Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
February 20, 2024

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-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I : Isaiah 45:1, 4-6

I have called you by name.

  • When Israel was exiled in Babylon, the people found it difficult to understand how God could allow them to be captives in a strange land.
  • Isaiah comforts the people with the message that God would use another nation and another leader to restore the people to their own land.
  • God called Cyrus, the Persian leader, to defeat the Babylonians and to give the Jews permission to return and rebuild Jerusalem and its surroundings.

Reading II : 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b

We thank God for your faith!

  • Paul’s greeting to the Thessalonians marks the beginning of his thanksgiving to God for their fervent response to his preaching.
  • Thessalonica was a crucial place for spreading the Gospel throughout Macedonia.
  • Paul is thankful that the Church is flourishing.

Gospel : Matthew 22:15-21

Keep your priorities clear.

  • Today’s passage from Matthew’s Gospel is the first of four stories about Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish authorities.
  • The Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a question about paying taxes.
  • Jesus refuses to answer the question on the level that it is presented to him, instead he raises the discussion to a higher level; teaching that in all cases, our responsibility to God is primary.