22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Sunday, September 3, 2023
Mass Readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
- First Reading – Jeremiah 20:7-9: “But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 63: “My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”
- Second Reading – Romans 12:1-2: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.”
- Gospel – Matthew 16:21-27: “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Themes for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
The readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A focus on our natural longing for God. In the first reading Jeremiah realizes he cannot escape his burning desire for God. The second reading tells us that we must allow ourselves to be transformed to be one with Christ. And in the gospel Jesus explains that following him means making sacrifices. Are we willing to do what it takes to be a disciple?
- Sacrificial love
- Longing for God
See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.
Resources for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
What Is My Cross? Lesson Plan on Dying to Self
This What Is My Cross? lesson plan on dying to self is based on Matthew 16:21-27. It helps teens understand what it means to “take up your cross” and gives them some concrete ideas of how they can do this.
Drip Drip Drop Game for Youth Ministry
Drip Drip Drop youth ministry game is a water game for teenagers which can be played indoors if you don’t mind wiping up a few puddles at the end. It is basically Duck Duck Goose with water.
A Prayer of Longing for God
This prayer expresses a longing for God and a true desire to be close to Him. It is based on Psalm 63 which is the responsorial psalm for this Sunday.
Homilies and Reflections for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
The Cost of Discipleship
Jeff Cavins talks about modern-day discipleship as he reflects on the readings for 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.
Losing One’s Soul
From Bishop Robert Barron. “Jesus in our Gospel for today says, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.’ Do you want to save your soul? There’s the formula. Find the path in your life that leads you to more and more self-emptying and self-gift, which conforms you to the love that God is. But then the Lord gets even more specific: ‘For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’ Saving one’s life means making filling oneself up and making oneself as safe and comfortable and sated as possible—which leads to boredom, disgust, and despair.”
For Your Life
From Scott Hahn. “Today’s First Reading catches the prophet Jeremiah in a moment of weakness. His intimate lamentation contains some of the strongest language of doubt found in the Bible. Following God’s call, he feels abandoned. Preaching His Word has brought him only derision and reproach.” Continue reading.
Finding Our Life
From Fr. Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation. “This passage from Matthew is a very strong, almost brutal statement from Jesus. It has perhaps been discussed, dismissed, misunderstood, and conveniently forgotten more than almost anything he said. It is just too counter-intuitive.” Continue reading.
How To Pick Up Your Cross
Fr. Mike Schmitz’s words on taking up our crosses may come as a relief to many of us. He rejects the “harder is holier” approach, and reminds us that taking up our crosses is ultimately about having more freedom.
Get Behind Me Satan!
From Loyola Press. “Today’s Gospel continues the story that began in last week’s Gospel. Simon Peter was called the “rock” upon which Jesus would build his Church, and yet Peter continues to show the limitations of his understanding of Jesus’ identity. Now that the disciples have acknowledged that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus confides in them the outcome of his ministry: he must suffer and die in Jerusalem to be raised on the third day.” Continue reading.
More Thoughts for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Suffering can often bring us to a standstill. We become numb. Nothing seems to matter but the pain. We never desire suffering. Jesus’ disciples were well aware what a cross meant. It was an agonizing, torturous death. So it is not surprising that Peter did not want Jesus to take up his cross. Who would want that for someone they love?
But Jesus is looking at it differently. It is an unflinching march to do the Father’s will. It is an act which will transform suffering and even death. And we must also not turn away from suffering. When we experience, we must hope in the promise of Jesus. And when we encounter others who are suffering, we must do what we can to ease their pain. If nothing more, we can accompany them. Jesus shows us that suffering and death can be overcome through the mercy of God.
Reflection Questions for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
- Have ever experienced suffering being transformed in my own life?
- Is there someone I know who is suffering whom I can reach out to?
- What can I do to reduce suffering in my community?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;Psalm 63
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
Let us ask for the grace to cultivate a desire for Christ, source of living water, the only one who can satisfy the thirst for life and love which we bear in our hearts.Pope Francis
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