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Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
August 25, 2019
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Ordinary Time

For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I : Isaiah 66:18-21

People will gather in God's name from all the nations.

  • The reading from the final chapter of Isaiah refers to a time when the people of Israel believed that they could remain faithful to the covenant by separating from peoples who were not chosen.
  • In today's passage the point is made that all humankind will worship in Jerusalem.
  • Some Gentiles would even serve as priests and Levites, which was unheard of in the religious belief of the time.

Reading II : Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

Your trials in life bring you strength.

  • By designating Christians as children of God, the author of today's Letter to the Hebrews makes an important point.
  • Like the divine Son, disciples share in the glory of God through the cross.
  • In this passage, human suffering is interpreted as evidence that God is disciplining the children he loves to bring them to maturity.

Gospel : Luke 13:22-30

Some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.

  • The Gospel reading from Luke is a collection of sayings warning disciples to be faithful and prepared.
  • The image of a narrow door indicates the difficulties involved in following Jesus.
  • In the Gospel of Luke, table fellowship is a primary sign of discipleship. To eat with Jesus is to share his life; to share his life is to share his cross.