Mass Readings for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
- First Reading – Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31: A good wife is invaluable, trusted by her husband and doing good all her life. She's hardworking and charitable, deserving of praise especially for her fear of the LORD.
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 128: Those who fear the LORD and walk in His ways are blessed. They enjoy fruitful labor, a prosperous family, and lifelong blessings from God.
- Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6: The day of the Lord will arrive unexpectedly. While others may be caught off guard, believers are children of light and should stay alert and sober.
- Gospel - Matthew 25:14-30: A man going on a journey entrusts his servants with different amounts of money. Two servants invest and double their money, receiving praise and more responsibility from their master upon his return. The third servant hides his money and is chastised for his inaction, losing even what he had.
Themes for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
The readings for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A are a call to do the work of the Kingdom of God with the gifts we have been given. The first reading sings the praises of the worthy wife who uses her talents to labor for good. The psalm tells us that those who follow the Lord are blessed. The second reading reminds us that we are children of light and goodness. And in the gospel Jesus tells the parable of the talents and praises the servants who used their resources wisely.
- Stewardship: The passage emphasizes the importance of wisely managing resources or gifts given by God.
- Accountability: Each servant in the parable is held accountable for how they use their talents, highlighting the theme of personal responsibility.
- Risk and Growth: The servants who invest their talents are taking a risk, suggesting that spiritual growth often involves stepping out of one's comfort zone.
- Work Ethic: The servants who double their talents work hard, suggesting the value of effort and diligence in spiritual life.
- Divine Judgment: The passage suggests that there will be a time of reckoning where each individual will be judged based on their actions.
- Inequality: The talents are distributed unevenly at the start, which may prompt considerations about the spiritual implications of inequality.
Resources for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
The Parable of the Talents in the gospel for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A emphasizes responsible stewardship of what we've been given. In this context, a "talent" is a large sum of money, illustrating the value of the gifts entrusted to us. This reflection on Matthew 25:14-30 will help youth consider how they use their gifts and talents to grow the Kingdom of God. If you're struggling with how to use your gifts for a greater purpose, consider these questions: How can you utilize your skills to serve God and others? Do you find some gifts hard to apply in a godly manner? Have you questioned the purpose of your talents? Prayer and discernment can offer clarity, as these gifts are meant to serve a higher goal.
The prayer is inspired by Psalm 128, which is the responsorial psalm for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. It seeks blessings for the home and family, emphasizing the importance of following God's path. The prayer asks for provision, growth in faith, trust in God's will, and closeness to the divine. It hopes for a home filled with joy, love, and laughter, and for lifelong peace and well-being.
The first reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A focuses on Proverbs 31, which describes the traits of a good wife and individual. She is valued for her trustworthiness, hard work, and charity, especially her deep sense of ethics or spirituality, termed as "fear of the LORD." The Book of Proverbs, where this reading is found, emphasizes the importance of wisdom. It guides readers to prioritize wisdom over material goods and to apply it in daily life for success, strong relationships, and harmony with others.
The second reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6. It warns that the "Day of the Lord" will come without warning and urges believers to stay alert and sober. The text emphasizes that believers are "children of light," implying a moral and spiritual readiness. One overarching theme in 1 Thessalonians is the second coming of Christ, meant to remind believers of God's ultimate promises. It encourages a long-term perspective, suggesting that current hardships are temporary compared to the eternal joy that awaits in the presence of the Lord.
The gospel for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is Matthew 25:14-30, known as the Parable of the Talents. A master leaves money with his servants. Two invest and double it, earning praise and more duties. The third hides his money, gets scolded, and loses it. This parable is part of a larger section in Matthew discussing end times and final judgment. The story highlights the need for proactive stewardship of resources, warning against inaction. It fits within the gospel's broader message on maintaining faith and trust in God, even amid challenges.
Homilies and Reflections for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
In this reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Jeff Cavins discusses the importance of utilizing the gifts and opportunities God has given us for the Kingdom of God, drawing from Matthew 25:14-30. He points out that the concept of "talent" here is about value and responsibility, not just skills. According to Cavins, people who actively use their 'talents' in alignment with God's purposes experience joy and further blessings. He emphasizes that we don't truly own anything; we are caretakers of God's gifts. The key takeaway is to not be stingy or fearful but to use what we have for the glory and service of God.
Father Mike Schmitz discusses two perspectives on life and possessions: seeing oneself as an "owner" or a "steward." As an owner, you believe your time, body, and gifts are solely yours to control. This can lead to ingratitude and resentment when things don't go as planned. On the other hand, viewing oneself as a steward involves recognizing that everything you have is entrusted to you, perhaps by a higher power. This viewpoint encourages gratitude and lessens resentment when facing loss or adversity. Father Mike encourages people to choose the steward mindset, being thankful for what they have and mindful that it can be temporary.
Bishop Robert Barron's homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A focuses on the concept that your being and faith grow when you give them away, drawing from the parable of the talents. He argues that clinging to faith without sharing it will make it wither, similar to the servant who hides his talent. To grow spiritually and in faith, one must give away or risk what they have. The bishop urges listeners to actively share and propagate their faith, despite societal pressures to keep it private, as it is in the act of sharing that faith becomes stronger. He highlights that growth in faith requires taking risks, just like wise investment.
Scott Hahn's reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A focuses on the notion of divine stewardship. Referencing Paul's epistle and Jesus' parable about the talents, he says that God entrusts each person with specific graces and responsibilities. Hahn contrasts healthy "fear of the Lord" with the detrimental fear exhibited by the parable’s useless servant. The message is to use our 'talents' wisely, serving God and others, to ultimately share in the Master's joy.
This homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A from Bishop Robert Barron focuses on the spiritual and theological aspects of work, drawing from readings in Proverbs, Psalms, Thessalonians, and the Gospel of Matthew. He emphasizes that work is not separate from our spiritual life but is a way to collaborate with God in governing the universe. He argues that our actions, including work, shape our being. Barron notes that work was given to Adam before the fall, suggesting that it is inherently good. He appreciates work not just as manual labor but also as intellectual and moral activity. The bishop encourages viewing work as a way to cooperate with God's purposes.
More Thoughts for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
A Capable Woman
The first reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A from Proverbs 31 talks about a woman who is valuable in many ways. She's trustworthy, hardworking, and caring. This isn't just about being a good wife, but also about being a strong individual. Her skills are practical: she can work with wool and flax, and she helps the less fortunate. This paints a picture of a person who is balanced, both in personal and communal responsibilities.
The reading also mentions that real worth isn't just physical beauty or charm, but moral and practical qualities. The phrase "the woman who fears the LORD" suggests that a deep sense of ethics or spirituality is a key aspect of her character.
The different translations of "eshet chayil" broaden the concept. It's not just about being a "worthy wife," but also a woman of substance or valor. This makes the message more inclusive and relevant beyond marital context. Overall, the reading emphasizes the importance of virtues that have tangible benefits for family and community.
Using Our Gifts
The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 focuses on the idea of stewardship and responsible use of resources. It encourages people to make the most of what they have, rather than hoarding or hiding it. The servants who doubled their talents took initiative and were rewarded, whereas the one who buried his was rebuked.
The message in the gospel for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is about action and accountability. It tells us that what we're given—whether it's money, skills, or opportunities—should be utilized for a greater good. The idea is to grow and multiply these gifts, presumably for the benefit of the community or, in the religious context, for the Kingdom of God.
Fear holds back the third servant, and he fails to do anything productive. His approach is caution to the point of inaction, and he's criticized for it. The parable suggests that doing nothing with your resources or abilities is not an option; it's a failure to meet a basic responsibility.
Overall, the gospel for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is a call to make the most of what you're given, for the benefit of both yourself and others. It pushes the point that being a good steward of your gifts is a key part of ethical and religious life.
The Importance of Spiritual Preparedness
The passages from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 and Matthew 25:14-30 both stress the importance of being proactive and alert in different aspects of life, especially in spirituality. 1 Thessalonians warns about the unpredictability of the "Day of the Lord," highlighting the need for preparedness. Similarly, the Parable of the Talents in Matthew advises against complacency in using one's gifts and abilities.
Both messages for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A encourage a state of readiness. They tell us that just as you wouldn't ignore your health or finances, you shouldn't neglect your spiritual well-being. Being "sober and alert" means you are aware of your responsibilities and are taking steps to fulfill them.
In summary, these texts prompt us to maintain a proactive approach to spiritual growth. They caution against getting too comfortable and underscore the importance of continual self-assessment and action.
Reflection Questions for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
- Proverbs 31 describes a woman with many valuable qualities. Which qualities stand out to you the most and why?
- The text from Proverbs mentions "the woman who fears the LORD." How do you interpret the role of ethics or spirituality in character formation?
- How do different translations of "eshet chayil" affect your understanding of the passage? Does it make the message more inclusive for you?
- Who are the women of power in your life? Do you value the contributions of these women?
- The Parable of the Talents focuses on the concept of stewardship. How do you apply this idea to your own life? Are there areas where you feel you could be a better steward?
- The third servant in the parable is held back by fear. Can you relate to this? How does fear limit your actions?
- Both the passages from 1 Thessalonians and Matthew stress readiness and proactive behavior. How do you prepare for unpredictable events in your life, spiritual or otherwise?
- 1 Thessalonians talks about being "sober and alert." What steps are you taking to be aware of your spiritual and ethical responsibilities?
- In summary, these texts encourage continual self-assessment and action. What are some concrete steps you can take to be more proactive in your spiritual life?
- How do the virtues described in Proverbs 31 and the message of action in Matthew 25 relate to each other? Can you see a connection between the two?
- Overall, how do these readings challenge your current way of thinking or living? Are there specific changes you feel prompted to make?