16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Sunday July 20, 2025
Mass Readings for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
- First Reading – Genesis 18:1-10A: “Then Abraham got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before the three men; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.”
- Responsorial Psalm –Psalm 15: “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.”
- Second Reading – Colossians 1:24-28: “It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”
- Gospel – Luke 10:38-42: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Themes for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
The readings for 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C are focused on hospitality. In the first reading Abraham and Sarah welcome the Lord in the form of three strangers and are promised a child. The psalm tells us treat others with kindness and justice. In the second reading Paul tells us that we are one in Christ Jesus. In the gospel we hear of when Jesus visited Martha and Mary. Martha is working to get a meal ready and becomes frustrated with Mary, who is spending her time listening to Jesus.
- Listening to Jesus
- Having a balanced spiritual life
- Caring for others and listening to them
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 C.
Resources for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Lectio Divina means “divine reading”. It is a prayer practice which trusts that God speaks to us through scripture. This is a practice which can help us to learn to listen to the Lord.
Prayer for Doing the Right Thing
This prayer is based on Psalm 15, which is the responsorial psalm for this Sunday. It is a prayer for doing the right thing, a prayer which calls us to be “doers of the Word.” Psalm 15 spells out that God expects His people to act with justice.
Homilies and Reflections for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Focus on the One Thing Necessary
The Church sets this up in a really interesting way by giving us a first reading from Genesis 18—the mysterious story of Abraham being visited by three guests. The two stories together show us that the problem is not hospitality, nor being active as opposed to contemplative; rather, the problem is being focused on many things instead of the one thing necessary, in which everything else tends to fall into the right place.
Putting Jesus First
Reflecting on the Gospel Reading for this Sunday, which tells the story of Martha and Mary, Jeff Cavins discusses the importance of putting Jesus first in our lives.
Martha, Mary, and the Attitude of Discipleship
From Bishop Robert Barron. Although the little story of Martha and Mary has been interpreted throughout the centuries as a parable dealing with the “active” and “contemplative” approach to the spiritual life, it can be read as Christ’s invitation to all people to partake in his inner circle of discipleship. Christ overturned the social conventions of his time by summoning all people to discipleship. Thus, we must remove all barriers to discipleship for all people.
Waiting on the Lord
From Scott Hahn. God wants to dwell with each of us personally, intimately—as the mysterious guests once visited Abraham’s tent, as Jesus once entered the home of Mary and Martha. As once He came to Abraham, Mary, and Martha, Christ now comes to each of us in Word and Sacrament.
Doing the Unexpected
The story of Jesus in the home of Martha and Mary complements the story of the Good Samaritan, which immediately precedes it in Luke’s Gospel. Both stories are unique to Luke. The Samaritan is an example of how a disciple should see and act. Mary is an example of how a disciple should listen.
More Thoughts for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Code of Hospitality
There was a code of hospitality during the time of Abraham. This ensured that neither the host nor the visitor would be taken advantage of. The host would offer food and shelter. The visitor would bring news of the world, or entertainment in the form of stories.
Sarah might have thought the promise of a child was a humorous fairy tale. But Abraham saw his guests as divine visitors. In fact, these three men are often seen as the Trinity. Abraham offered them the best he had.
Martha and Mary also offer hospitality. Martha is sometimes depicted as not paying the right kind of attention to Jesus in this story. But in fact, she was doing what was expected of her. But she failed to recognize both the holy presence in her home and that Mary was also offering hospitality by listening to Jesus.
Our discipleship must balance service with contemplation. Taking action is important, but knowledge of our Lord must be there also. Otherwise our actions are just good works and not a chance to encounter Christ.
Reflection Questions for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
- How do I practice hospitality?
- Do I tend to be a Martha or a Mary?
- When I am putting my faith in action, do I take time to recognize the divine presence?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
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