20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Sunday August 17, 2025

Mass Readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

  • First ReadingJeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10: “And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud.”
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 40: “Lord, come to my aid!”
  • Second ReadingHebrews 12:1-4: “Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”
  • GospelLuke 12:49-53: “From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Themes for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

The readings for 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C tell us that discipleship can cause division and that we will have people pulling us in different directions. In the first reading is thrown in a cistern for speaking the truth, but finally a court official speaks up for him. In the second reading Paul reminds us of all of the opposition Jesus endured. In the gospel Jesus tells us that he has come up to disrupt our lives and shake us out of complacency.

  • Relationships which support us in faith
  • Authenticity
  • Peer pressure

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C.

Resources for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Friendship Bracelets

)Making friendship bracelets can be both a craft and an affirmation activity. The bracelets are made by sharing a bead with a friend and saying what unique quality you like about that person.

Fake You Out Lesson Plan

If you are looking to go a little deeper into the topics of authenticity and popularity, then check out this lesson plan.

Who’s Your Buddy? Lesson Plan

This is another lesson plan which is focused on friendship.

Homilies and Reflections for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Let Christ Light a Fire in You

From Bishop Robert Barron. “The readings for this weekend are tough. Here is the principle behind them, one that is simple to state, but difficult to take in: in a world gone wrong, those who come to us speaking and embodying the truth are going to be opposed.”

Eyes on Jesus

Jeff Cavins encourages us to “run the race” and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,

Consuming Fire

From Scott Hahn. “The fire He has come to cast on the earth is the fire that He wants to blaze in each of our hearts. The fire has been set, but it is not yet blazing. We are called to enter deeper into the consuming love of God. We must examine our consciences and our actions, submitting ourselves to the revealing fire of God’s Word.” Continue reading.

I Have Come to Bring Division

What Jesus is actually doing here is quoting the prophet, Micah from Micah 7, in which the prophet Micah describes a time of strife in Israel where even the family will be divided in the end times (which Jesus inaugurates). In another words, Jesus is going to fulfill the prophecy of Micah — he will unleash the time of division that will precede the restoration of the 12 tribes and the coming of the Kingdom of God.

I Have Come to Cast a Fire Upon the Earth

From Bishop Robert Barron. “Jesus’ words from our Gospel this week inspired the name for my program, Word on Fire. Jesus speaks of the divine judgment that will fall like a cleansing fire on the earth. This is not opposed to God’s love, but is rather what God’s love looks like to a fallen world.”

Be Prepared for Conflict

From Loyola Press. “It is good to be reminded once in a while that the decision to do the right thing, the good thing, is not always easy and without conflict. Jesus himself did not make easy decisions and avoid conflict. In today’s reading, he reminds his followers to be prepared for difficult decisions and conflict as well.” Continue reading.

Fate of the Prophet

Also from Bishop Robert Barron. “Authentically religious people, authentically spiritual people, will almost always be opposed. The logic behind this is simple and unanswerable: we live in a world gone wrong, a world turned upside down; therefore, when someone comes speaking the truth to us, we will think that they are crazy and dangerous.”

More Thoughts for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Fire often represents God. We see the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire. In the Old Testament, we see God in a pillar of fire and in the burning bush. Even in our liturgical worship today, fire plays and important role. We have the Easter candle and baptismal candles, representing the light of Christ.

Fire has the power to transform. It can melt wax or purify metals. It can protect, for example by cooking bacteria out of food. But it can also destroy, especially when it is not treated with respect. And it can disrupt.

But fire can also be peaceful. Think of being mesmerized by a campfire blazing in front of you. It provides warmth and light. In this case, a blazing fire is comforting.

This is the call of the Christian. We must get caught up in beauty of the fire of our Lord. This will transform us, possibly in ways which we do not expect. It will disrupt our current ways of thinking and doing things. But some disruption can be good, and can help us see what needs to change in our lives.

Reflection Questions for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

  • Do I find the fire of Jesus comforting or disturbing or both?
  • How has Jesus transformed me?
  • How can I transmit the fire of God in my life to others?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!

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