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Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Saturday 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 4:9-11: Paul addresses the importance of fraternal love and self-sufficiency among believers. He commends their existing charity but encourages further progress in leading peaceful lives, tending to personal matters, and working diligently.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31: Paul reminds believers of their diverse backgrounds and calls them to reflect on their calling. He highlights that God’s wisdom contradicts human standards, choosing the seemingly weak and foolish to confound the strong. Through Christ, believers find wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, humbling human pride.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 98: A new song celebrates the Lord’s wondrous deeds and victory. Let all creation resound with joy, as the Lord comes to rule with justice and equity over the earth and its people.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 33: Blessed is the nation that makes the LORD its God, chosen for His inheritance. From heaven, He observes all. His eyes are on the reverent, delivering them and filling hearts with joy and trust.
  • Gospel Matthew 25:14-30: A master entrusts talents to three servants. The first doubles his five talents, the second his two. The third buries his one out of fear. Upon return, the master rewards the faithful, condemns the unproductive, and emphasizes responsible stewardship.

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

  • Parable of the Talents: The parable of the talents highlights the theme of stewardship and responsibility. The master entrusts his servants with varying amounts, illustrating the importance of using our God-given gifts wisely.
  • Investing and Multiplying: The theme of investing and multiplying emerges as the first two servants use their talents to generate more. This emphasizes the value of productive efforts that lead to growth and abundance.
  • Fear and Inaction: The third servant’s fear and inaction contrast with the proactive choices of the others. This theme underscores the consequences of allowing fear to hinder the use of our talents for God’s purposes.
  • Accountability and Judgment: The master’s return and assessment of the servants highlights the theme of accountability and judgment. This emphasizes that God evaluates how we’ve utilized our talents and resources in light of His kingdom.
  • Faithfulness and Rewards: The servants who multiply their talents are rewarded with greater responsibilities. This theme underscores the connection between faithfulness in smaller tasks and the potential for greater contributions in God’s service.
  • Wasted Opportunities: The third servant’s burying of the talent showcases the theme of wasted opportunities. This highlights the danger of not utilizing our gifts and the sobering outcome of squandering what God has given us.

Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

Matthew 25:14

Reflection for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

The gospel for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 25:14-30, is known as the Parable of the Talents. The passage centers on a master who entrusts his servants with varying amounts of talents (a form of currency). Upon his return, the master rewards the servants who invested and increased their talents, while the one who hid his talent out of fear is punished.

One key takeaway for us today is the importance of using our gifts and resources wisely. We all have different talents—be it time, money, or skills. The parable encourages us to use these assets for good, rather than hoarding them out of fear or insecurity. In the context of work or community involvement, it could mean taking risks to achieve greater goals.

It’s also a commentary on the destructive power of fear. The servant who hid his talent did so out of fear of losing it, but in the end, his caution led to loss anyway. This is a lesson on the perils of being too risk-averse—whether in our careers, investments, or even in our relationships. Fear can often hold us back more than any actual limitations.

The parable is not just about individual growth but also points to a communal responsibility. It suggests that by growing our talents, we can contribute to the greater good. When we excel in our jobs, support our families, or volunteer in our communities, we are, in a way, multiplying the “talents” entrusted to us.

Furthermore, the parable is a reminder that we’re accountable for what we’ve been given. It suggests that how we use our gifts matters and has consequences, both in this life and potentially in the life to come.

Overall, the Parable of the Talents encourages us to be active and responsible stewards of our resources. It’s a nudge to step out of our comfort zones, make good use of what we’ve been given, and understand that our choices have a wider impact.

Prayer for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Lord, grant us the courage to use your gifts wisely. May we not fear taking risks for your kingdom. Help us avoid complacency and embrace the opportunities you provide, knowing that through faithful stewardship, we grow closer to your eternal joy. Amen.

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

Word On Fire: Investing Spiritual Gifts

In Bishop Robert Barron’s reflection on the Gospel for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, he discusses the parable of the talents. He emphasizes that God grants us abilities and resources not just for personal use, but to share and invest in the world. Barron notes that Jesus often drew from the business world for his parables, and he believes the message here is simple: if we want to enrich our spiritual lives, we have to give away what we’ve received. Holding onto these gifts without sharing them leads to stagnation.

USCCB Reflection: Fear of the Lord

This USCCB video reflection for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time delves into the often-misunderstood concept of “fear of the Lord,” drawing from the parable of the wicked and lazy servant. The reflection explains that this fear is not about servile dread, but a reverential relationship with God based on love. It’s described as a driving force to fulfill God’s will out of respect and appreciation for the all-good Creator, rather than fear of punishment. The passage emphasizes the importance of using and sharing the gifts received, expressing gratitude, generosity, and courage in our actions, rooted in love and respect for God.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The next date is Saturday August 31, 2024.

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

The Mass readings for Saturday August 31, 2024 are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11: Growing in Love and Simplicity
First Reading (Cycle 2) – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31: God’s Wisdom in Humility
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 98: Rejoicing in God’s Reign
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 33: God’s Watchful Care
Gospel – Matthew 25:14-30: Faithful Stewardship
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

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

In the gospel, Matthew 25:14-30, we encounter themes of stewardship, overcoming fear and inaction, accountability, and the consequences of wasted opportunities. This parable challenges us to utilize our gifts for God’s kingdom and to approach life with diligence, faith, and a willingness to take action.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

How do the first and second servants differ from the third in the Gospel for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 25:14-30)?

The first two servants take risks and double their talents, whereas the third, motivated by fear, buries his. The difference is in their approach to stewardship and risk-taking.

What’s the consequence for the third servant in the Gospel for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 25:14-30)?

The master is disappointed with the third servant’s inaction. He’s labeled as unfaithful, and his talent is given to the servant who has the most, while he is punished.

What is the message about responsible stewardship in the Gospel for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 25:14-30)?

The parable emphasizes the importance of using one’s gifts and resources wisely. Those who are faithful in little things will be trusted with more, while those who waste their resources will lose even what they have.

What is the main point Paul is making about fraternal love in the First Reading for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (1 Thessalonians 4:9-11)?

Paul highlights the importance of fraternal love among believers. He commends the Thessalonians for already exhibiting such love but encourages them to make further progress.

What does Paul mean by leading a peaceful life and tending to personal matters in the First Reading for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (1 Thessalonians 4:9-11)?

Paul suggests that believers should aim for a quiet and peaceful life, focusing on their own affairs and work. This self-sufficiency is not isolation but a form of social responsibility.

What is the central theme of the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 98)?

The psalm is a song of joy celebrating the Lord’s wonderful deeds. It calls for all creation to resound with joy because the Lord comes to rule with justice and equity.

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

Both the first reading (1 Thessalonians 4:9-11) and the gospel (Matthew 25:14-30) touch on the themes of social responsibility and the wise use of resources—whether it’s love and peaceful living or talents and opportunities.

How can these readings for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 be applied to our everyday lives?

In everyday life, focusing on fraternal love, peaceful coexistence, and responsible stewardship can have a significant impact. Whether it’s through community involvement, diligent work, or making the most of our skills and opportunities, these readings remind us of the virtues to strive for.

What is Paul saying about the diversity of believers in the First Reading for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)?

Paul points out that believers come from various backgrounds and many are not considered wise or powerful by worldly standards. Despite this, they are chosen by God.

How does God’s wisdom contradict human standards according to the First Reading for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)?

Paul argues that God often chooses what is perceived as weak or foolish by human standards to confound the wise and strong. It’s a reversal of worldly values.

What is the message of the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Psalm 33) about nations and individuals?

The psalm states that nations and individuals who make the LORD their God are blessed. God’s focus is on those who are reverent, and He offers them deliverance and joy.

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

Both the first reading (1 Corinthians 1:26-31) and the gospel (Matthew 25:14-30) emphasize the reversal of human expectations. God chooses the seemingly weak to confound the strong, and the seemingly unwise actions of the first two servants lead to rewards.

How do these readings for Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 resonate in our daily lives?

These readings encourage us to look beyond worldly definitions of success or strength. Whether it’s maximizing our skills, like in the gospel, or embracing the wisdom that comes from a relationship with Christ, as in the first reading, the focus is on internal virtues over external achievements.

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