At Wednesday’s Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis prayed for the conversion of exploitative people, mafiosi and loan sharks who take advantage of those in need in the coronavirus crisis.

In his homily, the pontiff spoke of Judas’ betrayal, and of those who sell people, even loved ones, for their personal gain.

Introducing today’s Eucharistic celebration, the Pope prayed for the conversion of those who at this moment exploit those in need:

Let us pray today for the people who in this time of pandemic turn those in need into business. They take advantage of the needs of others and sell them: mafiosi, loan sharks and many others. May the Lord touch their hearts and convert them.

Later, in his sermon, Francis commented on today’s Gospel, from Matthew (Mt 26, 14-25), which tells us about Judas’ betrayal.

Even today, said the Pope, there are ‘Judases’: people who betray, even their loved ones, selling them for their own interests.

Also today there are people who seek to serve God and money, hidden exploiters, apparently impeccable, but who trade on people: these ‘disciples of Judas’, these disciples of the devil, even sell their neighbour, the Pope deplored.

Judas was attached to money: he who loves money too much betrays.

But he is betrayed by the devil, who is a bad debtor and causes despair. And Judas ends up hanging himself.

The Pope reflected on the many institutionalised ‘Judases’ that today exploit people, but also on the little ‘Judases’ that are within us: each of us has the possibility of betraying, for the love of money or of goods.

(With reporting by Vatican News)

More on Novena from the Pope’s daily Casa Santa Marta Mass:

7/4: Santa Marta Mass: Pope decries “cruelty”, “persecution” in justice system hours after top cardinal acquitted of abuse

6/4: Powerful: Pope, in Santa Marta Mass: “If I ignore the poor, the Lord will ignore me on the Day of Judgment” – full text


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