Sinner: When the interviewer asked him, “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”, Pope Francis replied, “I am a sinner. I do not know what might be the most fitting description … I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner … Yes, perhaps I can say that I am a bit astute, that I can adapt to circumstances, but it is also true that I am a bit naïve. Yes, but the best summary, the one that comes more from the inside and I feel most true is this: I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.” 
Boasting: Paul referred to himself as “the foremost” among sinners: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”  Paul did not boast in his sin; he talked about his sin so that he might boast in Christ. He ended his letter to the Galatians, “ … far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” .
Gospel: Pope Francis did not boast in his sin, but in the gospel. He said, “I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance … God is greater than sin.” He also did not boast in his good works: “[T]he proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives … The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”
Prayer: Lord, We may not agree with all of Pope Francis’s theology, but we praise your name that the good news of Christ Jesus and his saving love is being made known. May we not boast in our sin or our good works, but may our sin and good works be used to highlight your great mercy. For it is only in the cross, where we find complete atonement and acceptance, that we can die to the world. Amen.
 Antonio Spadaro, S.J. “A Big Heart Open to God.” America Magazine. September 30, 2013. |  1 Timothy 1:15 ESV |  Galatians 6:14 ESV