Catholic Doctrine

17th Sunday of Year A

Catechism Themes

17th Sunday of Year A

CCC 407: cannot ignore wound of sin in discerning human situation
CCC 1777-1785: moral decision making in rapport with God’s will
CCC 1786-1789: seeking will of God in divine law in difficult circumstances
CCC 1038-1041: separation of good and evil at Judgment
CCC 1037: God predestines no one to hell

The Freedom of Faith (CCC 160-165)

God’s Word

by Fr. Clement D. Thibodeau



17th Sunday of Year A

Lesson Plans

17th Sunday of Year A –

Catechist Background and Preparation
Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High School

The Kingdom of God

The phrase “kingdom of God,” also translated as “reign of God” or “dominion of God,” appears 150 times in the New Testament. Two-thirds of these are found in Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is a rich metaphor that has definite roots in Old Testament scriptures, although the precise phrase “kingdom of God” is not found therein (the closest is “reign of the Lord” in some of the later Hebrew scriptures). However, the Old Testament gives God the title of “king” in numerous references to illustrate the relationship of the Most High to Israel, to history, and to all of creation.

The metaphor “kingdom of God,” as used by Jesus, not only relies on this Old Testament basis but goes beyond it in a rich, unique way that has no one clear definition or description—precisely because the metaphor is less a concept and more a symbol. Yet this does not mean that the metaphor is void of content. Rather, the significance of the metaphor is layered and multidimensional, and can only be deciphered in relationship to the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ: the One who saves us, the One who is the decisive event in world history, and the One who is the invitation to union with God.

Jesus is the decisive event in world history. He inaugurates his ministry by proclaiming that the kingdom of God is “at hand” (Mark 1:14–15). His disciples are promised that before they die they will witness the coming of God’s kingdom in power (Mark 9:1 and Matthew 10:23). Jesus announces, as he works a healing miracle, that the kingdom of God “has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20). Thus, the Church upholds Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s love that is lavished upon the world; Christ is the decisive event that incarnates God’s activity among men and women—for all time (CCC 541). And yet, if the event of the kingdom has been decisively inaugurated by Jesus and is here now among us, it is nevertheless not fully realized. Jesus’ own transfiguration upon the mountain is a foretaste of the fullness of the kingdom when all those drawn to Christ will be transformed in glory. The scriptural episode of the transfiguration also is a reminder that those who follow Jesus and desire entrance into the kingdom of God must bear hardship and possibly persecution and the cross (CCC 556). Thus, the decisive “kingdom of God” metaphor contains a tension in that Jesus proclaims its advent among us while we yet wait for its fullness to be revealed.


  • What do you imagine heaven to be like?
  • How can our words and actions help to build God’s kingdom on earth?
  • How can you prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of God?
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Catholic Catechism

17th Sunday of Year A

17th Sunday of Year A

Bible Verses Cited in Catechism

1st Reading

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

2nd Reading

Romans 8:28-30

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

Gospel Reading

Matthew 13:44-52

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Featured Video

Catholic Catechism Topics

28 Lessons

Fr. Eamon Tobin

Catholic Catechism Topics

28 articles on the “four pillars” of the Catechism offering a pastoral approach explaining Catholic beliefs not stated explicitly in the Bible, e.g., Purgatory, Marian doctrines.

  • Suggestions on how to study the articles in a small group 
  • Suggestions on which articles to focus on for two seasons (seven weeks per season)
  • Index of Topics

Animated Catechism Series

3 Minute

70 hand drawn and animated episodes, each 3-4 minutes long. The series follows and explains the Creed, covering all four parts of the Catechism. 


MAN: Episodes 1-6
GOD: 12-20
JESUS: 27-33
CHURCH: 51-60

Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

Catholic Answers

17th Sunday of Year A


“Scripture indicates that God has predestined certain people to go to heaven (Rom. 8:28–30), so I’m either one of them or I’m not. Either way, I don’t need to do anything with respect to my salvation. I can simply await my fate.”


This misunderstands the nature of predestination and the role of free will…