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Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Tuesday of the 21st 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. When this falls on August 29, the gospel for the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist is used.

  • First Reading (Cycle 1) – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8: The apostle Paul recounts his ministry in Thessalonica, highlighting his boldness in proclaiming the gospel despite opposition and his genuine care for the Thessalonian believers. He emphasizes that their reception of the message was not based on deceit or impure motives but on a sincere desire to share the love of God and impart spiritual encouragement.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17: Paul addresses concerns about the coming of the Lord and the day of judgment. He urges the Thessalonian believers to stand firm in their faith and reminds them of the hope and comfort they have in the salvation through Christ, assuring them of God’s love and encouragement to persevere.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 139: Lord, You have fully examined and understood me, knowing my every action, thought, and word. Your knowledge encompasses me, surrounding me from every direction, and such understanding surpasses my comprehension.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 96: The Lord reigns as king, establishing the stability of the world and governing with fairness. Let the heavens, earth, sea, and all that fills them rejoice, anticipating the Lord’s righteous judgment and rule, bringing joy and exultation to all creation.
  • Gospel Matthew 23:23-26: Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and neglect of justice, mercy, and faithfulness. He criticizes their meticulous observance of minor matters while disregarding the weightier matters of the law, and he emphasizes the importance of inner purity over external appearances.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

  • Weightier Matters of the Law: Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees about neglecting “the weightier matters of the law” highlights the theme of priorities. He emphasizes that justice, mercy, and faith are essential aspects of obedience to God’s commands.
  • Outward Appearance vs. Inward Reality: The theme of the contrast between outward appearance and inward reality emerges as Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for their focus on external actions while neglecting their inner attitudes.
  • Cleansing the Inside: Jesus’ metaphor of cleaning the inside of the cup and dish highlights the theme of inner transformation. He emphasizes that genuine righteousness begins with a pure heart and sincere motives.
  • Whitewashed Tombs: The analogy of whitewashed tombs showcases the theme of hypocrisy and hidden corruption. Jesus exposes the Pharisees’ outward facade of righteousness that masks their internal moral decay.
  • True Cleanliness: The theme of true cleanliness, both external and internal, is evident as Jesus teaches the importance of holistically pursuing righteousness. He challenges the Pharisees to address both their external actions and their inner character.
  • Authenticity and Integrity: Jesus’ critique underscores the theme of authenticity and integrity. He calls believers to align their outward actions with their inner values and motives, emphasizing the value of living transparently.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.

Matthew 23:25

Reflection for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

serves as a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of legalism. Jesus reproves the Pharisees for their obsession with the minute details of the law, neglecting its core essence. They meticulously tithe herbs but disregard “justice and mercy and faith,” as Jesus points out.

In our own lives, we often find ourselves falling into the same trap. We go to church, follow the rules, and maybe even serve in various capacities, thinking that these actions will make us “good” Catholics. Yet, we may overlook the need for inner transformation. Just like cleaning the outside of a cup while ignoring the inside, as Jesus puts it.

What Jesus really wants from us is not just obedience to rules, but a transformation of our hearts. He’s interested in how we treat our neighbors, how we act when no one’s watching, and how we handle situations that challenge our integrity. By all means, observing rituals is important, but we need to ensure we’re also attuned to the larger ethical and spiritual obligations.

So, this gospel passage invites us to reassess our priorities. Instead of focusing on the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts,’ we should engage in self-examination to identify the true sins that distance us from God and community. Is it pride, jealousy, or perhaps indifference?

Lastly, let’s remember that the ultimate aim is to align our hearts with God’s will. The regulations and rituals will then fall into place naturally, as expressions of a faith that is alive and active, both in big ways and small.

Prayer for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Lord, help me really see what I need to change in my life. Teach me to go beyond the rules and be truly faithful to you and merciful to others. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Word On Fire: The Call for Inner Change

In this reflection for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron discusses Jesus’ call for the Pharisees and us to change both heart and behavior. Using St. Augustine’s concept of sin as being “caved in” around oneself, Barron emphasizes the importance of self-examination and honesty in recognizing what needs to change. This dual awareness, both of our flaws and our godlike potentials, acts as a catalyst for genuine transformation or “metanoia.” Without it, we risk remaining complacent or cynical about the possibility of meaningful change.

USCCB Reflection: Rituals as Guideposts, Not Idols

This USCCB reflection for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time. focuses on how religious leaders can get lost in rituals and rules, forgetting they are tools to guide people to God and love for others. It emphasizes that rituals and community gatherings like mass are not the end goal, but rather a means to live a life that reflects God’s love.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time?

The next date is Tuesday August 27, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time?

The Mass readings for Tuesday August 27, 2024 are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8: Authentic Ministry
First Reading (Cycle 2) – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17: Standing Firm in Hope
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 139: The All-Knowing God:
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 96: Declare His Glory
Gospel – Matthew 23:23-26: True Righteousness
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

What are the themes for the Mass readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time?

In the gospel, Matthew 23:23-26, we find themes of prioritizing weightier matters of the law, the contrast between outward appearance and inward reality, the importance of inner transformation, the dangers of hypocrisy and hidden corruption, the pursuit of true cleanliness, and the call to authenticity and integrity. This passage reminds us to cultivate genuine righteousness that stems from a sincere heart and is reflected in both our actions and attitudes.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

What is Jesus criticizing in the Pharisees in the Gospel for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:23-26)?

Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for focusing on minor religious observances while neglecting significant issues like justice, mercy, and faithfulness. He calls out their hypocrisy and stresses the importance of inner purity over external appearances.

What’s the main point of Paul’s message in the First Reading for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8)?

Paul emphasizes the integrity and sincerity of his ministry in Thessalonica. He reminds the Thessalonians that his preaching wasn’t motivated by deceit or personal gain but by a genuine desire to share God’s love and offer spiritual guidance.

How does the Gospel for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:23-26) tie back to the First Reading for Cycle 1 (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8)?

All readings emphasize integrity and authenticity in religious practice. Where Paul serves as a positive example of genuine faith, the Pharisees serve as a cautionary tale of what not to do.

How does Paul’s approach in the First Reading for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8) contrast with religious leaders in the Gospel (Matthew 23:23-26)?

Paul’s approach is opposite to the Pharisees Jesus criticizes. Where the Pharisees are hypocritical and neglectful of true spiritual matters, Paul is earnest and attentive to the needs of his spiritual community.

What’s the central message of the Responsorial Psalm for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 139)?

The Psalm reflects on God’s omnipresence and omniscience. It offers an intimate portrait of a God who knows and understands us fully, highlighting the inescapable presence of God in our lives.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 139) relate to the First Reading (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8)?

The Psalm and the First Reading both center on sincerity and integrity. Just as God knows our deepest thoughts and motivations, Paul underscores the sincerity of his own ministry in Thessalonica.

What unifying message do the readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 offer?

The readings collectively stress the importance of sincerity, integrity, and authentic spiritual practice. They call for a genuine relationship with God that goes beyond superficial religious observances.

What are the practical takeaways in the readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1?

These readings encourage us to examine our own spiritual lives. They prompt us to focus on what really matters—justice, mercy, faithfulness—and to act with sincerity and integrity in our relationships with God and others.

What is Paul’s main message in the First Reading for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17)?

Paul is trying to calm anxieties about the end times and urges the Thessalonians to stand firm in their faith. He emphasizes their chosen status for salvation and advises them to stick to the teachings they’ve learned.

How does the First Reading for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17) connect to the Gospel (Matthew 23:23-26)?

Both readings emphasize the importance of focusing on foundational values like justice and mercy.

What is the central theme of the Responsorial Psalm for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 96)?

The Psalm celebrates God’s just rule over the world and calls all of creation to rejoice in anticipation of righteous judgment.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 96) relate to the First Reading (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17)?

Both texts offer a sense of hope and affirmation that God’s rule is just and fair.

What is the unifying message for the readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

Across all readings, the focus is on the essentials of faith—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. They offer a warning against getting mired in lesser religious details.

What is the practical takeaway from the readings for Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

These readings remind us to prioritize the core aspects of faith, like love and justice, and not to get sidetracked by minor issues. This includes staying authentic in religious practice.

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