The Pope has urged all Christians to find 10 to 15 minutes a day to read the Gospel to stay healthy in faith.
According to AsiaNews, in a homily this week in Casa Santa Marta, he urged the faithful to contemplate how Jesus lived His life. He told them to talk to Jesus and have "real hope" rather than wasting time watching TV or listening to gossip.
The Pope reiterated that only through listening to the Lord and contemplating Christ can we have hope beyond just being optimistic and positive. He also stressed that contemplative prayer can only be done with the Gospel in hand.
Pope Francis then gave examples from the Bible on how to take time out for our faith. In the example where a crowd surrounds Jesus, he stressed that the word "crowd" was mentioned five times in the passage. He then meditated on what kind of life Jesus lived, and noted how he always found time to rest even though he was surrounded by so many people.
"How do I contemplate with today's Gospel? I see that Jesus was in the middle of the people, he was surrounded by a large crowd. Five times this passage uses the word 'crowd'. Did Jesus never rest? This would lead me to think: 'Always with the crowd.' Most of Jesus' life was on the streets, with the crowd. Did he never rest? Yes, once, says the Gospel, he was sleeping on the boat but the storm came and the disciples woke him. Jesus was constantly in the midst of the people. And this is how we look at Jesus, contemplate Jesus, imagine Jesus. And so I tell Jesus what comes to my mind to tell him," the Pope said.
The Pope gave more examples and described scenarios relating to how Jesus healed the sick, and how he cared about the people and their needs. He also highlighted the way Jesus showed patience in every situation.
"What I have just done with this Gospel is a prayer of contemplation: take up the Gospel, read and imagine the scene, imagine what happens and talk to Jesus, from the heart," he said.
"And with this we allow hope to grow, because we have fixed, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We should all carry out this contemplative prayer. 'But I have so much to do!'. At home, 15 minutes, pick up the Gospel, a small passage, imagine what happened and talk with Jesus about it. So your gaze will be fixed on Jesus and not so much on a TV soap opera, for example. Your ears will be focused on the words of Jesus and not so much on your neighbourhood gossip," he added.
At the end of the homily, Pope Francis encouraged the people, saying "carry out this contemplative prayer keeping your gaze fixed on Jesus. Hope comes from this prayer."