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Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Thursday 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 3:7-13: Paul expresses his joy and gratitude for the faith and perseverance of the Thessalonian believers. He prays earnestly for their spiritual growth and that their love for one another and for all people may abound, as they await the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – 1 Corinthians 1:1-9: Paul addresses the church in Corinth, reminding them of their identity as sanctified and called by Christ. He expresses thanksgiving for the grace of God that has been bestowed upon them and encourages them to eagerly await the revealing of Jesus Christ, who will sustain them and confirm them blameless until the end.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 90: God, who turns humanity back to dust, reminds us of the brevity of our lives compared to His eternal nature. We implore the Lord to fill us with His love, granting us wisdom, pity, and prospering the work of our hands, so that we may rejoice and find joy in His gracious care.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 145: Each day, I will bless and praise your name without end, for you are great and worthy of all praise, with an immeasurable greatness that cannot be comprehended. Throughout generations, people speak of your marvelous works, declaring your might, splendor, goodness, and justice with joy and admiration.
  • Gospel Matthew 24:42-51: Jesus exhorts his disciples to be watchful and prepared for his return, likening it to a thief coming unexpectedly. He emphasizes the importance of faithful and wise stewardship, warning against complacency and urging his followers to be vigilant and responsible in their service to God.

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

  • Vigilance and Preparedness: This theme emphasizes the importance of being alert and prepared for unforeseen events or opportunities, especially in a spiritual context. Not knowing when important events will occur should motivate continuous readiness.
  • Consequences of Negligence: Here, the focus is on what happens when people don’t fulfill their responsibilities or remain alert. Negligence leads to unfavorable outcomes, stressing the importance of diligence in one’s duties.
  • Integrity in Absence: The gospel suggests that true character is revealed when no one is watching. This theme encourages consistent moral behavior, irrespective of whether you’re being observed.
  • Punishment and Reward: This theme talks about the repercussions for actions and behaviors. A life led well or poorly will result in corresponding outcomes, establishing a sense of justice and accountability.
  • Role of Leadership: The gospel reminds those in positions of authority, spiritual or otherwise, of their responsibility towards those under their care. Good leadership entails consistent fairness and vigilance in duties.

Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

Matthew 24:42

Reflection for Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

The gospel for Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 24:42-51 talks about the need for watchfulness, as the timing of the “end of days” is unknown. The text uses the analogy of a master and his servants to illustrate the consequences of being prepared versus being careless. The faithful servant who is vigilant is rewarded, while the negligent one is punished.

In today’s context, the passage doesn’t just refer to a far-off eschatological event; it also serves as practical advice for how to live day-to-day. Being “watchful” can mean staying alert to opportunities to do good, keeping our commitments, and making the most of our time. It reminds us that our actions today have repercussions for our future.

At the same time, the passage warns against complacency. Just like the servant who assumed the master was far off and began to mistreat others, we too can get into trouble when we think there’s plenty of time to make things right. This can apply to anything from putting off important tasks at work to neglecting relationships that need attention.

This sense of urgency isn’t about creating anxiety or stress; rather, it’s about fostering a proactive attitude. It encourages us to take our responsibilities seriously, be it at home, work, or in our broader community. It urges us to act with integrity, even when we think nobody is watching.

Overall, Matthew 24:42-51 acts as a reminder that time is a finite resource and we’re accountable for how we use it. By being vigilant and committed in our actions, we’re not just preparing for some distant future event, but also making our present more meaningful.

Prayer for Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Loving Lord, awaken us. Help us be prepared for your coming. Grant us wisdom and perseverance as we await your glorious presence. In our watchfulness, may we find joy and purpose in serving you faithfully. Amen.

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

Word On Fire: Finding Our Role in God’s Theo-Drama

In this reflection for Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron discusses the concept of theo-drama, a drama written and directed by God, where humans have roles to play. Barron contrasts this with “ego-dramas,” where individuals believe they are the central figures and the world revolves around them. He points out that a life focused on self is uninteresting compared to one where we align with God’s plan for us. He highlights that even roles that may seem minor could be vital in God’s greater narrative, and realizing that life is not just about us is a liberating experience.

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