22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday August 30, 2026

Mass Readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First Reading - Jeremiah 20:7-9: You, O LORD, overcame me, and though I'm mocked and derided, I cannot hold back your word. It burns in my heart, and I cannot endure keeping it inside.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 63: O God, I seek you with a thirst like dry, lifeless earth. I've seen your power and glory; your kindness is greater than life. My soul clings to you, and your right hand upholds me.
  • Second Reading - Romans 12:1-2: I urge you to offer yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Don't conform to this age but renew your mind to discern what is good and pleasing to God.
  • Gospel - Matthew 16:21-27: Jesus begins to explain that He must suffer, be killed, and resurrect. Peter rebukes Him, but Jesus says that Peter's thinking like a man, not God. He tells His followers to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Him. Gaining the world but losing one's soul is futile. The Son of Man will come and reward each according to their deeds.

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16:24

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?

  • Unwavering Resolve: In the first reading, Jeremiah affirms his commitment to proclaiming God's message despite the challenges. This theme reflects the determination to persevere in one's calling, even in the face of adversity.
  • Living Sacrifice: The second reading encourages believers to present themselves as living sacrifices to God. This theme emphasizes the idea of offering one's whole life in dedicated service to God.
  • Suffering Messiah: The gospel highlights Jesus' prediction of His own suffering, death, and resurrection. This theme emphasizes the sacrificial aspect of His mission.
  • Human Ambitions vs. God's Will: Jesus rebukes Peter for opposing His path of suffering. This theme underscores the contrast between human desires and God's divine plan.
  • Self-Denial and Cross-Bearing: Jesus talks about taking up the cross to follow Him. This theme stresses the need for self-denial and a willingness to embrace difficulties for the sake of Christ.
  • Sacrificing Earthly Gain: Jesus mentions gaining the world but losing one's soul. This theme highlights the importance of prioritizing eternal values over temporary worldly gains.
  • Judgment and Reward: The passage discusses the Son of Man coming to reward each person according to their deeds. This theme emphasizes accountability and the ultimate consequences of one's choices.

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.

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Resources for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

What Is My Cross? Lesson Plan on Dying to Self

The gospel for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is Matthew 16:21-27. The "What Is My Cross?" lesson plan, centered on dying to self, is drawn from Matthew 16:21-27. This plan assists teenagers in comprehending the concept of "taking up your cross" and provides practical suggestions for implementing this teaching in their lives.

Drip Drip Drop Game for Youth Ministry

The responsorial psalm for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is from Psalm 63, "My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God." The "Drip Drip Drop" game in youth ministry involves water and indoor play, akin to Duck Duck Goose. While it might create a few puddles, it's aligned with the psalm's theme for the weekend, connecting the activity to the spiritual longing expressed in the psalm.

A Prayer of Longing for God

The "Prayer of Longing for God" reflects a genuine desire to be close to Him, inspired by Psalm 63, the responsorial psalm for this Sunday. It expresses a continual seeking and gratitude for God's blessings. The prayer underscores the importance of God in our lives, our eagerness to share this connection, and a plea to remain close while seeking protection from distractions.

Background Information on the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah

The reading for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jeremiah 20:7-9, captures the human struggle with faith amid challenges. Jeremiah acknowledges feeling deceived by the divine yet compelled to share his prophetic message. Despite mockery and reproach, he can't stay silent. These verses depict his internal conflict, reflecting the emotional turmoil that comes with staying committed to a higher purpose. This reading resonates with our complex journey, where the call to speak truth prevails despite adversity.

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

The Second Reading for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is Romans 12:1-2. It encourages offering oneself as a living, pleasing sacrifice to God, while avoiding worldly conformity and renewing one's mind to discern His will. The letter emphasizes salvation through faith in Christ, not just law adherence. Paul highlights universal sin, Christ's sacrifice for righteousness, and the significance of grace and faith. His exploration of faith, justification, and God's plan remains relevant. The teachings prompt reflection on our relationship with God, the power of grace, and living faith through love and obedience. For more background on the epistle, refer here.

Background Information on the Gospel of Matthew

The gospel for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary time, Matthew 16:21-27, unveils a crucial moment in Jesus' ministry. He unveils his future suffering, death, and resurrection, prompting Peter's protest. Jesus rebukes Peter, emphasizing self-denial and carrying the cross for true discipleship. This passage contrasts worldly gains with spiritual fulfillment and underscores impending judgment. The Gospel of Matthew, by apostle Matthew, provides a comprehensive account of Jesus' life, teachings, and compassion. It includes iconic lessons like the Sermon on the Mount, highlighting Jesus' sacrificial love exemplified by the crucifixion. This Gospel prompts followers to embrace selflessness, mirroring Jesus' profound dedication to humanity.

Homilies and Reflections for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday August 30, 2026

In Jeff Cavins' reflection for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, he highlights modern-day discipleship. He emphasizes two aspects: offering one's body as a living sacrifice and renewing the mind. Aligning with Romans 12, these concepts underscore living fully for God. This parallels the Gospel's call to carry the cross and follow Jesus. By intertwining our struggles with His, we move towards God's kingdom. Jeff encourages dedicating oneself as a living sacrifice, renewing the mind through prayer and Scripture, and embracing the cross. This practice fosters a deeper connection with discipleship and spiritual growth.

Losing One’s Soul

Bishop Robert Barron's homily on the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A delves into a painting, "Romans during the Decadence," capturing a wild Roman revelry. Central to this tableau is a young woman radiating boredom, disgust, and despair amidst pleasure. Connecting this image to the Gospel reading, Bishop Barron explores gaining the world but losing one's soul. He defines the soul as the essence linking individuals with God, emphasizing its proper alignment to handle life's challenges. To retain one's soul, he underscores the formula of self-denial and embracing the cross, rather than seeking empty pleasures.

For Your Life

Scott Hahn's reflection for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A focuses on Jeremiah's lamentation and Jesus' teachings about embracing the cross. Jeremiah, feeling abandoned after preaching God's word, learns that God tests the just and disciplines His children through trials. Jesus, in the Gospel, emphasizes that following Him involves self-denial and taking up the cross for the sake of His gospel. Paul reinforces this in the Epistle, urging us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God. Although the cross may be a stumbling block, we're called to align our thinking with God's and offer our lives as pleasing sacrifices, finding richness in Him.

Finding Our Life

Fr. Richard Rohr reflects on Matthew 16:25, where Jesus asserts that to save one's life, it must be lost. Fr. Rohr interprets this as a call to transcend the ego's fixation on roles, status, and self-images that are transient and illusory. He emphasizes that these false identities must die to discover the true self, which is connected to the Divine and all of creation. Fr. Rohr critiques the distortion of spirituality that defers such awakening to an afterlife, rather than embracing it here and now. He shares a poem by David Whyte that speaks to the journey of letting go and finding oneself in connection with the universe, ultimately describing salvation as universal belonging and connecting.

Fr. Mike Schmitz discusses the misconceptions surrounding taking up one's cross in the context of discipleship. He dispels the notion that "harder is holier" and emphasizes that embracing one's cross is about aligning personal desires with God's will. Fr. Mike differentiates between active and passive purification as two forms of taking up the cross. Active purification involves saying yes to chosen commitments that align with God's will, while passive purification entails saying yes to crosses that were not chosen and are not desired. Fr. Mike highlights that taking up the cross is not a solitary journey; rather, it's done with Jesus' presence and strength, leading to transformation and glory.

More Thoughts for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Faith Amidst Doubts: Jeremiah's Raw Journey of Calling

In the first reading for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Jeremiah 20:7-9), the prophet lays bare his feelings. It's like he's saying, "I signed up for this, God, and now I'm questioning everything." He's caught in a whirlwind of emotions. Sometimes, even when we're walking the path we believe in, doubts creep in.

Jeremiah's honesty hits home. He's proclaiming God's message, but facing backlash. It's not all rainbows and sunshine – it's a tough gig. He's saying, "I'm done, but I can't quit." He's like a pot about to boil over.

But amid the turmoil, Jeremiah realizes he can't hold back God's message. It's like a fire in his bones. He's conflicted, but he can't ignore his calling. It's a tug of war between his feelings and his mission.

This story's a reminder that following God's path isn't a walk in the park. Doubts will pop up, and it's okay to wrestle with them. Jeremiah's raw struggle shows that faith isn't always smooth sailing. It's about pushing through when you're at your wit's end.

So, in a nutshell, Jeremiah's story is like a reality check. It's not all neatly tied up with a bow, but it's real. It's okay to grapple with doubts while staying true to your calling. Like Jeremiah, we can't bottle up the fire within us. It's a messy, beautiful journey of faith.

Renewed Living: Embracing Sacrifice and Renewed Thinking

In the second reading for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Romans 12:1-2), Saint Paul lays down a straightforward call to action. He's like, "Offer yourselves as living sacrifices." Sounds intense, right? But he's not asking for a fiery spectacle; it's about daily choices. He's saying, "Let your whole life be an act of worship."

Paul's no-nonsense approach gets clearer in verse 2. He's telling us to break free from the mold of the world. It's like ditching an outdated wardrobe. Instead of conforming to what everyone else is doing, let your mind get a renovation. Don't just nod along with the crowd; critically assess what's right and good.

Paul's got a point – renewing your mind is like upgrading your operating system. It's a process, and it doesn't happen overnight. But it's worth it. Think of it as a spiritual makeover that aligns your thoughts with God's purpose.

So, in a nutshell, Paul's urging us to take responsibility. Dedicate your life, sift through your thoughts, and choose what's aligned with God's will. It's a "show, don't just tell" situation. Your life becomes a living offering and your mind becomes a sanctuary of renewal. Simple yet profound, right?

Embracing Suffering: A Gritty Path to Transformed Hope

In the gospel for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 16:21-27), Jesus lays it out plainly to his disciples: suffering is on the horizon. It's a tough pill to swallow. Suffering can grip us, making everything else fade to gray. No one signs up for suffering willingly. Peter, one of Jesus' closest friends, recoiled at the idea of Jesus enduring the cross. Who would wish that on someone they care about?

But Jesus has a different angle on it. He's all about marching forward, unflinching, doing God's will. It's a game-changer. He believes suffering can be transformed, even death doesn't have the final say. That's quite the perspective shift. And it's not just about us going through it. When we're in the suffering trenches, we've got to cling to the promise Jesus offers.

Plus, there's something about being there for others who are hurting. Even if you can't fix it all, being a companion in their pain matters. Jesus showed us that suffering isn't the endgame, God's mercy can trump it all. So, in a nutshell, suffering isn't a detour off the path, but a gritty part of it. And it's not about avoiding it, but holding onto hope when it's tough.

Remember, Peter tried to dodge it, but Jesus didn't flinch. He faced the worst head-on, all for a bigger plan. So, next time suffering knocks at your door, don't shut it out. And if you see someone else in the trenches, be that shoulder to lean on. Because just like Jesus, we're not alone in this.

Reflection Questions for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday August 30, 2026
  • Jeremiah faced doubts while fulfilling his calling. How do you handle doubts or challenges in your faith journey?
  • Have you ever felt conflicted between your feelings and what you know to be your mission or calling?
  • In what ways can you relate to Jeremiah's struggle of staying faithful to your purpose in the face of adversity?
  • How do you define "offering yourself as a living sacrifice" in your everyday life?
  • What are some practical ways you can renew your mind and not conform to the world's ways?
  • Can you think of a time when renewing your mind led to a change in your actions or perspectives?
  • How do you typically react to suffering? Is it something you try to avoid or confront?
  • What can you learn from Jesus' perspective on suffering and how it can be transformed?
  • In what ways can you provide support or accompany someone who is going through a period of suffering or doubt?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 22nd 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.

My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God. - Psalm 63
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

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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