A daily podcast, “The Bible in a Year” is the most popular show on Apple’s podcast app so far this year.

Produced by a Catholic group, Ascencion Presents, “The Bible in a Year” topped the charts for two straight weeks since its launch on January 2021. Fr. Mike Schmitz, a well-known speaker and a priest in the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., hosts the podcast which was downloaded by 1.3 million subscribers in its first five days, reports The Catholic Spirit.

Fr. Mike created the daily podcast so listeners can understand God’s plan for mankind’s salvation. Each episode is 20-25 minutes long with him reading several chapters of the Bible, usually from different books, and includes a short reflection on the readings. Unlike other Bible reading plans, the reading chronology is not from Genesis to Revelations, instead, The Bible in a Year organizes the 14 narrative books of the Bible into 12 periods to help listeners understand the relationships among the books and God’s plan of salvation.

They want what I want: to allow our hearts and minds to be shaped by something eternal — God’s eternal Word. —Fr. Mike Schmitz, Creator of The Bible in a Year

Bible scholar Jeff Cavins said, “What makes the reading plan for “The Bible in a Year” — and the Great Adventure Bible Timeline — successful is that it helps readers follow the story without losing a sense of the narrative in a non-narrative book.”

The creator of the Great Adventure Bible Timeline added that The Bible in a Year offers a new perspective to Christians on how to understand the Scriptures. Many people aim to read the Bible at the start of the new year, reading Genesis and Exodus, which are narrative books, but getting disoriented with Leviticus, a non-narrative book. Cavins explained that rather than treating the Bible as one great story in a single book, it is better understood as a library. “People benefit from a ‘librarian’ to help them understand how it works together.”

In a news release, Ascension’s Founder and President Matthew Pinto, said, “We are overwhelmed by the staggering response to this podcast.” He commented that, “People are hungry for God, and we’re honored to help them encounter God’s Word through a daily podcast, especially as so many of us continue to be cut off from our parishes, communities, and loved ones during these difficult days.”

Fr. Mike was excited with the public’s response to his podcast. He said, “It reveals that many people truly do want to know and understand the Bible, but that they also want a plan and a guide. My hope is that this BIY is a helpful plan, and that I am a reliable guide.”

The cleric disclosed that he created the podcast “because my own mind was being filled with a lot of chaotic voices.” He said, “Some were wise, many were merely distracting. I think that a lot of people are tired of those same distracting and temporary voices. And they want what I want: to allow our hearts and minds to be shaped by something eternal — God’s eternal Word.”

Cavins pointed out that The Bible in a Year is what Americans need since many people do not know how to understand the Bible and it is “a crisis in the Church today.”

With its accessibility and mobility, The Bible in a Year can be listened into any time of the day, even when a subscriber is busy at work or at home. “The greatest message that people need in their life right now is that God loves them and has a plan for their life. They are two things that we’re trying to emphasize,” Cavins said.

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