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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Sunday September 7, 2025

Mass Readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

  • First ReadingWisdom 9:13-18B: Understanding God's intentions is beyond human capacity without divine wisdom and the Holy Spirit, as earthly concerns often cloud our judgment.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 90: God, timeless and eternal, teaches us to value our days and seeks our return to righteousness, offering mercy and favor throughout our fleeting lives.
  • Second ReadingPhilemon 9-10, 12-17: Paul, imprisoned, sends Onesimus back to Philemon, not as a slave but as a beloved brother, urging Philemon to welcome him as he would Paul himself.
  • Gospel - Luke 14:25-33: Jesus teaches that following him requires prioritizing him above all personal relationships and possessions, emphasizing the need to consider the sacrifices involved, much like planning a construction or a battle.

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
  • Hope

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C.

Resources for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Eternal God Prayer Based on Psalm 90
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Eternal God Prayer

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.

Give Something You Like to Charity

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

The Fair-Weather Fans of Jesus

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..."

Do I Need to Hate Mom and Dad?

Jeff Cavins explains that if we are going to be disciples, we need to be really committed.

The Cost of Discipleship

A video reflection from USCCB. Jesus' background in carpentry might have inspired today's image of how to set our priorities. We must focus on God. Our relationships must be ordered to this and we must be willing to make sacrifices.

Following or Not?

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.

Counting the Cost

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.

Spiritual Shock Therapy

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."

The Awful Gospel of the Cross

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."

A Challenging Path

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C?

The upcoming dates are September 7, 2025
For other years see the links below:
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A: September 6, 2026
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B:

What are the Mass readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C?

The Mass readings for September 7, 2025 are:
First Reading – Wisdom 9:13-18B: Divine Guidance Sought
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 90: Eternal Shelter
Second Reading – Philemon 9-10, 12-17: Welcome Onesimus
Gospel - Luke 14:25-33: True Discipleship

What are the themes for the Mass readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C?

The themes for September 7, 2025 are the sacrifices of discipleship, making plans, counting the cost, detachment from worldly things, and hope.

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Comments

One response to “23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C”

  1. Fr Fran Tatau Avatar
    Fr Fran Tatau

    I like this homily. May I be provided with every Sundays' homily please

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