the extra time alone that has been given us.
Closing his message, the Pope asked everyone watching to make “a gesture of tenderness towards those who suffer, towards children, and towards the elderly.”
“Tell them that the Pope is close,” he said, “and pray that the Lord will soon deliver us all from evil.”