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Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Cycle 1 is used in odd numbered years and Cycle 2 is used in even numbered years. The gospel is the same for both years.

  • First Reading (Cycle 1) – Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17: Ruth, a Moabite, gleans in Boaz’s field, who shows her favor. He marries her, and they have a son named Obed, the grandfather of David. The women celebrate Naomi’s blessing of an heir.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – Ezekiel 43:1-7ab: The angel shows the vision of God’s glory coming from the east, filling the temple. God proclaims that the temple will be his dwelling place among the children of Israel forever.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 128: Those who fear the LORD and walk in his ways are blessed. They will enjoy the fruits of their labor, a fruitful family, and witness the prosperity of Jerusalem.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 85: God promises peace and salvation to those who fear him, and his glory will dwell in the land. Kindness, truth, justice, and peace will unite, and the land will yield its increase.
  • Gospel Matthew 23:1-12: Jesus warns the crowds and his disciples to follow the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees but not their hypocritical example. He emphasizes humility and cautions against self-exaltation.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

  • Religious Leadership and Hypocrisy: Jesus’ critique of the religious leaders highlights the theme of hypocrisy. He warns against their outward displays of piety that mask inner motivations and lack of genuine righteousness.
  • Practice What You Preach: The theme of practicing what one preaches is evident as Jesus emphasizes the importance of aligning actions with teachings. He criticizes the leaders for imposing burdens on others while not living up to their own standards.
  • Humility and Servanthood: The passage contrasts the Pharisees’ desire for recognition with the theme of humility and servanthood. Jesus calls believers to embrace a humble posture and prioritize serving others over seeking personal acclaim.
  • Exaltation and Humbling: The theme of exaltation and humbling emerges as Jesus warns against seeking titles and prominence. He reminds that true honor comes from God, and those who exalt themselves will be humbled.
  • Teacher and Disciple Relationship: Jesus speaks about the Teacher and the title of “Rabbi,” highlighting the theme of authority and learning. He emphasizes that true learning comes from God, and all believers are equal before Him.
  • Genuine Leadership: Jesus’ teaching on leadership underscores the theme of genuine leadership being characterized by service. He elevates the idea that leaders should serve the needs of others rather than seeking personal gain.

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.

Matthew 23:3

Reflection for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

In the gospel for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, Jesus begins by addressing the crowd and His disciples about the scribes and Pharisees. He points out their authority but criticizes their hypocrisy. For Catholics, this serves as a warning against empty rituals and superficial faith. It’s a call to live authentically, ensuring that our actions align with our beliefs.

Jesus goes on to describe the religious leaders’ love for status and recognition. He reveals their desire for places of honor and being called by prestigious titles. This is a reminder to all of us to examine our motivations. Do we seek human praise or God’s approval? The message encourages Catholics to pursue humility and sincere service.

The Lord’s statement, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted,” emphasizes the virtue of humility. In the Catholic tradition, humility is highly esteemed, recognizing that all gifts and talents come from God. This passage encourages us to keep a proper perspective, acknowledging our dependence on God and avoiding self-importance.

The specific critique of the Pharisees serves as a universal lesson. Their failure was not just a matter of personal sin but a failure to guide others rightly. For those in positions of spiritual leadership within the Church, this is a sobering reminder of the responsibility to lead with integrity, compassion, and humility.

Overall, this passage challenges us to reflect on our attitudes and behaviors. Are we living our faith genuinely, or are we more concerned with appearances? Are we humble in our approach to others, recognizing our common dependence on God’s grace? These questions are vital for Catholics as we seek to follow Christ’s example.

Prayer for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Dear Jesus, our humble Teacher, help us embrace genuine humility in our actions and intentions. Guide us to serve without seeking recognition or titles. May we learn from your example and prioritize inner transformation over outward appearances. In your teachings, we find the path to true greatness, rooted in selfless love and humility. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Word On Fire: The Virtue of Humility

In his reflection on the Gospel for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron reflects on humility, emphasizing the contrast between the pride of the Pharisees and the virtue of humility. Using thoughts from St. Augustine, St. Paul, and Thomas Aquinas, Barron illustrates how humility is recognizing the truth about our relationship with God. He points out the challenge in living out this truth in a world where the ego often takes precedence, and he portrays humility not as degradation but as an elevation and a liberation from the ego.

USCCB Reflection: Facing Hypocrisy in Faith

In a reflection for the Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, the focus is on avoiding hypocrisy within religious practices, as detailed in a reading from Matthew. Jesus criticizes religious leaders who don’t follow their own teachings and calls for mercy and compassion, while the words of Ezekiel remind that God’s love endures despite human failure. The example of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux encourages a balanced life of contemplation and service to overcome hypocrisy and experience God’s constant presence and love.

Word On Fire: The Burden of Moral Superiority

In his reflection on the Gospel for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, Robert Barron’s focuses on Jesus’ critique of religious leaders who burden people with rigid moral demands while inflating their own egos. The core of Jesus’ message, Bishop Barron points out, is about being willing to help others bear their burdens. Religious leaders mustn’t use law and morality as ego boosters; the true mark of greatness in the spiritual life is servitude. Jesus advises those in spiritual leadership to avoid seeking marks of respect and instead find satisfaction in doing work on behalf of God’s kingdom.

USCCB Reflection: The Pitfall of Indifference

This USCCB reflection for Saturday of the the 20th Week in Ordinary Time discusses how spiritual indifference can hinder our relationships with God and others. Using the story of Ruth and Boaz, it shows how love can overcome indifference, guiding us towards empathy and humility in faith. It also warns that getting too caught up in religious law without compassion can lead to this problematic indifference. The video suggests that practicing mercy is an effective way to counteract this issue. Lastly, it urges viewers to be mindful of how indifference could impact their own spiritual journey and encourages the practice of love and care as a remedy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time?

The next date is Saturday August 23, 2025.

What are the Mass readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time?

The Mass readings for Saturday August 23, 2025 are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17: Ruth and Boaz
First Reading (Cycle 2) – Ezekiel 43:1-7ab: Glory in the Temple
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 128: Blessings for the Faithful
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 85: Glory and Justice in the Land
Gospel – Matthew 23:1-12: Humility and Hypocrisy
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

What are the themes for the Mass readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time?

In the gospel, Matthew 23:1-12, we encounter themes of religious leadership and hypocrisy, the importance of practicing what is preached, the virtues of humility and servanthood, the dynamics of exaltation and humbling, the teacher and disciple relationship, and the qualities of genuine leadership. This passage calls us to self-examination, humility, and a sincere commitment to leading by serving others.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

What is Jesus’ warning to his followers in the Gospel for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:1-12)?

Jesus warns against the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees. While advising adherence to their teachings, He condemns their actions, emphasizing the importance of humility and cautioning against self-exaltation.

What does Ruth’s story symbolize in the First Reading for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17)?

Ruth’s story is one of faithfulness, kindness, and loyalty. She represents the idea that anyone, even a foreigner like a Moabite, can become part of God’s plan. Her marriage to Boaz and the birth of Obed connect her to the lineage of David.

What are the virtues exhibited by Boaz in the First Reading for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17)?

Boaz displays generosity, integrity, and respect towards Ruth, acknowledging her faithfulness to Naomi and providing for her needs.

What are the blessings described in the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 128)?

The Psalm speaks of the blessings that come from fearing the LORD and following His ways, including enjoying the fruits of labor, a flourishing family, and the prosperity of Jerusalem.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 128) connect to the First Reading (Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17)?

The blessings of family and fruitful labor in the Psalm resonate with the themes of Ruth’s story, where loyalty and faithfulness lead to blessing and lineage.

How does the Gospel for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:1-12) relate to the other readings for Cycle 1 (Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17, Psalm 128)?

The Gospel’s emphasis on humility and sincere adherence to principles aligns with the virtuous behaviors demonstrated by Ruth and Boaz, in contrast to the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees.

What lesson is conveyed through these readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1?

These readings explore the themes of faithfulness, humility, integrity, and blessing. They highlight the virtues of compassion and humility, contrasting them with hypocrisy, and they illustrate how living in accordance with divine principles leads to blessings.

How do these readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 encourage us to act or reflect?

We are encouraged to reflect on our own lives and the virtues we embrace. The readings prompt us to consider how we might act with integrity and humility, honor our commitments, and recognize that our actions can have significant impacts, leading to blessings and fulfilling God’s plan.

What is significant about the vision of God’s glory coming from the east in the First Reading for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Ezekiel 43:1-7ab)?

The vision of God’s glory coming from the east signifies His divine presence and establishes the temple as His dwelling place among the children of Israel forever. This return of God’s presence marks a renewal of the covenant.

What does the temple symbolize in the First Reading for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Ezekiel 43:1-7ab)?

The temple symbolizes the presence of God among His people. It’s a place of worship, unity, and divine connection, embodying the special relationship between God and the children of Israel.

What are the promises made by God in the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 85)?

God promises peace, salvation, and blessings to those who fear Him. The Psalm depicts an ideal land where kindness, truth, justice, and peace unite, and the land yields its abundance.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 85) connect to the First Reading (Ezekiel 43:1-7ab)?

Both the Psalm and the First Reading emphasize God’s presence and the blessings that flow from a faithful relationship with Him. The land’s prosperity and the unity of virtues reflect the divine connection.

How does the Gospel for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:1-12) relate to the other readings for Cycle 2 (Ezekiel 43:1-7ab, Psalm 85)?

The Gospel’s focus on humility and authenticity resonates with the other readings’ emphasis on genuine faithfulness and the blessings that come from a true relationship with God.

What lesson can be drawn from these readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

These readings explore the importance of genuine faith, humility, and the blessings that come from a true connection with God. They remind us of God’s presence and His desire to dwell among those who are faithful.

How do these readings for Saturday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 encourage reflection or action?

The readings prompt reflection on our own relationship with God and our adherence to principles of humility and integrity. They encourage us to examine our actions and attitudes, embracing a genuine faith that aligns with God’s promises and blessings.

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