* As an Amazon affiliate, this site earns from qualifying purchases.

Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Friday 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 4:1-8: Paul encourages the Thessalonian believers to lead lives that are pleasing to God, specifically in the area of purity. He emphasizes that God’s will is their sanctification and reminds them that disregarding this command is to reject God, who has called them to holiness.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – 1 Corinthians 1:17-25: Paul contrasts the wisdom of human eloquence with the power of the cross. He proclaims that the message of the cross may appear foolish to the world, but it is the power of God that brings salvation to those who believe.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 97: The earth rejoices, for the Lord reigns as king. Justice and judgment form the foundation of His throne, and the heavens declare His righteousness while all people witness His glory.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 33: Exult in the Lord, for His goodness fills the earth, His plans endure forever, and His justice foils the designs of nations.
  • Gospel Matthew 25:1-13: Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins, highlighting the importance of being prepared and watchful for His return. He emphasizes the need for readiness, as some were wise and had enough oil for their lamps, while others were foolish and unprepared, missing the opportunity to enter the wedding feast.

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

  • Preparedness and Prudence: This theme focuses on the value of being prepared for important events, suggesting that preparedness is a form of wisdom. In life and spirituality, a lack of preparation can result in missed opportunities.
  • Consequences of Neglect: The passage highlights that neglecting important responsibilities can have severe consequences. This underscores the idea that proactive steps should be taken to meet obligations.
  • Limited Resources: The theme here is that resources, whether material or spiritual, are finite. Therefore, proper planning and allocation are necessary to ensure you have what you need when you need it.
  • Personal Accountability: This emphasizes that each individual is responsible for their own preparedness and actions. While communal help is valuable, there are areas in life where one has to be self-reliant.
  • Unpredictable Timing: The passage points out that certain events occur without warning, reinforcing the need for constant vigilance and readiness. This theme reminds us to stay alert for important life or spiritual events.

The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.

Matthew 25:1-2

Reflection for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time


The gospel for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time is Matthew 25:1-13, also known as the Parable of the Ten Virgins. It serves as a cautionary tale about being vigilant and making wise choices, especially when it comes to your own spiritual journey. It emphasizes that waiting for a last-minute “fix” in matters of faith might lead to disappointment. Just as the five wise women couldn’t share their extra lamp oil, there are aspects of spirituality that can’t be borrowed from others.

Personal responsibility for one’s faith is the central theme. This story nudges us to realize that spiritual connection isn’t a hand-me-down; it’s a personal endeavor. Your relationship with God requires ongoing work and commitment from your side.

The narrative also highlights the importance of living consistently with your beliefs and values. It’s not something you can rush or fake when the moment of reckoning arrives. A half-hearted approach to spiritual matters can result in regret, symbolized by the five unprepared women missing the bridegroom’s arrival.

It’s common to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and overlook spiritual growth. The parable serves as a wake-up call to remember that our spiritual health is as crucial as our physical or mental well-being. Neglecting one for the other isn’t a balanced approach to life.

So, the takeaway from the Parable of the Ten Virgins is quite clear: don’t lose sight of what truly matters in the spiritual realm. Life is unpredictable, and part of being prepared for its ups and downs involves maintaining a strong spiritual foundation.

Prayer for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Lord, help me to always be seeking to grow closer to you. I cannot rely on those who passed on the faith to me. Please grant me the strength and wisdom to do the necessary work myself. Amen.

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

Word On Fire: Waiting for Christ

On Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron talks about the parable of the ten virgins, emphasizing the need for preparedness while waiting for Christ’s return. He suggests that regular prayer, education in faith, participation in sacraments, and acts of mercy make one wise in their waiting. On the other hand, neglecting these aspects is foolish. Bishop Barron also points out that spiritual preparedness isn’t something that can be shared or transferred last-minute, underlining personal responsibility in spiritual cultivation.

USCCB Reflection: Don’t Put Off the Kingdom

This USCCB video reflection for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time discusses procrastination through the lens of a parable about ten bridesmaids waiting for a bridegroom. It highlights Jesus’s message of urgency to be prepared for the “kingdom of heaven,” noting that this is far more serious than delaying homework or other day-to-day tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The next date is Friday August 30, 2024.

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

The Mass readings for Friday August 30, 2024] are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8: Pursuing Holiness
First Reading (Cycle 2) – 1 Corinthians 1:17-25: The Power of the Cross
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 97: The Lord Reigns
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 33: Rejoice in the Lord
Gospel – Matthew 25:1-13: The Parable of the Ten Virgins
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

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

The themes in the gospel, Matthew 25:1-13, include the importance of being prepared and prudent, the consequences of neglecting responsibilities, and the necessity of personal accountability. These themes highlight the need for active readiness in both spiritual and everyday life.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

What is the parable of the ten virgins in the Gospel for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 25:1-13) about?

The parable stresses the importance of being prepared and watchful for Jesus’ return. It tells of ten virgins waiting for a bridegroom; half are prepared with enough oil for their lamps, while the other half are not and miss the wedding feast as a result.

What does the oil in the lamps symbolize in the Gospel for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 25:1-13)?

The oil represents spiritual readiness and preparedness. Having enough oil is akin to being spiritually prepared for Jesus’ return.

What’s the consequence for the virgins who were not prepared in the Gospel for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 25:1-13)?

The unprepared virgins missed out on the wedding feast, symbolizing the spiritual loss one faces due to a lack of vigilance and preparation.

What lesson can be learned from the foolish virgins in the Gospel for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 25:1-13)?

The foolish virgins serve as a warning against complacency and unpreparedness. Their lack of preparation resulted in missing a significant spiritual event, emphasizing the need for constant vigilance in faith.

What is the core message Paul is conveying in the First Reading for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)?

Paul is advising the Thessalonians to live in a way that pleases God, particularly stressing the importance of purity. He says that following this guidance is not just an option but a divine mandate for sanctification.

What is the central theme of the Responsorial Psalm for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 97)?

The psalm celebrates God’s reign over the earth and highlights His attributes of justice and righteousness. It points to the natural world and heavens as testaments to God’s glory.

How do these readings for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 connect by theme?

The readings emphasize the idea of preparedness, purity, and righteousness as important elements in serving God. Paul speaks about purity as a form of preparedness, the psalm speaks of God’s righteousness, and the Gospel focuses on being prepared for Jesus’ return.

How do these readings for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 apply to our daily lives?

These readings encourage us to always be prepared and live righteously, whether it’s in maintaining personal purity or being spiritually vigilant. They serve as a reminder that living a faithful life requires active participation and constant readiness.

What’s Paul saying about worldly wisdom and the cross in the First Reading for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (1 Corinthians 1:17-25)?

Paul argues that human wisdom, particularly eloquent speech, pales in comparison to the message of the cross. What might seem foolish to some is actually the means of salvation for those who believe.

What’s the focus of the Responsorial Psalm for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 33)?

The psalm extols the enduring goodness and justice of the Lord. It highlights God’s steadfast plans and how His justice supersedes the schemes of nations.

How do these readings for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 relate to each other?

The theme of preparedness runs through all the readings. Paul talks about the wisdom of being prepared through faith in the cross. The psalm mentions God’s enduring plans, and the Gospel explicitly deals with being ready for Jesus’ return.

How can the messages from these readings for Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 guide us?

The readings underline the need for preparedness, both in understanding the message of the cross and in living a vigilant, faithful life. They remind us to prioritize spiritual readiness over worldly wisdom or distractions.

Join our email list to receive weekly emails with Catholic reflections and more.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *