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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 19, 2026

Mass Readings for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First ReadingWisdom 12:13, 16-19: There is only one God who cares for all, exercising justice, and demonstrating might. God teaches us that power is accompanied by kindness and provides hope through the possibility of repentance.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 86: God is good, forgiving, and kind to those who call upon Him. All nations will worship Him for His wondrous deeds. He is merciful, patient, faithful, and gives strength to His servants.
  • Second ReadingRomans 8:26-27: The Spirit assists us in our weaknesses, especially when we struggle with prayer. The Spirit communicates for us with deep emotions. God, who knows all hearts, understands the Spirit's intentions, who advocates for us in alignment with God’s will.
  • Gospel - Matthew 13:24-43: Jesus tells a parable about a farmer who sowed good seeds in his field, but an enemy also sowed weeds among them. When the weeds grew, the farmer chose to let them coexist with the wheat until the harvest. Jesus explains that the wheat represents the righteous, while the weeds symbolize the wicked, and they will be separated in the end. He also shares parables of the mustard seed and yeast, illustrating the small beginnings and transformative power of God's kingdom.

Themes for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The readings for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A are focused on the Kingdom of God. The first reading reminds us that God desires justice and has shown us the way of kindness. The second reading tells us that the Spirit aids us in our weakness. And in the gospel Jesus gives us several parables related to the Kingdom of God, including the parable of the weeds in the wheat, the parable of the mustard seed, and the parable of the yeast.

  • Coexistence of Good and Evil: In the gospel for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Jesus presents the reality that in this world, both the children of the kingdom (believers) and the children of the evil one (unbelievers) will coexist until the final judgment, highlighting the presence of evil and the challenges faced by believers in a fallen world.
  • Spiritual Warfare: The parable depicts the ongoing spiritual battle between good and evil, illustrating the strategies of the enemy to sow deception and hinder the growth of God's kingdom.
  • Patience and Delayed Judgment: The parable emphasizes God's patience and long-suffering, as He allows both the wheat and the tares to grow together until the harvest, symbolizing the delay of final judgment and the opportunity for repentance.
  • God's Sovereignty: The parable portrays God's ultimate sovereignty and authority over the final judgment, when the wheat (righteous) will be gathered into His kingdom, and the tares (wicked) will be cast into eternal punishment.
  • Growth and Fruitfulness: The parable highlights the importance of spiritual growth and fruitfulness in the lives of believers, as represented by the wheat, emphasizing the need for genuine faith and righteous living.
  • The Kingdom's Expansion: In the gospel for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God will expand and grow, starting small but eventually encompassing many people, cultures, and nations, reflecting God's plan for the expansion of His kingdom.

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

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Resources for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Kingdoms Game

The Kingdoms game symbolizes believers' unity and cooperation in advancing God's kingdom. Participants assist their respective kings, reflecting their roles as citizens of the Kingdom of God, supporting and helping one another. The game emphasizes unity, collaboration, and service, reinforcing Jesus' teachings on the Kingdom of God for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

Pretzel Prayer and Recipe

This Soft Pretzel recipe is connected to the gospel parable of the yeast, which is read on the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. The yeast in the recipe symbolizes the spreading of the Kingdom of God, just as it causes the dough to rise and expand. Through the tangible process of making pretzels, it visually represents how the Kingdom of God permeates and influences every aspect of life, bringing growth and transformation.

The Book of Wisdom
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Resources for the Book of Wisdom

In the first reading for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, taken from the Book of Wisdom (12:13, 16-19), we gain insights into this significant Old Testament book. The Book of Wisdom explores themes of divine wisdom, justice, and God's mercy. It offers reflections on the relationship between God and humanity, providing guidance on righteous living and the pursuit of wisdom.

Letter to the Romans
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Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Faith, Grace, and Righteousness

The Second Reading for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is Romans 8:26-27. It conveys how the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, particularly when we struggle in prayer. The Spirit expresses deep emotions on our behalf. God, who knows all hearts, comprehends the Spirit's intentions, advocating for us in harmony with God’s will. The Epistle of Paul to the Romans is a crucial part of New Testament scripture. Written by Paul to the Roman Christian community, it explores faith, righteousness, and salvation themes. Its impact on Christian theology is profound. For more resources on the epistle, refer here.

the gospel of matthew
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Resources for the Gospel of Matthew

On the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, the Gospel reading from Matthew 13:24-43 presents a collection of parables that provide valuable insights into the teachings of Jesus. These parables, including the parable of the weeds, the mustard seed, and the yeast, offer profound lessons about the Kingdom of Heaven, emphasizing the coexistence of good and evil, the growth of faith, and the power of God's Kingdom in our lives.

Homilies and Reflections for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 19, 2026

In this homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron reflects on the famous parable of the wheat and the weeds. We should expect corruption and evil even within the best manifestations of the Kingdom of God. Evil is a corruption of the good and is parasitic upon it. Bishop Barron explains that dealing with evil requires delicacy, and sometimes only God can separate the wheat from the weeds. He also explores the possibility that God may permit evil for His ultimately good purposes, allowing certain virtues to shine forth. The homily calls for spiritual awareness and patience in navigating the complexities of good and evil in the world.


In this reflection by Jeff Cavins on the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, he discusses two parables from Matthew's gospel: the Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat and the Parable of the Mustard Seed. These parables highlight the diversity of God's Kingdom and the Church's goal of not seeking perfection in people. The first parable teaches us not to judge prematurely and harm the wheat by removing the weeds. Instead, we should trust God as the ultimate judge and focus on planting and watering. The second parable emphasizes the significance of small acts of faith, like the mustard seed, which can have far-reaching effects.

Wheat, Seed, and Leaven

In this homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Bishop Robert Barron invites us to delve into the meaning of the three parables found in the 13th Chapter of Matthew's Gospel. Acknowledging the wealth of insights these parables offer, Bishop Barron encourages the listeners to reflect upon them in the context of their own experiences of suffering and faith, as they collectively strive to seek and understand the Kingdom of God.

Of Wheat and Weeds

In this reflection on the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Scott Hahn highlights the teachings found in the day's readings. God's continuous teaching reveals His care for all people, extending His mercy even to those who defy Him, as long as they turn to Him in repentance. Jesus' parables further illustrate the emergence and growth of the kingdom of God, emphasizing its hidden and improbable nature. Despite the coexistence of good and evil, God's patience teaches us the importance of repentance and the gathering of all nations to worship Him. We must not lose heart as the harvest draws near, and we should commit ourselves to letting God's Word bear fruit in our lives.

How Strange Is the Power of God

In this homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Bishop Robert Barron expresses gratitude for the privilege of encountering the book of Wisdom from the Old Testament. He highlights the diverse collection of sayings and aphorisms in this book, emphasizing its focus on the wisdom, power, and love of God. Drawing attention to these prominent themes, Bishop Barron invites the congregation to reflect on the profound truths revealed within the passage for the day, and to consider the interplay between wisdom, power, and love in their own lives.

More Thoughts for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The parables of the wheat and weeds, the mustard seed, and the yeast, found in Matthew 13:24-43, the Gospel for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, offer insights into the power of God's Kingdom in our lives. These parables challenge us to reflect on our hearts, choices, and the potential hidden within seemingly small aspects of our existence. They invite us to acknowledge our imperfections, nurture the good within us, and strive for spiritual growth. By embracing self-reflection, trust in God's work, and the influence we have on others, we create space for God's grace to transform us and bring forth abundant fruits of love, mercy, and compassion.

Nurturing the Wheat Within

The parable of the wheat and weeds, found in the Gospel for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, challenges us to reflect on our hearts and choices. We all have moments of goodness and weakness, love and selfishness. Recognizing our imperfections humbles us and invites self-reflection.

The parable urges us to protect the wheat within us and uproot the weeds. We nurture the good while striving for spiritual growth, repentance, and conversion. By embracing this process, we create space for God's grace to transform us, bearing abundant fruits of love, mercy, and compassion.

God's Quiet Kingdom

Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a little mustard seed that eventually grows into a large, flourishing plant. This parable teaches us about how God operates in our lives and the world around us. Just like the tiny seed that becomes something great, God's kingdom also expands quietly and consistently.

God's actions might not always catch our eye, as they occur subtly without seeking attention. This reminds us that even if we can't always see or comprehend God's work, His plans are unfolding at their own pace and in their unique way. The story of the mustard seed encourages us to have faith and trust in God's unseen workings.

Just like the seed, God's kingdom may start small, but it has the potential to grow and have a significant impact. It reminds us that we should be patient and not rush or doubt God's plans. Even when things seem unclear or uncertain, we can find comfort in knowing that God is quietly at work, bringing about His purposes. So, we should keep our hearts open to His guidance, knowing that His kingdom is steadily growing and His love is always present, even if we cannot always perceive it in the moment.

Unveiling Hidden Potential

The parable of the mustard seed found in the Gospel for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A reveals the extraordinary potential in seemingly small aspects of our lives. Small acts of faith and love can have a significant impact when nurtured. It challenges our perception of value, reminding us that God's kingdom works humbly.

Simple acts of kindness, compassion, and faithfulness can ripple through lives, contributing to the growth of God's kingdom. Embracing small opportunities for love and service, we trust that God brings greatness through our humble efforts, cultivating a receptive heart for His transformative grace.

Unleashing Influence

The parable of the yeast, presented in the Gospel for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, teaches us about the transformative power of God's Kingdom. Just as yeast leavens dough, our smallest actions infused with faith and love can have far-reaching effects. Our choices and interactions matter.

We can influence others through our words, actions, and attitudes, becoming agents of positive change. By embracing our personal witness and allowing faith to permeate our lives, we become vessels for God's grace, spreading love and bringing forth goodness, joy, and hope in our communities and the world.

Reflection Questions for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 19, 2026
  • How do you respond when you encounter "weeds" or challenges in your life or community?
  • Are there areas in your life where you struggle to distinguish between the "wheat" (goodness) and the "weeds" (sin or negativity)? How can you discern and address them?
  • In what ways can you actively protect and nurture the "wheat" in your own heart and in the world around you?
  • Reflect on a small act of faith, love, or kindness that had a significant impact in your life or the life of someone else. How did it grow and spread?
  • Are there areas in your life where you underestimate the potential of small, everyday actions? How can you embrace and maximize the power of small acts in your relationships, work, and community?
  • How can you cultivate an attitude of trust and patience in God's work, knowing that even the smallest efforts can yield remarkable results?
  • Consider the influence you have on others through your words, actions, and attitudes. Are you spreading the "yeast" of love, hope, and faith in your interactions?
  • How can you be intentional about infusing your everyday life with the transformative power of God's Kingdom?
  • In what ways can you be a positive agent of change and influence in your family, workplace, or community, bringing forth the values of God's Kingdom?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

If you use the images below in any form, you must provide attribution to young-catholics.com. See details.

mustard seed
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The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
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A large shrub-like tree, providing a nesting place for birds, for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

Every kind of material or spiritual poverty, every form of discrimination against our brothers and sisters, comes from turning our backs on God and His love.

Pope Francis

Frequently Asked Questions for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Comments

2 responses to “16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A”

  1. Nsihjenette Avatar
    Nsihjenette

    I find this link very instrumental to my spiritual growth.thank you very much.may God bless you abundantly.if you would include prayers of the faithful it's going be I lack words to describe.thanks again.

  2. Alexander Avatar
    Alexander

    Thank you for the great service .God bless you

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