Mass Readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
- First Reading – Wisdom 9:13-18B: “And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 90: “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.”
- Second Reading – Philemon 9-10, 12-17: “Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord.”
- Gospel – Luke 14:25-33: “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Themes for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
The readings for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C help us think about what we truly desire. In the first reading tells us we cannot understand the mind of God. The psalm declares that God is our only hope. In the second reading tells us that even in the worst of situations we can find hope in God. In the gospel Jesus tells us we must be willing to give up all we love to follow him.
- The sacrifices of discipleship
- Making plans
- Counting the cost
- Detachment from worldly things
Resources for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
This prayer praises the Eternal God. Our Heavenly Father is everlasting and we are limited. We should use our time to serve God. This prayer is based on Psalm 90, which is the responsorial psalm for this Sunday.
Giving away clothes or toys to a charity is a good way to practice almsgiving. But just giving away something you don’t want or use anymore is more like an act of closet cleaning than an act of sacrifice. Consider including at least one item you use frequently and enjoy.
Homilies and Reflections for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
From Bishop Robert Barron. “Friends, there are a lot of people today who might be intrigued by Jesus. They find him interesting, remember him as a spiritual teacher, or have warm feelings about him. But in today’s Gospel, Jesus is saying to his fair-weather fans—those who are following him because he’s fascinating and charismatic—that being his disciple is not a walk in the park…”
Another USCCB reflection. The crowds are not following Jesus. They are just traveling with him. They lack the commitment to go the whole way. Discipleship can be costly.
From Scott Hahn. “Like a king making ready for battle or a contractor about to build a tower, we have to count the cost as we set out to follow Jesus. Our Lord today is telling us up front the sacrifice it will take.” Continue reading.
Also from Bishop Robert Barron. “The world of grasping, competition, violence, and egotism is the ‘real’ world, right? Not so fast. Jesus’ strategy: spiritual shock therapy. “Hate your mother and father, your children, your wife, your very self,” he says to the uncomprehending crowds–and to us. His purpose is to shake us out of our complacency and into a whole new way of thinking, acting, and being.”
From Bishop Robert Barron. “Christ is emphasizing the great spiritual principle of detachment. In order to live healthy spiritual lives we must love Christ most of all, with everything else finding its meaning in relation to God.”
From Loyola Press. “In chapter 14 of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is speaking to people gathered at the table about the difficulties of following him. This group of people is suspicious about Jesus, looking to catch him doing something wrong. Jesus speaks to them in parables, emphasizing that although there is a right way to be a disciple and enter into the kingdom of his Father, it is a difficult path to follow. “Continue reading.
More Thoughts for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Today’s gospel is challenging. This is not peaceful, hopeful Jesus. This is “reality check” Jesus speaking to us. Crucifixion was a horrible, humiliating way to die. The image of willingly taking up a cross would have been shocking to the people of the time.
With this shocking message, Jesus is telling us that following him is not just going to mean going about our lives as we have been doing. We are going to have to make sacrifices. And we need to think about the cost. If we start thinking “I can’t give up _____ to follow Jesus”, then we don’t understand what it will take.
So Jesus really isn’t telling us to hate people. But he is telling us that nothing can get in the way of following him. I cannot love my family more than Jesus. I can’t love wealth and esteem more than Jesus. I can’t love material goods more than Jesus. We need to be committed to the path of discipleship. Otherwise we are starting something which we can’t finish.
Reflection Questions for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
- Is there something I am unwilling to give up in order to be a disciple of Jesus?
- What have I already had to let go of to follow Jesus?
- How can I loosen my grasp on the things of this world?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans.