Contrary to protestant or evangelical full-hour sermons, the bite-size reflections on the weekly passage from Scripture by Pope Francis are suitable to compile in a book meant for self-study. A couple of verses, Francis’ to-the-point and contemporary homily followed by either a prayer to Mary or the Holy Spirit and a selected homily by an early Church father, e.g. Saint Augustine, Jerome, and Ambrose, about the same topic for each Sunday in the so-called liturgical year. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Passover, Ascension, and Pentecost are alternated by passages from the gospels.
The message is practical, positive, yet in-your-face, like the gospel of God’s kingdom itself. There’s not that much attention for the Old Testament, and as a non-Catholic reader, it’s still a bit strange to invoke Jesus’ mother Mary to pray for us as an intercessor, where we can conversate with God in prayer by ourselves. Content-wise, Reflections on the Sunday Gospel: How to More Fully Live Out Your Relationship with God, can be used as a weekly, or eventually daily, devotional to guide your time apart with God.
About the author
Pope Francis is the first Latin American to be elected to the chair of Peter. Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. He served as head of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he became the archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on February 28, 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.