By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service     3/19/2020

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis prayed for families who are cooped up in their homes and for all those who are ill with COVID-19. 

During a live broadcast of his daily morning Mass March 16, Pope Francis again prayed for the many people who have fallen ill and for families who, like all citizens, have been required to isolate themselves in their homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

“I am thinking of the families under lockdown, children who aren’t going to school, parents who cannot leave the house, some who are in quarantine,” he said at the beginning of Mass. 

“May the Lord help them discover new ways, new expressions of love, of living together in this new situation,” he said. 

“It is a wonderful occasion for rediscovering true affection with creativity in the family. Let us pray for families so that relationships in the family at this time always thrive for the good,” he said. 

In his homily, the pope reflected on the tendency of people to think that God only acts in big, impressive ways, leading them to dismiss or even scorn the ways he manifests himself — always in simple ways. 

“Our God lets us understand that he always operates in simplicity, in the simplicity of the house of Nazareth, in the simplicity of everyday work, in the simplicity of prayer,” he said. 

“Instead, the worldly spirit leads us to vanity, to appearances,” and when people start to become indignant, their scorn leads to violence, the pope added. 

“Disdain is an attitude of the arrogant,” who are spiritually impoverished and live with “the illusion of being more than they are,” he said. 

“Even we can have this happen to us,” becoming “scandalized” by God’s simplicity, “the simplicity of the poor.” 

The temptation may be to look at these simple things and say, “But no, this is not God. No. Our God is more refined, wiser, more important. God does not operate in this simplicity,” the pope said. 

“And this disdain always leads to violence, both physical violence and the violence of gossip,” he said, praying that people would reflect on what they do when they do not understand the simplicity of God.