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EXCERPTSYEAR B THEMES

This Sunday’s Themes

The Homiletic Directory offers these recommendations for this Sunday’s readings:

CCC 389, 457-458, 846, 1019, 1507: Christ as Savior
CCC 679: Christ the Lord of eternal life
CCC 55: God wants to give man eternal life
CCC 710: Israel’s exile foreshadowed the Passion

Christ as Savior

Original sin

389 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the “reverse side” of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ,263 knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.


Why did the Word become flesh?

The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God,

457 The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world”, and “he was revealed to take away sins”:70

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?71

458 The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”72 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”73


“Outside the Church there is no salvation”

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”338


In brief

1019 Jesus, the Son of God, freely suffered death for us in complete and free submission to the will of God, his Father. By his death he has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all men.


“Heal the sick . . .”

1507 The risen Lord renews this mission (“In my name . . . they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”116) and confirms it through the signs that the Church performs by invoking his name.117 These signs demonstrate in a special way that Jesus is truly “God who saves.”118

Christ the Lord of eternal life

To judge the living and the dead

678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching.582 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.583 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God’s grace as nothing be condemned.584 Our attitude to our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.585 On the Last Day Jesus will say: “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”586

679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He “acquired” this right by his cross. The Father has given “all judgment to the Son”.587 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.588 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.589

God wants to give man eternal life

In the beginning God makes himself known

54 “God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities. And furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation – he manifested himself to our first parents from the very beginning.”6 He invited them to intimate communion with himself and clothed them with resplendent grace and justice.

55 This revelation was not broken off by our first parents’ sin. “After the fall, [God] buoyed them up with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption; and he has never ceased to show his solicitude for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing.”7

Even when he disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon him to the power of death. . . Again and again you offered a covenant to man.8

Israel’s exile foreshadowed the Passion

In the Kingdom and the Exile

709 The Law, the sign of God’s promise and covenant, ought to have governed the hearts and institutions of that people to whom Abraham’s faith gave birth. “If you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, . . . you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”75 But after David, Israel gave in to the temptation of becoming a kingdom like other nations. The Kingdom, however, the object of the promise made to David,76 would be the work of the Holy Spirit; it would belong to the poor according to the Spirit.

710 The forgetting of the Law and the infidelity to the covenant end in death: it is the Exile, apparently the failure of the promises, which is in fact the mysterious fidelity of the Savior God and the beginning of a promised restoration, but according to the Spirit. The People of God had to suffer this purification.77 In God’s plan, the Exile already stands in the shadow of the Cross, and the Remnant of the poor that returns from the Exile is one of the most transparent prefigurations of the Church.

Catechism Themes — Year B

Dates are for Sundays of 2020-21

“The following paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church resonate with the biblical readings for this Sunday. They were chosen either because they cite or allude to the specific readings, or because they treat topics found in the readings.”

Homiletic Directory
ADVENT (NOV 29 - DEC 20)

First Sunday of Advent

CCC 668-677, 769: the final tribulation and Christ’s return in glory
CCC 451, 671, 1130, 1403, 2817: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
CCC 35: God gives humanity grace to accept Revelation, welcome the Messiah
CCC 827, 1431, 2677, 2839: acknowledging that we are sinners

Second Sunday of Advent

CCC 522, 711-716, 722: the prophets and the expectation of the Messiah
CCC 523, 717-720: the mission of John the Baptist
CCC 1042-1050: a new heaven and a new earth

Third Sunday of Advent

CCC 30, 163, 301, 736, 1829, 1832, 2015, 2362: joy
CCC 713-714: characteristics of the awaited Messiah
CCC 218-219: God’s love for Israel
CCC 772, 796: the Church as the Bride of Christ

Fourth Sunday of Advent

CCC 484-494: the Annunciation
CCC 439, 496, 559, 2616: Jesus is the Son of David
CCC 143-149, 494, 2087: the “obedience of faith”

CHRISTMAS (DEC 25 - JAN 10)

The Solemnity of Christmas

CCC 456-460, 466: “Why did the Word become flesh?”
CCC 461-463, 470-478: the Incarnation
CCC 437, 525-526: the Christmas mystery
CCC 439, 496, 559, 2616: Jesus is the Son of David
CCC 65, 102: God has said everything in his Word
CCC 333: the incarnate Christ worshipped by the angels
CCC 1159-1162, 2131, 2502: the Incarnation and images of Christ

The Holy Family

CCC 531-534: the Holy Family
CCC 1655-1658, 2204-2206: the Christian family, a domestic Church
CCC 2214-2233: duties of family members
CCC 529, 583, 695: the Presentation in the Temple
CCC 144-146, 165, 489, 2572, 2676: Abraham and Sarah as models of faith

The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

CCC 464-469: Jesus Christ, true God and true Man
CCC 495, 2677: Mary is the Mother of God
CCC 1, 52, 270, 294, 422, 654, 1709, 2009: our adoption as sons
CCC 527, 577-582: Jesus submits to the Law, and perfects it
CCC 580, 1972: the New Law frees from restrictions of the Old Law
CCC 683, 689, 1695, 2766, 2777-2778: in the Holy Spirit we can call God “Abba”
CCC 430-435, 2666-2668, 2812: the name of Jesus

Second Sunday after the Nativity

CCC 151, 241, 291, 423, 445, 456-463, 504-505, 526, 1216, 2466, 2787: John’s Prologue
CCC 272, 295, 299, 474, 721, 1831: Christ the Wisdom of God
CCC 158, 283, 1303, 1831, 2500: God gives us wisdom

Solemnity of the Epiphany

CCC 528, 724: the Epiphany
CCC 280, 529, 748, 1165, 2466, 2715: Christ the light of the nations
CCC 60, 442, 674, 755, 767, 774-776, 781, 831: the Church, sacrament of human unity

Baptism of the Lord

The homiletic directory does not have any references for this Sunday

ORDINARY TIME (JAN 11 - FEB 14)

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 462, 516, 2568, 2824: the Father’s will fulfilled in Christ
CCC 543-546: to welcome the Kingdom, welcome the Word of God
CCC 873-874: Christ the source of Christian vocation
CCC 364, 1004: the dignity of the body
CCC 1656, 2226: helping children discover their vocation

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 51-64: God’s plan of Revelation
CCC 1427-1433: inner, ongoing conversion
CCC 1886-1889: conversion and society

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 547-550: Jesus accompanies words with miracles
CCC 447, 438, 550: Jesus’ power over demons
CCC 64, 762, 2595: the role of the prophet
CCC 922, 1618-1620: virginity for the sake of the Kingdom

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 547-550: healing as a sign of messianic times
CCC 1502-1505: Christ the Healer
CCC 875, 1122: the urgency of preaching

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1474: living in Christ unites all believers in him
CCC 1939-1942: human solidarity
CCC 2288-2291: respect for health

ORDINARY TIME (2021 EXCLUSIONS)

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1421, 1441-1442: Christ the healer of soul and body
CCC 987, 1441, 1741: Christ forgives sins
CCC 1425-1426: reconciliation after baptism
CCC 1065: Christ our “Amen”

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 772-773, 796: the Church, the mystery of union with God
CCC 796: the Church as the Bride of Christ

Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 345-349, 582, 2168-2173: the Lord’s Day
CCC 1005-1014, 1470, 1681-1683: dying and living in Christ

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 410-412: the Protoevangelium
CCC 374-379: man in paradise
CCC 385-409: the fall
CCC 517, 550: Christ as exorcist

LENT (FEB 21 - MAR 28)

First Sunday of Lent

CCC 394, 538-540, 2119: the temptation of Jesus
CCC 2846-2849: “Lead us not into temptation”
CCC 56-58, 71: the Covenant with Noah
CCC 845, 1094, 1219: Noah’s Ark prefigures the Church and baptism
CCC 1116, 1129, 1222: Covenant and sacraments (especially baptism)
CCC 1257, 1811: God saves through baptism

Second Sunday of Lent

CCC 554-556, 568: the Transfiguration
CCC 59, 145-146, 2570-2572: the obedience of Abraham
CCC 153-159: characteristics of faith
CCC 2059: God manifests his glory to make known his will
CCC 603, 1373, 2634, 2852: Christ is for us

Third Sunday of Lent

CCC 459, 577-582: Jesus and the Law
CCC 593, 583-586: Temple prefigures Christ; he is the Temple
CCC 1967-1968: the New Law completes the Old
CCC 272, 550, 853: Christ’s power revealed in the Cross

Fourth Sunday of Lent

CCC 389, 457-458, 846, 1019, 1507: Christ as Savior
CCC 679: Christ the Lord of eternal life
CCC 55: God wants to give man eternal life
CCC 710: Israel’s exile foreshadowed the Passion

Fifth Sunday of Lent

CCC 606-607: Christ’s life an offering to the Father
CCC 542, 607: Christ’s desire to give his life for our salvation
CCC 690, 729: the Spirit glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies the Father
CCC 662, 2853: Christ ascended in glory as our victory
CCC 56-64, 220, 715, 762, 1965: the history of the covenants

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

CCC 557-560: Christ’s entry into Jerusalem
CCC 602-618: the Passion of Christ
CCC 2816: Christ’s kingship gained through his death and Resurrection
CCC 654, 1067-1068, 1085, 1362: the Paschal Mystery and the liturgy

Thursday of the Lord’s Supper

CCC 1337-1344: the institution of the Eucharist
CCC 1359-1361: Eucharist as thanksgiving
CCC 610, 1362-1372, 1382, 1436: Eucharist as sacrifice
CCC 1373-1381: the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist
CCC 1384-1401, 2837: Holy Communion
CCC 1402-1405: the Eucharist as the pledge of glory
CCC 611, 1366: institution of the priesthood at the Last Supper

Friday of the Passion of the Lord

CCC 602-618, 1992: the Passion of Christ
CCC 612, 2606, 2741: the prayer of Jesus
CCC 467, 540, 1137: Christ the High Priest
CCC 2825: Christ’s obedience and ours

EASTER (APR 4 - MAY 16)

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

CCC 638-655, 989, 1001-1002: the Resurrection of Christ and our resurrection
CCC 647, 1167-1170, 1243, 1287: Easter, the Lord’s Day
CCC 1212: the Sacraments of Initiation
CCC 1214-1222, 1226-1228, 1234-1245, 1254: Baptism
CCC 1286-1289: Confirmation
CCC 1322-1323: Eucharist

Second Sunday of Easter

CCC 448, 641-646: appearances of the risen Christ
CCC 1084-1089: sanctifying presence of the risen Christ in the liturgy
CCC 2177-2178, 1342: the Sunday Eucharist
CCC 654-655, 1988: our new birth in the Resurrection of Christ
CCC 976-983, 1441-1442: “I believe in the forgiveness of sins”
CCC 949-953, 1329, 1342, 2624, 2790: communion in spiritual goods

Third Sunday of Easter

CCC 1346-1347: the Eucharist and the experience of the disciples at Emmaus
CCC 642-644, 857, 995-996: the apostles and disciples as witnesses of the Resurrection
CCC 102, 601, 426-429, 2763: Christ the key to interpreting all Scripture
CCC 519, 662, 1137: Christ, our Advocate in heaven

Fourth Sunday of Easter

CCC 754, 764, 2665: Christ the Shepherd and Gate
CCC 553, 857, 861, 881, 896, 1558, 1561, 1568, 1574: Pope and bishops as shepherds
CCC 874, 1120, 1465, 1536, 1548-1551, 1564, 2179, 2686: priests as shepherds
CCC 756: Christ the cornerstone
CCC 1, 104, 239, 1692, 1709, 2009, 2736: we are God’s children now

Fifth Sunday of Easter

CCC 2746-2751: Christ’s prayer at the Last Supper
CCC 736, 737, 755, 787, 1108, 1988, 2074: Christ is the vine, we are the branches
CCC 953, 1822-1829: charity

Sixth Sunday of Easter

CCC 2746-2751: Christ’s prayer at the Last Supper
CCC 214, 218-221, 231, 257, 733, 2331, 2577: God is love
CCC 1789, 1822-1829, 2067, 2069: love of God and neighbor fulfills the Commandments
CCC 2347, 2709: friendship with Christ

The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

CCC 659-672, 697, 792, 965, 2795: the Ascension

Seventh Sunday of Easter

CCC 2746-2751: Christ’s prayer at the Last Supper
CCC 2614, 2741: Jesus prays for us
CCC 611, 2812, 2821: Jesus’ prayer sanctifies us, especially in the Eucharist

SOLEMNITIES & FEASTS (MAY 23 - JUN 6)

The Solemnity of Pentecost

CCC 696, 726, 731-732, 737-741, 830, 1076, 1287, 2623: Pentecost
CCC 599, 597,674, 715: apostolic witness on Pentecost
CCC 1152, 1226, 1302, 1556: the mystery of Pentecost continues in the Church
CCC 767, 775, 798, 796, 813, 1097, 1108-1109: the Church, communion in the Spirit

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

CCC 202, 232-260, 684, 732: the mystery of the Trinity
CCC 249, 813, 950, 1077-1109, 2845: the Trinity in the Church and her liturgy
CCC 2655, 2664-2672: the Trinity and prayer
CCC 2205: the family as an image of the Trinity

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

CCC 790, 1003, 1322-1419: the Holy Eucharist
CCC 805, 950, 2181-2182, 2637, 2845: the Eucharist and the communion of believers
CCC 1212, 1275, 1436, 2837: the Eucharist as spiritual food

The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

CCC 210-211, 604: God’s mercy
CCC 430, 478, 545, 589, 1365, 1439, 1825, 1846: Christ’s love for all
CCC 2669: the Heart of Christ worthy of adoration
CCC 766, 1225: the Church born from the pierced side of Christ
CCC 1432, 2100: Christ’s love moves our hearts

ORDINARY TIME (JUN 13 -AUG 29)

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 543-546: announcing the Kingdom of God
CCC 2653-2654, 2660, 2716: the Kingdom grows by hearing the Word

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 423, 464-469: Jesus, true God and true Man
CCC 1814-1816: faith as gift of God, and human response
CCC 671-672: maintaining faith in adversity

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 548-549, 646, 994: Jesus raises the dead
CCC 1009-1014: death transformed by Christ
CCC 1042-1050: hope for a new heaven and a new earth

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 2581-2584: prophets and conversion of heart
CCC 436: Christ as prophet
CCC 162: perseverance in faith
CCC 268, 273, 1508: power is made perfect in weakness

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1506-1509: disciples share in Christ’s healing mission
CCC 737-741: Church called to proclaim and bear witness
CCC 849-856: origin and scope of the Church’s mission
CCC 1122, 1533: mission-mindedness
CCC 693, 698, 706, 1107, 1296: the Holy Spirit as God’s guarantee and seal
CCC 492: Mary as a unique example of being chosen before the foundation of the world

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 2302-2306: Christ our peace
CCC 2437-2442: witnesses and workers for peace and justice

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1335: the miracle of the loaves and fishes prefigures the Eucharist
CCC 814-815, 949-959: sharing of gifts in the communion of the Church

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1333-1336: Eucharistic signs of bread and wine
CCC 1691-1696: life in Christ

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1341-1344: “Do this in memory of me”
CCC 1384-1390: take and eat: Communion

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1402-1405: the Eucharist, pledge of future glory
CCC 2828-2837: the Eucharist is our daily bread
CCC 1336: scandal

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 796: the Church as the Bride of Christ
CCC 1061-1065: God’s utter fidelity and love
CCC 1612-1617, 2360-2365: marriage in the Lord

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 577-582: Christ and the Law
CCC 1961-1974: the Old Law and the Gospel

ORDINARY TIME (SEPT 5 -NOV 21)

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1503-1505: Christ the Physician
CCC 1151-1152: signs used by Christ; sacramental signs
CCC 270-271: the mercy of God

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 713-716: the path of the Messiah traced out in the “Servant Songs”
CCC 440, 571-572, 601: Jesus suffered and died for our salvation
CCC 618: our participation in Christ’s sacrifice
CCC 2044-2046: good works manifest faith

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 539, 565, 600-605, 713: Christ, obedient Servant of God
CCC 786: to serve is to reign
CCC 1547, 1551: priestly ministry as service
CCC 2538-2540: the sin of envy
CCC 2302-2306: safeguarding peace

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 821, 1126, 1636: ecumenical dialogue
CCC 2445-2446, 2536, 2544-2547: the danger of immoderate riches
CCC 1852: jealousy

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1602-1617, 1643-1651, 2331-2336: conjugal fidelity
CCC 2331-2336: divorce
CCC 1832: fidelity, a fruit of Spirit
CCC 2044, 2147, 2156, 2223, 2787: the fidelity of the baptized

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 101-104: Christ, unique Word of Scripture
CCC 131-133: Scripture in life of the Church
CCC 2653-2654: Scripture as a fountain of prayer
CCC 1723, 2536, 2444-2447: poverty of heart

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 599-609: Christ’s redemptive death in the plan of salvation
CCC 520: Christ’s self-emptying as an example for us to imitate
CCC 467, 540, 1137: Christ the High Priest

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 547-550: Jesus performed messianic signs
CCC 1814-1816: faith, a gift of God
CCC 2734-2737: filial confidence in prayer

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 2083: commandments as a call for a response of love
CCC 2052, 2093-2094: the first commandment
CCC 1539-1547: holy orders in the economy of salvation

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 519-521: Christ gave his life for us
CCC 2544-2547: poverty of heart
CCC 1434, 1438, 1753, 1969, 2447: almsgiving
CCC 2581-2584: Elijah and conversion of heart
CCC 1021-1022: the particular judgment

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 1038-1050: the Last Judgment; hope of a new heaven and a new earth
CCC 613-614, 1365-1367: Christ’s one perfect sacrifice and the Eucharist

Solemnity of Christ the King: Christ the origin and goal of history

CCC 440, 446-451, 668-672, 783, 786, 908, 2105, 2628: Christ as Lord and King
CCC 678-679, 1001, 1038-1041: Christ as Judge
CCC 2816-2821: “Thy Kingdom Come”

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