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Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Friday of the 20th 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) – Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22: A woman named Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, face the loss of their husbands in the land of Moab. Naomi decides to return to her homeland, and despite Naomi’s urging, Orpah decides to stay in Moab while Ruth remains devoted to Naomi, expressing her loyalty and commitment by saying, “Where you go, I will go; where you stay, I will stay.”
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – Ezekiel 37:1-14: The prophet receives a vision of a valley filled with dry bones, representing the hopelessness and spiritual desolation of the people of Israel. Through God’s power, the bones are brought back to life, symbolizing the restoration and revitalization of Israel, demonstrating that God can breathe new life into a seemingly hopeless situation.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 146: Blessed is the one who finds help and hope in the God of Jacob, the creator of heaven, earth, and all that is in them. The Lord is praised for keeping faith, securing justice, providing for the needy, giving sight to the blind, uplifting the oppressed, and showing love and protection to the just and strangers.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 107: The redeemed of the Lord, gathered from all directions, proclaim their deliverance from the enemy’s grasp. They wandered in the wilderness, afflicted and longing, but God heard their cry, rescued them, and led them to safety, satisfying their hunger and filling their souls with good things.
  • Gospel Matthew 22:34-40: The Pharisees test Jesus by asking Him about the greatest commandment. Jesus responds by summarizing the essence of the entire law, stating that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

  • The Greatest Commandments: Jesus’ response to the question about the greatest commandment highlights the theme of love. He condenses the entire Law into two fundamental commandments: love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Love as the Core: The passage underscores the theme of love as the core principle of Christian living. Jesus emphasizes that love for God and others is the foundation upon which all other commandments rest.
  • Holistic Love: Jesus’ inclusion of both loving God and loving neighbor illustrates the theme of holistic love. This emphasizes that our relationship with God and our treatment of others are inseparable aspects of a meaningful spiritual life.
  • Priority of Love: The commandments’ order – love God first, then love your neighbor – showcases the theme of priority. This emphasizes the importance of our vertical relationship with God as the basis for our horizontal relationships with others.
  • Simplicity of Faith: Jesus’ concise summary of the Law underscores the theme of simplicity. This emphasizes that the essence of faith is not in complicated rituals or rules, but in genuine love expressed through our actions.
  • Unity of Faith and Practice: The commandments’ unity in love emphasizes the theme of the interconnection between faith and practice. This highlights that true love for God naturally results in love for others, bridging the gap between belief and action.

 You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:37-39

Reflection for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

In the Gospel reading for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, we delve into an essential aspect of our faith journey. Jesus, in response to a question about the most important law, distills our purpose down to a singular directive: to love God. This command might appear simple, but its implications are profound. Our love for God ought to be the foundation upon which we build all aspects of our lives.

This love, as Jesus emphasizes, extends beyond mere sentiments. It’s an active devotion that requires us to transcend self-interest. To love God is to emulate His boundless compassion and selflessness. The Gospel reminds us that this love is intertwined with our love for one another. Our understanding of God’s love is mirrored in the way we treat those around us.

Yet, we must admit that our human nature sometimes dampens the fervor of our love. Like lukewarm water, our devotion can fall short of the boiling point. Here, the role of the Holy Spirit becomes crucial. We need the Spirit’s guidance and empowerment to elevate our love from tepid to fervent. It is through this divine partnership that we can truly embrace the sacrificial nature of love – the willingness to give everything for the well-being of others.

We must assess the temperature of our love. Are we willing to offer ourselves entirely for the sake of God and our neighbors? Are our actions a reflection of the love that Jesus exemplified? As we ponder these questions, we invite the Spirit to kindle the flames of devotion within us. May our love, once lukewarm, be transformed into a blazing force that shapes our interactions, decisions, and way of life. Through such transformation, we fulfill the greatest commandment and draw closer to the heart of our Creator.

Prayer for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Lord, teach me to truly love. Help me to passionately love you and all of your creation. Set me free of the attachments which I love more than you. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Word On Fire: Loving God Beyond Fear

In his reflection on the Gospel for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron examines Jesus’s response to the Pharisees regarding the greatest commandment: to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Barron references St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s insights on loving God alone for His sake. He points out the difference between loving God and fearing Him, suggesting that true love for God goes beyond fear or self-interest and involves a pure and genuine connection.

USCCB Reflection: Love at the Core

In a USCCB video reflection for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 22 is explored. The reflection emphasizes that beyond rules and regulations, the heart of the Christian life is love. Jesus’s profound response to the question posed to him reveals the centrality of love for God and neighbor in all laws and commandments. Love is portrayed as the essence of creation, redemption, and relationships, illuminating the way of the Christian faith.

Word On Fire: Loving God Beyond Fear

In this reflection on the Gospel for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron focuses on the true meaning of love for one’s neighbor. He points out that love is more than just being friendly or having a “heart of gold.” True love involves willing the good for others, which may sometimes require tough actions or challenging interventions. Bishop Barron underscores that real love can be hard and demanding, contrasting the authentic loving action with the superficial image of a kindly Santa Claus figure who merely soothes problems without addressing underlying issues.

USCCB Reflection: Embracing Love and Commandments

In this USCCB reflection for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, the essence of loving God with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving one’s neighbor as oneself is emphasized. While recognizing these two commandments are central to faith yet challenging to live out, the speaker encourages complete surrender to God and love for others, offering Jesus and the Saints as examples. It is stressed that embracing these teachings can make a significant impact, changing not only individual lives but the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time?

The next date is Friday August 23, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time?

The Mass readings for Friday August 23, 2024 are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22: Naomi and Ruth
First Reading (Cycle 2) – Ezekiel 37:1-14: The Valley of Dry Bones
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 146: Praise the Lord
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 107: From Desolation to Deliverance
Gospel – Matthew 22:34-40: The Greatest Commandment
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

What are the themes for the Mass readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time?

In the gospel, Matthew 22:34-40, we find themes of the greatest commandments centered on love for God and neighbor, the core principle of Christian living, the holistic nature of love, the priority of vertical and horizontal relationships, the simplicity of faith, and the unity of faith and practice. This passage calls us to embrace the transformative power of love and to align our lives with the essence of God’s commandments.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

What does Jesus identify as the greatest commandment in the Gospel for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 22:34-40)?

Jesus identifies loving God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind as the greatest commandment. The second, akin to the first, is to love one’s neighbor as oneself.

What is significant about Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi in the First Reading for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22)?

Ruth’s devotion to Naomi, expressed in her commitment to stay with her mother-in-law, shows an extraordinary loyalty and love. Her decision to leave her homeland and follow Naomi demonstrates a profound bond that transcends cultural and familial expectations.

What themes are present in the First Reading for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22)?

Themes of loyalty, devotion, family bonds, and personal sacrifice are central to this story. Ruth’s actions reflect a willingness to put the needs and well-being of others above her own.

What are the attributes of God described in the Responsorial Psalm for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 146)?

The Psalm extols God as a helper, a keeper of faith, a provider for the needy, and a source of justice. It praises Him for his acts of compassion, including giving sight to the blind and uplifting the oppressed.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 146) connect with the First Reading (Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22)?

The themes of loyalty, love, and care in the First Reading resonate with the attributes of God described in the Psalm. Ruth’s actions mirror the qualities of God, who is compassionate, faithful, and just.

How does the Gospel for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 22:34-40) relate to the other readings for Cycle 1 (Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22, Psalm 146)?

The Gospel’s emphasis on love and compassion aligns with Ruth’s demonstration of love and loyalty in the First Reading, and the depiction of God’s love and justice in the Psalm.

What lesson is conveyed through these readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1?

The readings collectively emphasize love, loyalty, compassion, and self-sacrifice. Whether through Ruth’s commitment to Naomi, the portrayal of God in the Psalm, or Jesus’ summary of the law, the texts inspire reflection on our own ability to love and care for others in a selfless way.

How do these readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 encourage us to act or reflect?

The readings invite us to consider our relationships and responsibilities towards others. They challenge us to love unconditionally, to act with compassion and justice, and to seek to embody the qualities of loyalty and selflessness that are so vividly portrayed.

What is the significance of the vision of dry bones in the First Reading for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Ezekiel 37:1-14)?

Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a powerful symbol of the despair and hopelessness faced by Israel. It illustrates that, through God’s intervention, life and hope can be restored even in the most desolate circumstances.

How does the vision of dry bones in the First Reading for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Ezekiel 37:1-14) apply to the contemporary world?

This vision can resonate with people today as a metaphor for personal or societal transformation. It conveys the message that even in dire situations, faith and trust in God can lead to renewal.

What is the theme of the Responsorial Psalm for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 107)?

This Psalm focuses on God’s mercy, deliverance, and provision. It portrays God as a savior who hears the cries of the afflicted, rescues them from distress, and fills their needs.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 107) connect with the First Reading (Ezekiel 37:1-14)?

The theme of restoration and hope present in the vision of dry bones complements the message of redemption and deliverance in the Psalm. Both texts emphasize God’s power to save and transform.

How does the Gospel for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 22:34-40) relate to the other readings for Cycle 2 (Ezekiel 37:1-14, Psalm 107)?

The Gospel emphasizes the fundamental principle of love, which resonates with the love, mercy, and transformation seen in the First Reading and Psalm. It underscores the connection between love of God and love of others.

What lesson is conveyed through these readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

These readings present a message of hope, transformation, love, and mercy. From the vivid imagery of revitalized bones to the portrayal of God’s redeeming love in the Psalm, the texts emphasize the possibilities for renewal and growth through faith.

How do these readings for Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 encourage us to act or reflect?

They invite us to reflect on our own lives and circumstances, recognizing that transformation is possible, and that love for God and others is central to living a fulfilling life. They challenge us to trust in divine mercy, to seek renewal, and to express love and compassion in our relationships.

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