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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 26, 2026

Mass Readings for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First Reading - 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12: God offers to grant Solomon a wish. Recognizing his youth and the enormity of his task, Solomon asks for an understanding heart to distinguish right from wrong. God grants him unrivaled wisdom.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 119: Your words are my treasure, O LORD, more precious than gold. Your kindness is my comfort, your laws my delight. I follow your decrees, they shed light and grant understanding.
  • Second Reading - Romans 8:28-30: All works for good for those loving God, called for His purpose. Called, justified, and glorified, they are shaped in His Son's image, the firstborn among siblings.
  • Gospel - Matthew 13:44-52: Jesus shares three parables: the hidden treasure, the pearl of great value, and the net cast into the sea. He highlights the immense worth of the kingdom of heaven, prompting a person to joyfully give up everything to obtain it. Jesus explains that just as a net gathers fish of all kinds, there will be a separation of the righteous and the wicked at the end of the age. He concludes by saying that every scribe trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings forth both new and old treasures.

The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field.

Themes for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time for Year A are about the wisdom of God which is very different from the wisdom of the world. The first reading recalls how Solomon requested the gift of understanding instead of material goods or power. The psalm reminds us that God’s commands are more precious than gold. The second reading tells us to work for God’s purpose. And in the gospel Jesus gives us more parables related to the Kingdom of God, including the treasure in the field, the pearl of great price, and treasures new and old.

  • The Kingdom of Heaven's Value: The gospel highlights the immense value of the Kingdom of Heaven, comparing it to a treasure hidden in a field and a pearl of great price. It emphasizes the worthiness of sacrificing everything to possess and experience the Kingdom's blessings.
  • Joy and Sacrifice: The response of the person who discovers the treasure and the merchant who finds the valuable pearl exemplifies the joy and willingness to sacrifice worldly possessions in order to obtain the Kingdom's eternal riches.
  • Discernment and Understanding: Jesus emphasizes the importance of discernment and understanding in relation to the mysteries of the Kingdom. He likens the scribe instructed about the Kingdom to a householder who brings out treasures both old and new, suggesting the need to appreciate the timeless truths of Scripture while also being receptive to new revelations from God.
  • Separation of the Righteous and the Wicked: The parable of the dragnet highlights the final separation of the righteous and the wicked at the end of the age, emphasizing the importance of making choices that align with God's righteousness and the consequences of rejecting the Kingdom.
  • Scribes as Teachers of the Kingdom: Jesus elevates the role of the scribes in teaching the Kingdom of Heaven, indicating the significance of sharing the truths of the Kingdom and its implications with others.
  • The Call to Hear and Understand: Jesus concludes by urging His disciples to become like scribes trained for the Kingdom, emphasizing the need for attentive listening, understanding, and the application of Kingdom principles in their lives.

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

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Resources for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

All In a Lesson Plan on Risking It All e1692197907596
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All In! A Lesson Plan on Risking It All

This lesson plan on priorities aligns with Matthew 13:44-52, the gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Just as the parables of the Pearl of Great Price and the Treasure emphasize the value of the kingdom of heaven, this lesson plan prompts us to reflect on what we are willing to risk in order to receive something truly valuable from God. It encourages us to evaluate our priorities and consider the immense worth of aligning our lives with God's plan.

Buried Treasure Game

This game of Buried Treasure also connects with Matthew 13:44-52, the gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Just as the game involves searching for hidden treasures, this passage emphasizes the discovery and value of the kingdom of heaven. Buried Treasure provides a playful and interactive way to engage participants, encouraging them to seek and find something valuable, reflecting the theme of treasuring what is truly important in our lives.

Treasure Hunt Game

The activity of Treasure Hunt relates to the Gospel passage from Matthew 13:44-52. Just as participants embark on a search for hidden treasures during the hunt, the gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A emphasizes the value and joy of discovering something precious. The Treasure Hunt activity aligns with the theme of treasuring what is valuable and can be adapted for different age groups, providing an engaging and enjoyable experience that connects with the message of the scripture.

King Solomon
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King Solomon: A Divine Wisdom and Flawed Legacy

On the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, we encounter the story of King Solomon. Solomon finds himself facing a daunting task: ruling over God's people with wisdom and discernment. When given the opportunity to ask for anything, he humbly requests wisdom. God, pleased with his selfless request, grants him exceptional wisdom that surpasses all others. This passage reminds us of the importance of seeking divine wisdom in our own lives, especially when faced with difficult decisions and challenges. Like King Solomon, may we too recognize the value of wisdom and approach our journey with a humble heart, seeking guidance from the One who is the source of all wisdom.

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

The Second Reading for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is Romans 8:28-30. It conveys that everything works for good for those loving God and called for His purpose. These individuals are called, justified, and glorified, shaped in the image of God's Son. The letter to the Romans centers on Paul's message of salvation and justification through faith in Christ. It delves into themes of God's wrath against sin and the power of divine justification. The discourse also explores implications for believers and Israel's role in God's plan, reflecting Paul's hope for salvation even for those who initially rejected the gospel. For more resources on the epistle, refer here.

the gospel of matthew
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Resources for the Gospel of Matthew

The Gospel passage for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 13:44-52) invites us to reflect on the profound value of the kingdom of heaven and the importance of recognizing and treasuring its significance. For a deeper understanding of the Gospel of Matthew, exploring background and details on this gospel can shed light on the context, teachings, and message encapsulated in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as portrayed by the evangelist Matthew.

Homilies and Reflections for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 26, 2026

The Obsession of the Kingdom

In this reflection for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Jeff Cavins shares personal stories of his childhood obsessions and relates them to the concept of the kingdom of God. He highlights the idea that just as people can be consumed by worldly pursuits, it is essential to be obsessed with the kingdom of God and prioritize it above all else. Cavins encourages listeners to focus on the rule and reign of God in their lives, finding joy and peace in this pursuit, and ultimately, becoming agents of change in the world.

What Do You Want?

A homily for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Bishop Robert Barron reflects on the passage from the book of Kings where God appears to Solomon in a dream and offers to grant him a request. Solomon, a young and inexperienced king, is faced with an extraordinary opportunity. Bishop Barron invites us to pay close attention to Solomon's response, as it reveals his character and priorities. This moment highlights the significance of seeking wisdom and making choices aligned with God's will. Solomon's answer sets the stage for the unfolding of his reign and offers valuable insights for our own lives.

Dying to Live

A reflection from the Center for Action and Contemplation. St. Francis embodied a paradoxical existence, blending tradition and innovation in his pursuit of holiness. Rooted in the Church yet drawn to the cosmos, he harmonized the visible and the invisible. In the Gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Matthew 13:44-52), Jesus describes disciples as those who value both old and new treasures, while Francis, like Jesus, St. Paul, and St. Clare, embraced change and discerned timeless wisdom amidst fleeting customs, embodying true discipleship.

Treasures of the Kingdom

Scott Hahn reflects on the readings for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, highlighting the theme of the kingdom of heaven and its incomparable worth. He poses challenging questions, inviting listeners to examine their own commitment to Christ and the extent to which they prioritize the kingdom above all else. Drawing from the Epistle of Paul and the example of Solomon, he underscores the importance of seeking wisdom, humbling ourselves before God, and conforming to the image of Christ. Ultimately, we must embrace a deep love for God, His Word, and His will, trusting that all things work together for the good of those who love Him.

All Things Work Together for Good

In this homily for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A , Bishop Robert Barron focuses on the second reading from the end of the eighth chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans. They highlight the profound message of God's providential plan and the assurance it brings. We are invited to find solace in the divine plan. This message serves as a reminder of God's ultimate purpose and the hope it offers amidst the challenges and uncertainties of life.

More Thoughts for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Wisdom for Leaders

Solomon's example in the first reading for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A serves as an inspiration for individuals in leadership roles, whether it be within the Church, politics, schools, or communities. He demonstrates a profound understanding that leadership is not merely a position of power, but rather an opportunity for service and sacrifice. When God presents Solomon, a young leader, with the chance to ask for anything he desires, Solomon's response is a testament to his selflessness and wisdom.

Rather than requesting personal comfort or wealth, Solomon humbly asks for wisdom. This decision reveals his deep concern for the well-being of the people he will govern. Wisdom, in his eyes, is the key to making sound decisions that will benefit those under his leadership. It demonstrates that a good leader prioritizes the needs and interests of others above their own. Solomon's choice to seek wisdom exemplifies a fundamental principle of leadership: it is not about personal gain, but about serving others and ensuring their welfare.

In light of Solomon's example, it becomes evident that our prayers for leaders should focus on their recognition and embodiment of this selfless mindset. A leader who genuinely cares about the welfare of their followers and seeks wisdom to guide their decisions can have a profound impact on the community they serve. By prioritizing the greater good over personal comfort, leaders can inspire trust, foster unity, and promote progress. Therefore, it is crucial for us to pray for all leaders, regardless of their domain, to embrace the values of service and sacrifice exhibited by Solomon in the first reading for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

The Priceless Kingdom

In the gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A Jesus tells his disciples about the kingdom of heaven using parables. He compares the kingdom to a hidden treasure in a field. If someone finds it, they would be so happy that they would sell everything they have just to buy that field and keep the treasure. Jesus also compares the kingdom to a merchant who is searching for valuable pearls. When the merchant finds a pearl that is worth a lot, he sells everything he owns to buy it.

These parables teach us important lessons about the kingdom of heaven. They show us that the kingdom is like a precious treasure or a valuable pearl. It is something so special and important that we should be willing to give up everything we have to be a part of it. Jesus wants us to understand that the kingdom of heaven is worth more than any material possessions we may have.

He also tells us that those who are knowledgeable about the kingdom should be like wise leaders, who bring out both new and old teachings and share them with others. These parables remind us to value the kingdom of heaven above all else and to keep growing in our understanding of it.

Reflection Questions for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 26, 2026
  • How does Solomon's example teach us about the nature of leadership? Why do you think Solomon chose wisdom instead of asking for something to benefit himself?
  • In your opinion, what qualities make a good leader according to Solomon's example?
  • Do I see leadership as a place of privilege or a place of service? Do I base my decisions on what is good for me or what meets the needs of the common good?
  • How can we apply the idea of servant leadership in our own lives, even if we are not in formal leadership positions? How can I help those around me develop leadership skills?
  • How does the response of the person who finds the treasure in the field and the merchant who finds the valuable pearl reflect their understanding of the kingdom of heaven? What can we learn from their actions?
  • What are some things in your life that you might need to give up or sacrifice in order to prioritize the kingdom of heaven? How can you apply the lesson from these parables in your own life?
  • Jesus mentions that those who have been instructed in the kingdom of heaven are like wise household leaders who bring out both new and old things. How can you deepen your understanding of the kingdom and share its teachings with others?
  • How does the message of these parables challenge you to reevaluate your priorities and make any necessary adjustments in your life?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 17th 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.

The Kingdom of Heaven is the opposite of the superfluous things the world offers, the opposite of a dull life: it is a treasure that renews everyday life and leads it to extend towards wider horizons.

Pope Francis
all things work for good
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We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
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A beautiful treasure chest, for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

Frequently Asked Questions for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Comments

4 responses to “17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A”

  1. Anthony Anderson Avatar
    Anthony Anderson

    Your Homilies are Greatly inspiring and fruitful. Praise The Lord.
    Please forward the Sunday Homilies.

  2. Mumbere Donus Avatar
    Mumbere Donus

    Thanks for the reflections.
    May God bless you.
    Generally everything is 👍👍

  3. Mark. Emrich Avatar

    I am very interested in the awesomely made treasure chest in the image. I hope you would please reply any information ,history, artist,craftsman who created it. I love woodworking,and art of different types. Please send an email so I can appreciate it all the more. Thank you, sincerely, Mark Emrich

    1. Young Catholics Avatar

      It is digital art, not an actual chest. Hopefully it provides you with some inspiration to create something new!

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