The following comes from a March 28 story in L’Espresso (Italy).

The Homiletic Directory promulgated by Pope Francis last February, when it comes to suggesting concrete outlines for good preaching during the Mass, reviews the liturgical year on the basis of its center which is the “Paschal mystery to which are connected all the mysteries of Christ and of salvation history that are actualized sacramentally.”

The Directory takes as the guide for this journey Benedict XVI and his apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, an application of the 2008 synod dedicated to the “Word of God in the life and mission of the Church.”

The following are not more guidelines, but actual homilies taken from that great homilist and liturgist, perhaps the greatest of the past century, who is none other than Benedict XVI.

The anthology begins with a homily for Palm Sunday, from among those of cycle B of the liturgical year, the same one in use this year in all the Masses of the Roman rite throughout the world.

At the beginning of the homily, Benedict XVI cites the account of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem as presented by Mark, the evangelist of year B in the lectionary. But he then goes on to illustrate the Gospel of John and in particular the passage that had already been read – again in cycle B – on the preceding fifth Sunday of Lent.

This is followed by a homily for the Mass that the bishop of Rome – like every other bishop – celebrates in the cathedral on the morning of Holy Thursday with his priests, for the renewal of the vows of the priesthood and for the blessing of the oils of baptism, confirmation, holy orders, and the anointing of the sick. The homily selected here distinguishes itself by its profound biblical, theological, and cosmological reflections on the four elements of the Christian sacraments: water, wheaten bread, wine, and olive oil.

Then comes another homily for the Mass “in coena Domini” of Holy Thursday. The one in which Benedict XVI makes a step-by-step examination of the Roman canon as an account and actualization of the Eucharistic sacrifice of Jesus.

Finally, a homily for the Easter Vigil of year B. In which Joseph Ratzinger delves into the mystery of the Resurrection of Jesus through three symbols: light, water, and the new song, the alleluia.

They are four masterpiece homilies.

To read the homilies, click here.