Catholic Doctrine

22nd Sunday of Year A

Catechism Themes

22nd Sunday of Year A

CCC 618: Christ calls his disciples to take up the Cross and follow him
CCC 555, 1460, 2100: the Cross as the way to Christ’s glory 
CCC 2015: way to perfection by way of the Cross
CCC 2427: carrying our cross in daily life

Ecclesial Ministry and The Pope (CCC 874-887)

God’s Word

by Fr. Clement D. Thibodeau


Catholic Pastoral Practices

22nd Sunday of Year A

Lesson Plans

Transfiguration (Year A) –

Catechist Background and Preparation
Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High School

The Cross in the Life of the Disciple

The disciple of Jesus follows his example and accepts a share in the cross. The cross, that ancient and cruel Roman method of humiliation, torture, and death is for the Christian also a sign of victory and triumph. Disciples choose, in faith, to see in the way of the cross the path to resurrection and new life. As this Sunday’s gospel passage clarifies, disciples of Jesus are invited to participate in the event of the cross, to share in the suffering of Christ who has united himself to every human being not only through his incarnation but through his suffering, death, and resurrection (CCC 618).

With an assassination attempt that put him in the hospital and with later surgery due to a fall, John Paul II is no stranger to the phenomenon of human suffering. Like many Christians, he chooses to see in that suffering our share in the cross of Jesus Christ. He has written that all human suffering has the potential to be transformed with the passion of Christ. Indeed, the pope wrote in an apostolic letter that in bringing about the redemption through suffering, Christ has raised human suffering to the level of the redemption (Salvifici doloris, 11 February 1984, 19).

Every believer can in suffering become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ. The Church understands that there is a virtue in consciously uniting one’s own suffering to the passion of Jesus. The paschal mystery consists of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. The first portion of that mystery centers in the image of Christ crucified, that is, it focuses on the image of the cross. John Paul II writes, “[Jesus] dies nailed to a cross. But if at the same time in this weakness there is accomplished his lifting up, confirmed by the power of the resurrection, then this means that the weakness of all human sufferings are capable of being infused with the same power of God manifested in Christ’s cross” (SD 23). The executioner’s instrument has become the throne upon which Jesus is lifted up in glory (John 12:27–32). In the paschal mystery of Christ, we believe that God has therefore taken death upon the cross and turned it into our salvation (CCC 622).

The holy cross of Jesus, which is at once a horror and an honor, enables John Paul II to create a new term: the gospel of suffering. He movingly writes about Jesus who transforms our suffering and in that change the hurting person is invited to a place close to Jesus himself. “It is He—as the interior Master and Guide—who reveals to the suffering brother and sister this wonderful interchange, situated at the very heart of the mystery of Redemption. Suffering is, in itself, an experience of evil. But Christ has made suffering the firmest basis of the definitive good. By His suffering on the cross, Christ reached the very roots of evil, of sin and death. He conquered the author of evil, Satan, and his permanent rebellion against the Creator. To the suffering brother and sister, Christ discloses and gradually reveals the horizons of the kingdom of God: the horizons of a world converted to the Creator, of a world free from sin, a world being built on the saving power of love” (SD 26).

Catholics believe that through the very heart of the experience of suffering and the cross we are led into the kingdom of God, for suffering cannot be transformed and changed from the outside, but only from within the very depths of a person through the Spirit. Thus, we believe that the way in which followers of Jesus pick up their cross and follow the Master is a matter of the heart, the interior spirit, and love.


  • How do followers of Jesus accept a share of the cross?
  • Why is the cross a symbol of hope?
  • What is the Paschal Mystery?
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Catholic Catechism

22nd Sunday of Year A

22nd Sunday of Year A

Bible Verses Cited in Catechism

1st Reading

Jer 20:7-9

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

2nd Reading

Rom 12:1-2

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

Gospel Reading

Mt 16:21-27

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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

22nd Sunday of Year A

For all the severity with which St. Peter is rebuked by Our Lord today, there is to be found here a reason for a proportionately great consolation. As in all the Gospels, the Savior’s words are meant not only for those who received them directly but also for all his followers throughout time. And in this passage he makes this abundantly clear.

Peter is, quite understandably from a human perspective, very troubled by Jesus’ assertion that he is going to have to suffer greatly and be rejected and killed. He seems not to notice, however, the amazing fact of the Lord’s prediction of his resurrection after his trials. As one who has just been given a very special role among the disciples, he has the courage to take the Lord to task and oppose what he is saying.