The 81-year-old pontiff hopes to be like Paul, who knew when it was time to 'take leave' of his flock.
During his morning homily on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, he admitted to considering retirement, CRUX reports.
Reflecting on how Paul knew when to leave the Church in Ephesus to go to Jerusalem, Pope Francis said, "When I read this, I think about myself, because I'm a bishop and I'll have to take my leave."
Noting that Paul must have felt "compelled by the Holy Spirit" to go to Jerusalem, the Pontiff praised "this experience by the bishop, the bishop who can discern the Spirit, who can discern when it is the Spirit of God speaking to him and who knows how to defend himself when spoken to by the spirit of the world."
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis also said, "It's a decisive move, a move that reaches the heart, it's also a move that shows us the pathway for every bishop when it's time to take his leave and step down."
Referring to other bishops, he said the apostle's great love "is Jesus Christ. His second love is for his flock. Take care of each other and of the entire flock. Keep watch over the flock: you are bishops for your flock, to take care of it and not in order to advance your ecclesiastical career."
"I am thinking of all bishops. May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way (like Paul), with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit," the Holy Father concluded.
This is not the first time the 81-year-old has talked about retirement.
In 2014, he referred to his predecessor, Benedict XVI's resignation as a "beautiful gesture of nobility, of humility and courage," adding it "cleared a path for later popes to do the same."
When Benedict stepped down in 2013, he became the first pope to resign in over 700 years.
While the current Pope has never said anything about retiring, it is important to remember that he has been vocal about not seeing a long papacy for himself.