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Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Wednesday of the 21st 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. When this falls on August 29, the gospel for the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist is used.

  • First Reading (Cycle 1) – 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13: We worked tirelessly to share God’s Gospel without burdening you. We acted like loving fathers, encouraging you to live worthy of God. We’re grateful you embraced the message as God’s true word.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18: Avoid those who don’t follow our teachings; imitate our hard work instead. We labored day and night to not burden you but to set a good example. Peace and grace to you all.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 139: No matter where I go, you are there. Your hand guides me whether I’m in heaven or in the depths, and even darkness is light to you.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 128: If you fear and follow the Lord, you’ll be blessed and prosperous. You’ll enjoy your own efforts and witness the thriving of Jerusalem.
  • Gospel Matthew 23:27-32: You scribes and Pharisees are like attractive tombs hiding decay inside. You honor past prophets while proving you’re no better than those who killed them.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

  • Moral Hypocrisy: This theme brings attention to the discrepancy between outward appearances and internal intentions. It serves as a cautionary message to not just focus on surface-level piety but also to strive for genuine goodness.
  • Historical Warnings: The passage refers to past mistakes as lessons that should serve as warnings for future actions. This theme emphasizes learning from history to make better moral choices today.
  • Spiritual Responsibility: This theme suggests that holding religious authority comes with the responsibility of being a moral example. It argues that spiritual leaders should not just follow religious rituals, but should also be virtuous in their conduct.
  • Consequences of Actions: The idea here is that actions have repercussions, both good and bad. The passage urges readers to make moral choices to avoid negative outcomes.
  • Accountability and Judgment: The text suggests that there will be a time of reckoning where people will be held accountable for their deeds. This theme encourages living a life in line with ethical and spiritual guidelines to fare well in any ultimate evaluation.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.

Matthew 23:27

Reflection for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

In the gospel for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 23:27-32, Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and teachers of the law, likening them to “whitewashed tombs,” which look good on the outside but are filled with decay. He points out the disconnect between their external piety and their internal moral state, emphasizing the importance of internal sincerity.

This is a relevant message for us today in a society that often values appearances. The passage reminds us that looking good, whether it’s on social media or in our social circles, isn’t the same as being good. What’s inside—our values, our integrity, our sincerity—matters more than external showiness.

The scripture is also a call to honesty, especially self-honesty. Just as the Pharisees were unable to recognize their own shortcomings, we can also be blind to our flaws when we’re too focused on maintaining an image. A good reputation can be undone by one moment of dishonesty or deceit. So, it’s important to keep check of our inner moral compass.

In practical terms, the passage urges us to align our external actions with our internal beliefs. Whether it’s in our work, our relationships, or our personal goals, the consistency between what we project and what we actually are is key to a meaningful life. Inconsistency can lead not just to social repercussions, but also to internal discord.

In a nutshell, Matthew 23:27-32 serves as a prompt to look beyond appearances and focus on what truly counts: our character. It encourages us to be genuine and consistent in our actions and beliefs, urging us to be more self-aware in our daily lives.

Prayer for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Dear Lord, enlighten us to avoid the pitfalls of hypocrisy and false appearances. May our inner purity shine brighter than external displays. Let our sincerity be a reflection of your grace, as we strive to honor you through our thoughts and actions. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

USCCB Reflection: Unmasking Hypocrisy

This video reflection for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, explains that Jesus calls out the Pharisees for focusing too much on outward appearances and titles while lacking true faith and goodness inside. He warns that real religious devotion should stem from a genuine change of heart and emphasizes that greatness is found in humble service, not in showing off religious rituals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time?

The next date is Wednesday August 28, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time?

The Mass readings for Wednesday August 28, 2024 are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13: Living the Gospel
First Reading (Cycle 2) – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18: Model of Discipline
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 139: Inescapable Presence
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 128: Blessings for the Faithful
Gospel – Matthew 23:27-32: Hypocrisy Condemned
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

What are the themes for the Mass readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time?

In the gospel, Matthew 23:27-3, include moral hypocrisy, historical warnings, and the importance of spiritual responsibility. They serve as a guide for genuine moral conduct and the responsibility that comes with spiritual authority.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

Why does Jesus compare the Pharisees to “attractive tombs” in the Gospel for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:27-32)?

Jesus is criticizing the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They appear righteous on the outside but are corrupt inside, just like tombs that look beautiful but contain decay.

What is Jesus trying to communicate about honoring past prophets in the Gospel for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:27-32)?

Jesus is pointing out the irony that the Pharisees honor past prophets with words, but their actions prove they’re no different from those who persecuted and killed the prophets.

What is the lesson we should take from the Gospel for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 23:27-32)?

The lesson is to focus on inner spirituality and integrity rather than external appearances. Authenticity in faith and actions is what truly matters.

What’s the primary message of the First Reading for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (1 Thessalonians 2:9-13)?

The central message is about Paul’s integrity and dedication in spreading the Gospel. He highlights the hard work and genuine love that go into delivering God’s message and appreciates the Thessalonians for recognizing the message as God’s word.

What is the Responsorial Psalm for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 139) trying to convey?

The psalm is focused on God’s omnipresence and omniscience. It emphasizes that God is everywhere and knows everything about us, offering a sense of comfort and guidance even in difficult times.

How are the readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 connected?

The readings share a theme of authenticity and integrity in faith. In Thessalonians, Paul talks about genuine effort in spreading the Gospel, while the psalm speaks of God’s ever-present nature. The Gospel warns against hypocritical behavior.

How can we apply the readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 to our lives?

The readings encourage us to be authentic in our faith. This means acting with integrity in our dealings with others and recognizing that God is always with us, guiding us towards the right path.

What is the key point of the First Reading for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18)?

The message is about discipline and hard work in following the teachings of the apostles. It encourages people to emulate their dedication and avoid those who don’t conform to these teachings.

What message does the Responsorial Psalm for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 128) convey?

The psalm talks about the blessings that come from fearing and following the Lord. It promises prosperity and personal satisfaction as rewards for righteous living.

How do the readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 relate to each other?

All three readings emphasize the importance of authentic faith and integrity. While Thessalonians and the psalm focus on the blessings of living righteously, the Gospel warns against the pitfalls of hypocrisy.

How can these readings for Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 influence our daily behavior?

These readings stress the importance of living authentically and responsibly. It reminds us that integrity and hard work in our faith will lead to personal and communal blessings.

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