Are Catholic Gospel Readings Relevant in Today's World?

Although the gospel readings used in Catholic masses and services date from the earliest ages of Christianity, it is the role of the Catholic priest or catechist to show the relevancy of the Gospel's message in today's world. This task is best accomplished by the homily and by catechetical instruction.

One of the main goals of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) was to make the Catholic Church's teaching and worship more accessible and relevant to those both outside and inside its ranks. This was to be accomplished not by changing the content of the message, but by changing the way in which that message was presented. In relation to the Gospels, this included an emphasis on showing the relevancy of Christ's message to modern modes of thought and action.

The fruits of the Second Vatican Council are seen in the Catholic Church's renewed effort to make the Gospels more relevant and applicable to everyday life. This is seen especially in the homilies and talks of Pope Francis, where the pontiff adopts a simple style of preaching that is centered on simple truths provided by the Gospels, and which offer light and guidance to people in the circumstances of their modern existence.