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Pope prays for students and teachers suffering due to virus

Pope Francis prayed for students and teachers who are trying to continue with education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at Mass this morning, the pope said: “We pray today for teachers who have to work so hard to provide lessons via the internet and other digital ways, and we also pray for students who have to take exams in a way they are not used to. Let us accompany them with prayer.”

the pope reflected on the Gospel reading about the loaves and fish (John 6:1-15).

“He said this only to put Philip to the test, he himself knew exactly what he was going to do.” the Pope said.

Wisdom

“The sentence of this passage makes us think, and that’s what Jesus had in mind when he asked Philip: ‘where can we buy some bread for these people to.’

“Jesus knew what he was about to accomplish.”

The Pope said Jesus was testing Philip, adding that ‘you can see Jesus’ attitude with the apostles.’

“He continually put them to the test in order to teach them and if they had deviated from what Jesus had asked them to do he would stop them and he would teach them.”

Pastors of the people

The Gospel, noted the Pope, ‘is full of these gestures of Jesus to make His disciples grow to become pastors of the people of God.’

One of the things Jesus loved most, he underlined, ‘was to be with the crowd because this too is a symbol of the universality of redemption. And one of the things the Apostles didn’t like most was the crowd because they liked to be close to the Lord, to hear everything the Lord said.’

Despite having their day of rest spoiled, commented Pope Francis, the disciples listen to Jesus and talk amongst each other.

In the same way, the Lord wanted ‘closeness with the people and sought to form the hearts of the pastors to the closeness with the people of God to serve them.’

Pastoral behaviour

He continued: “he teaches the apostles this pastoral behaviour, which is being near to the people of God.”

He added that in another version of the multiplication of the loaves, it was the disciples who wanted to send the people way just as darkness was descending, Jesus tests his disciples by telling them “Give them something to eat”.

“And this is what Jesus says today to all pastors: ‘You feed them.’ ‘Are they distressed? Give them consolation. Are they lost? Show them the way out.”

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