Vatican City, Apr 13, 2020 / 03:15 am (CNA) – We face a fundamental choice as we seek to resolve the coronavirus crisis, Pope Francis said during his morning Mass Monday.

Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt 28:8-15), which describes the risen Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas, the pope said April 13: “The Gospel proposes a choice that also applies today: the hope of Jesus’ resurrection and nostalgia for the tomb.”

“Thus, in finding solutions to this pandemic, the choice will be between life, the resurrection of the people, and the god of money.”

“If you choose money, you choose the way of hunger, slavery, wars, arms factories, uneducated children… there is the tomb. Lord — it is the prayer of the pope — help us to choose the good of the people, without ever falling into the tomb of mammon,” he said, according to a transcription of his homily by Vatican News.

He began the Mass by praying that researchers and political leaders would make the correct choices for those they serve.

He said: “Let us pray today for the rulers, the scientists, the politicians, who have begun to study the way out, the post-pandemic, this ‘after’ that has already begun: that they find the right way, always in favor of the people.”

Speaking from the chapel of his Vatican residence, the Casa Santa Marta, he noted that in the Gospel reading Jesus entrusted women with a message for his disciples.

“God always begins with women, always,” the pope observed. “They open roads. They do not doubt: they know; they have seen him, they have touched him. They have also seen the empty tomb.”

He then reflected on the soldiers guarding Jesus’ tomb, who accepted a large sum of money in return for saying that Christ’s body had been stolen at night by his disciples.

The pope said: “These poor people do not understand, they are afraid because life is at stake… and they have gone to the priests, to the doctors of the law. And they have paid: they have paid the silence, and this, dear brothers and sisters, is not a bribe: this is pure corruption, pure corruption.”

After Mass, the pope presided at adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, before leading those watching via livestream in a prayer of spiritual communion.

He concluded his homily: “May the Lord, both in our personal life and in our social life, always help us to choose the proclamation: the proclamation on the horizon is always available, is open, always; lead us to choose the good of the people. And never fall into the tomb of the god of money.”