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Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

Cycle 1 is used in odd numbered years and Cycle 2 is used in even numbered years. The gospel is the same for both years.

  • First Reading (Cycle 1) – Leviticus 25:1, 8-17: God instructs Moses regarding the Sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee. Every seventh year, the land is to rest, and every fiftieth year is proclaimed as a time of liberation and restoration, where debts are released, property is returned, and freedom is granted to those who have become slaves.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24: Jeremiah addresses the people of Judah in the temple, warning them of the impending destruction of Jerusalem due to their disobedience to God. Despite facing hostility and threats, Jeremiah firmly declares the Lord’s message and is ultimately spared from harm by influential individuals who recognize the validity of his words.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 67: Let all nations praise God, seeking His mercy and blessings, as His ways and salvation are made known on earth. Rejoice, for God rules with justice and guides all peoples, blessing the earth with abundance. May His blessings endure, and may all the earth revere Him!
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 69: Lord, answer me with Your love! Save me from my enemies and the depths of despair. I will praise Your name and give thanks, for You hear the cries of the afflicted and do not abandon the oppressed.
  • Gospel Matthew 14:1-12: King Herod, troubled by John’s teachings, orders his execution to fulfill a promise made in a moment of weakness, resulting in John’s beheading.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

  • Herod’s Guilt: The gospel depicts Herod’s guilt over ordering the execution of John the Baptist due to his vow made to Herodias’ daughter after her dance. Herod’s actions reflect the consequences of yielding to peer pressure and making unwise decisions.
  • The Power of Influential Figures: The story showcases the influence of powerful and influential figures, as Herodias uses her position to manipulate Herod and orchestrate John the Baptist’s demise.
  • The Cost of Faithfulness: John the Baptist’s death demonstrates the cost of faithfulness to God’s truth and His kingdom. His unwavering commitment to righteousness leads to martyrdom, exemplifying the sacrifice that can be required of those who faithfully follow God’s call.
  • The Perseverance of God’s Message: Despite John’s execution, the message of repentance and preparation for the Kingdom of God continues to be proclaimed through Jesus and His disciples, illustrating the enduring nature of God’s truth and purpose.
  • Foreshadowing of Jesus’ Fate: John the Baptist’s tragic end foreshadows the opposition and persecution that Jesus will face in His own ministry, setting the stage for the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

The daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

Matthew 14:6-8

Thoughts for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

In the Gospel for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, we encounter the tragic story of John the Baptist’s death. He stood courageously for truth and righteousness, even when it meant confronting those in power. King Herod, a man who saw what he desired and took it, took his brother’s wife as his own. John, inspired by his commitment to God’s truth, spoke up against this injustice, despite knowing the potential consequences.

The story of John’s martyrdom reminds us of the challenges we may face when we choose to speak truth to power or stand up against wrongdoing. It can be daunting to get involved, especially when we fear negative repercussions or feel small and alone in the face of powerful forces.

However, in times of difficulty and uncertainty, it is crucial to remember that we are not alone. As children of God, we are held in His hands and gazed upon with love. God’s presence and love sustain us, giving us the strength and courage to face adversity and advocate for justice and truth.

John the Baptist’s example encourages us to stand firm in our convictions and uphold God’s truth, even when the path is difficult. We may not always come out on top in the eyes of the world, but our actions and words can make a significant impact in God’s eyes and in the lives of those we stand for.

As we reflect on this passage, let us draw strength from the knowledge that we are embraced by God’s love, and that love empowers us to speak up for what is right and just, even when the cost is great. May we find solace and encouragement in God’s presence, trusting that He walks with us in every circumstance, supporting us as we strive to be beacons of truth and advocates for righteousness in the world.

Prayer for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

Lord, help me to listen to you and hear what you are asking. Spirit of the Living God, make me bold! Grant me the courage to speak truth to power when that is what you need me to do. I place my life in your hands. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

Word On Fire: Courage Transfigured by Love

Bishop Robert Barron’s reflection on Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time focuses on John the Baptist’s beheading, marking him as the first martyr among Christ’s followers. The book of Revelation underscores the power of bold proclamation in the early Christian Church, inspiring a legacy of witnesses throughout history. From Stephen, Peter, and Paul to modern heroes like Martin Luther King Jr. and Edith Stein, martyrs fearlessly proclaimed their faith, even at the cost of their lives. Their courage, elevated through love for Christ and his people, continues to inspire countless ordinary Christians worldwide who walk in their footsteps.

USCCB Reflection: Living the Call of Jubilee Justice

This USCCB reflection for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle discusses the biblical concept of Jubilee Justice found in the Old and New Testaments. It emphasizes the significance of the Jubilee year in pardoning debts and restoring well-being in the Jewish community, while urging fair treatment of others and care for the poor. The reflection highlights John the Baptist’s courageous commitment to justice, even in the face of oppressive rulers. Readers are challenged to reflect on their own dedication to the common good and caring for the less fortunate. It encourages studying Catholic Social Teaching, particularly the pastoral letter “Economic Justice for All,” to embrace God’s call for Jubilee Justice in daily life.

USCCB Reflection: Prophets of God’s Word

This USCCB reflection for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 centers around the prophetic figures of Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and St. Oscar Romero. It highlights their unwavering commitment to speaking God’s word, whether comforting or challenging, and the opposition they faced from those in power. The reflection draws parallels between the sufferings of these prophets and Jesus, who also endured similar trials for proclaiming God’s truth. It emphasizes the call for all believers to listen, speak, and live God’s word in the world, with humility and a spirit of invitation and mercy. The Eucharist is presented as a source of strength, nourishing the faithful to be witnesses of Christ’s love and grace.

Frequently Asked Questions for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

What date is Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time?

The next date is Saturday August 3, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time?

The Mass readings for Saturday August 3, 2024 are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – Leviticus 25:1, 8-17: The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee
First Reading (Cycle 2) – Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24: Jeremiah’s Bold Prophetic Stand and Divine Protection
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 67: Divine Blessings and Universal Praise
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 69: Lament and Trust in God’s Deliverance
Gospel – Matthew 14:1-12: The Tragic Fate of John the Baptist: Power, Intrigue, and Martyrdom
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

What are the themes for the Gospel for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time?

The gospel serves as a sobering reminder of the potential consequences of speaking truth to power and the challenges faced by those who remain faithful to God’s calling. It also reflects the eternal impact of standing firm in the face of adversity, as exemplified by John the Baptist’s martyrdom and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for humanity’s salvation.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

What lessons can we learn from the Gospel story for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 14:1-12) of John the Baptist’s execution?

The Gospel story of John the Baptist’s execution reminds us of the consequences of yielding to pride and worldly pressures. King Herod’s rash promise led to the tragic death of a righteous man. This serves as a cautionary tale against making hasty decisions driven by ego or public opinion. It also underscores the courage and fidelity to truth displayed by John the Baptist, who remained faithful to his calling despite the risks. The story calls us to stand firm in our faith and principles, even in the face of opposition or persecution.

How can the Gospel story for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 14:1-12) of John the Baptist inspire us to be steadfast in our faith, even in challenging circumstances?

The story of John the Baptist inspires us to be steadfast in our faith by reminding us of the courage and dedication shown by this great prophet. In challenging circumstances, we can draw strength from John’s example of unwavering commitment to truth and righteousness. We can also seek the intercession of Saint John the Baptist and rely on prayer and the sacraments to sustain us in times of difficulty. By following his example and trusting in God’s grace, we can overcome obstacles and remain faithful witnesses of Christ’s love and teachings.

What is the significance of the Sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee in the First Reading for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Leviticus 25:1, 8-17)?

The Sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee were part of God’s divine plan for social justice and mercy among the Israelites. The seventh year was designated as a time of rest for the land and a release of debts, offering a period of renewal and economic equality. The Year of Jubilee, occurring every fiftieth year, went even further, granting freedom to those who had become slaves and restoring ancestral properties. These practices demonstrated God’s concern for the marginalized and provided a means for societal restoration and liberation.

How can the teachings on the Sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee in the First Reading for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Leviticus 25:1, 8-17) be relevant to us in modern times?

The teachings on the Sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee offer timeless principles of justice, mercy, and care for the vulnerable. In our modern context, they remind us of the importance of periodically pausing to reflect on social inequities and to work towards economic and social justice. These teachings inspire us to advocate for the rights and dignity of all individuals, especially those who are oppressed or in need. By promoting charity, forgiveness, and generosity, we can foster a more compassionate and equitable society.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 67) call us to praise God and rejoice in His rule with justice?

Psalm 67 calls us to praise God and rejoice in His rule with justice by recognizing His power and mercy. It encourages all nations to seek His blessings and salvation, acknowledging that God’s ways are made known on earth. The psalm invites us to join in celebrating God’s guidance, which leads to abundant blessings for all peoples. In doing so, we demonstrate reverence for God and affirm our trust in His loving providence.

How can the theme of God’s justice and blessings in the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 67) impact our daily lives as Catholics?

The theme of God’s justice and blessings in Psalm 67 can impact our daily lives as Catholics by encouraging us to live with gratitude and trust in God’s providence. We are called to seek His mercy and guidance, recognizing His rule with justice over all aspects of our lives. By embracing a spirit of generosity and compassion, we can become instruments of God’s blessings in the world, spreading His love to others through acts of kindness and charity.

How can we apply the themes in the readings for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 in our daily lives as Catholics?

As Catholics, we can apply these themes by promoting justice and mercy in our interactions with others, seeking to be instruments of God’s love and compassion. We can praise God and seek His guidance through prayer and worship, acknowledging His rule in our lives. Additionally, we are called to remain steadfast in our faith and convictions, even in challenging circumstances, trusting in God’s grace to sustain us and empower us to be faithful witnesses of His truth.

What is the central message of the First Reading for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24)?

The central message of the First Reading is Jeremiah’s warning to the people of Judah about the imminent destruction of Jerusalem due to their disobedience to God. Despite facing hostility and threats, Jeremiah fearlessly proclaims the Lord’s message, urging the people to repent and turn back to God’s ways.

How can Jeremiah’s courage and faithfulness in the First Reading for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24) inspire us in our modern lives?

Jeremiah’s courage and faithfulness can inspire us by reminding us of the importance of staying true to God’s Word, even in challenging circumstances. Like Jeremiah, we may face opposition or resistance when we speak the truth or adhere to our faith. However, his example encourages us to remain steadfast in our convictions and trust in God’s protection and guidance.

What lessons can we learn from the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 69)?

Psalm 69 teaches us the importance of turning to God in times of distress and calling upon Him with trust and confidence. The psalmist’s plea for God’s love and salvation in the face of enemies and despair encourages us to seek solace in prayer and praise, knowing that God hears the cries of the afflicted and provides comfort to the oppressed.

How can the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 69) guide us in our own prayers and struggles?

Psalm 69 can guide us in our prayers and struggles by serving as a model for honest and heartfelt communication with God. When we encounter challenges or face difficult situations, we can turn to God in prayer, expressing our fears, anxieties, and desires for His help. The psalm reminds us of God’s attentive love and willingness to save us, reinforcing our hope and trust in Him during times of trial.

How do the readings on Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 connect with each other?

The readings for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 share common themes of courage, faithfulness, and the consequences of standing up for God’s truth. Jeremiah’s steadfastness in the face of hostility (First Reading) mirrors the courage of John the Baptist in proclaiming God’s message (Gospel). Both prophets faced opposition and threats for speaking the truth. Psalm 69 echoes the plea for deliverance and trust in God’s love, reflecting the reliance on divine providence shared by Jeremiah and John.

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