As national and local governments have been issuing stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Pope Francis asked people to pray for and assist those who are homeless.
He offered his morning Mass on 31st March for those who are homeless “at a time when people are asked to stay at home”.
At the start of a livestreamed Mass from the chapel of his residence, the pope prayed that people become aware of all those who lack shelter and housing and help them and that the Church would “welcome them”.
In his homily, the pope reflected on the day’s first reading and the Gospel reading, which, together, he said, are an invitation to contemplate Jesus on the cross and comprehend how he allowed himself to bear the sin of many and give his life for people’s salvation.
The first reading from the Book of Numbers (21:4-9) recalled how God’s people, who had been led out of Egypt, became impatient and disgusted with their difficult life in the desert. As punishment, God sent forth poisonous snakes that bit and killed many of them.
Picture: Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the chapel of his Vatican residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, on 31st March 2020. The pope offered the Mass for those who are homeless, asking that they be helped, especially as communities have stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. (CNS photo/Vatican Media).