29th Sunday of Year B


Prayer in the face of difficulties

By Kevin Aldrich

Overview of
Doctrinal Homily

Catechism Themes

Kevin Aldrich

Written as an aid for homilists and a resource for the faithful, this doctrinal homily outline (1) provides insights into the Lectionary readings, (2) explicates a doctrine of Catholic Faith or morals from them, and (3) shows specific ways lay persons can live these truths.

Click on title to read everything from Kevin Aldrich.  What follows are only excerpts of Catechism themes you will find on his blog. 

First Reading

  • This is a fragment from what we call the Song of the Suffering Servant, an amazing foretelling of the Passion of Christ, but also the pattern in the life of everyone who shares in the cup and baptism of redemptive suffering that Our Lord will speak of.

Responsorial Psalm

  • Suffering comes to us and we cannot well escape it. We ask to be delivered from it and we wait to be delivered.

Second Reading

  • Jesus is our great high priest who offers sacrifice to God for us so we can attain salvation from sin and death and be sanctified, even, as it were, divinized by God’s own life.


  • You do not know what you are asking. This is so often the case for us. We ask for something like James and John did but we don’t know the cost. When the cost is pointed out to us, we may say we will pay it—as the brothers do—or go away sad—as the rich young man did—but we don’t know the actual cost until we experience it. To drink the cup and to undergo the baptism was much harder than the brothers could know. And probably to leave everything behind to follow Jesus would have been much easier than the rich young man imagined. The bottom line is, God knows better than we do, so we pray wisely, Thy will be done.


Christ’s redemptive death in God’s plan of salvation

  • Even though every person who contributed to Christ’s passion and death did so freely (and so were responsible for their own acts), God predestined, that is, he planned and foreknew what happened, taking man’s freedom into account (CCC 599-600).


Co-redeemers with Christ

  • With the grace of the redemption, we can freely join ourselves to Christ’s saving work. The words of the Suffering Servant can be applied to us by uniting our lives to Our Lord’s.
  • Our entire life, just like Christ’s entire life, can be an offering to God: our sleeping and waking, our pleasures and pains, our love and friendship, and our work.

29th Sunday of Year B

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FRANCISCAN FRIARS (24:37) – Paragraphs 571-637 – Fr. Daniel J. Mahan, S.T.L., pastor of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Bloomington, Indiana, and St. Jude the Apostle in Spencer covers the entire Catechism in 111 videos, giving an outline of the content along with clear easy to follow explanations. The series is based on the 2nd Edition of the Catechism.

This Week’s Catechism Themes

“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

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

Upcoming Sundays

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

NOVEMBER 2021 Catechism THemes

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”

Featured Excerpts

READ IN CONTEXT/VIEW FOOTNOTES – Click on any paragraph to go to page in the USCCB online version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Order Hard Copy of the text in English and in Spanish.


“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

“He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”

601 The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of “the righteous one, my Servant” as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin.397 Citing a confession of faith that he himself had “received”, St. Paul professes that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.”398 In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant.399 Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant.400 After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.401

“For our sake God made him to be sin”

602 Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers. . . with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.”402 Man’s sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death.403 By sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”404

603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.405 But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”406 Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the death of his Son”.407

God takes the initiative of universal redeeming love

604 By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.”408 God “shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”409

605 At the end of the parable of the lost sheep Jesus recalled that God’s love excludes no one: “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”410 He affirms that he came “to give his life as a ransom for many”; this last term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us.411 The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: “There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.”412


Christ’s whole life is an offering to the Father

606 The Son of God, who came down “from heaven, not to do [his] own will, but the will of him who sent [him]”,413 said on coming into the world, “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.” “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”414 From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father’s plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.”415 The sacrifice of Jesus “for the sins of the whole world”416 expresses his loving communion with the Father. “The Father loves me, because I lay down my life”, said the Lord, “[for] I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”417

607 The desire to embrace his Father’s plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus’ whole life,418 for his redemptive passion was the very reason for his Incarnation. And so he asked, “And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.”419 And again, “Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”420 From the cross, just before “It is finished”, he said, “I thirst.”421

“The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world”

608 After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.422 By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover.423 Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”424

Jesus freely embraced the Father’s redeeming love

609 By embracing in his human heart the Father’s love for men, Jesus “loved them to the end”, for “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”425 In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men.426 Indeed, out of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save, Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”427 Hence the sovereign freedom of God’s Son as he went out to his death.428

Our communion in the mysteries of Jesus

519 All Christ’s riches “are for every individual and are everybody’s property.”187 Christ did not live his life for himself but for us, from his Incarnation “for us men and for our salvation” to his death “for our sins” and Resurrection “for our justification”.188 He is still “our advocate with the Father”, who “always lives to make intercession” for us.189 He remains ever “in the presence of God on our behalf, bringing before him all that he lived and suffered for us.”190

520 In all of his life Jesus presents himself as our model. He is “the perfect man”,191 who invites us to become his disciples and follow him. In humbling himself, he has given us an example to imitate, through his prayer he draws us to pray, and by his poverty he calls us to accept freely the privation and persecutions that may come our way.192

521 Christ enables us to live in him all that he himself lived, and he lives it in us. “By his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.”193 We are called only to become one with him, for he enables us as the members of his Body to share in what he lived for us in his flesh as our model:

We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and his mysteries and often to beg him to perfect and realize them in us and in his whole Church. . . For it is the plan of the Son of God to make us and the whole Church partake in his mysteries and to extend them to and continue them in us and in his whole Church. This is his plan for fulfilling his mysteries in us.194

SOURCE: Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2012.

29th Sunday of Year B

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How Did Jesus’ Death Save Us From Sins?

BREAKING IN THE HABIT (11:43) – Every Christian knows that Jesus took away our sins by dying on the cross. We were saved, redeemed, cleansed. This is obvious. What is less obvious is trying to describe how atonement actually works. When we look to the history of the Church, we see that there are three main approaches to this question.

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Why Did Jesus Have to Die the Way He Did?

BISHOP ROBERT BARRON (22:15) – Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, talks about Sunday of the Word of God, celebrated on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time.

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Why Did Jesus Have to Die on the Cross?

BRIAN HOLDSWORTH (11:08) – Jesus makes a way for our suffering to be redemptive. He tells us to pick up our cross and follow him and that if we embrace that cross the way he did, we will be made new and perfected in his Grace – a grace he can now give us for having suffered as we do.

29th Sunday of Year B

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CATHOLIC KIDS MEDIA (1:59) – A fun Catholic reflection for kids based on the readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
RCL Benziger

Redemption by Christ’s Suffering

The profound mystery of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ stands as the focal point of faith. The paschal mystery gives to Christianity its unique place among the religions of the world. In his life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus does for us what men and women cannot do for themselves—he redeems us from sin and death.

The way in which the Son of God chooses to redeem us begins with the incarnation and ends with the resurrection and ascension. This entire mystery unfolds as Jesus journeys among us, the eternal Word become flesh, in order to save us. He does so not just carrying within himself the reality of divinity. He offers himself to the Father as one like us in all things but sin.

The redemption achieved by the initiative of God in Christ, the salvation that is ours by the Son of God and Son of Mary, the restoration of ourselves and all creation accomplished freely by Jesus, can only be perceived through the eyes of faith (CCC 573).

We are redeemed because God loves us and raises us to be in communion with divinity itself. Thus, it is not enough to be incorporated into the Church (CCC 837). The believer must then live that communion. For it is from the heart of divine love that we are saved; therefore, only our loving response from the heart will suffice to open for us the redemption offered.

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

Lesson Plans (PDF)

Lesson segments: Opening Prayer, Life Reflection, Listening to the Word of God, Scripture Discussion Starters, Scripture Background, Questions for Deeper Reflection, Doctrinal Discussion Starters, and the Gospel in Life

Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High Session

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The mystery of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the focal point of faith. Jesus saves us from sin and death. The mystery of our salvation unfolds as Jesus walks among us on earth. He gives his life, offering himself to God as one of us in all things but sin. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh in order to save us.

We are redeemed because God loves us. God wants to live with us forever. Through Jesus we are joined with God when we open our hearts to God’s love. Only through the eyes of faith can we understand the salvation that is ours through Jesus.

  • How do you open your heart to God?
  • Do you believe that good will ultimately triumph over evil?
  • Does knowing that Jesus was the same as you in all things but sin help you to turn to Jesus for help when you need it?
  • How does your faith in Jesus help you in times of suffering?
SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

RCL Benziger

Textbook Series Correlations

Be My Disciples (PDF)

Blest Are We (PDF)


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