Catechism Themes

23rd Sunday of Year A

CCC 2055: the Decalogue summed up in one command to love

CCC 1443-1445: reconciliation with the Church

CCC 2842-2845: “as we forgive those who trespass against us”

Ecclesial Ministry and The Pope (CCC 874-887)

God’s Word

by Fr. Clement D. Thibodeau


The Church will always be responsible for the deeds of its members

23rd Sunday of Year A

The Church will always be responsible for the deeds of its members. We answer to public opinion for the behaviors of all who call themselves Catholic. The world holds us responsible, whether or not we want to be held responsible. We are blamed for the evil that our brothers and sisters do in this world.

When I was younger, we used to recite the Marks of the Church: one, holy, catholic and apostolic. The Church was holy because it possessed the means to make us holy (word and sacraments), and because it was possessed of holy people, the saints. We were proud of the saints: the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, our patron saints, etc. We were glad to be identified with them. We sort of basked in their glory! We thought that the world would consider us holy because we were part of a community in which there were saints!

Now, all of that has changed. We are charged with the sins, crimes, and misdemeanors of priests who have been unfaithful. We are tainted with the somber colors of collective guilt and of community mediocrity. Catholics are no better than the rest. Catholics, too, practice abortion. Catholics get divorced at the same rate as everyone else. Catholics commit murders. Christians hate their neighbor like everyone else. We, too, scream for vengeance in capital punishments.

Some bishops proclaim excommunications against those who disagree with them on matters of doctrine and of Church policy. They believe that it is better to cleanse the Church community of those who bring us a bad name. We try to rid ourselves of the bad apples among us in this way. (Some have suggested that these same bishops should also excommunicate those who discriminate against women and other minorities, those who support capital punishment, those who oppress the poor, etc.!)

Our parishes will always have a mixture of the good and the bad! It is up to the Lord to separate and to exclude. I find it dangerous to have the Church playing God! We do not have a very good record of absolute wisdom in these matters. The Church has been wrong so many times in the past in trying to separate the good from the bad. It should have learned its lesson.

Class Lesson Plans

23rd Sunday of Year A

Catechist Background and Preparation
Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High School



  • What is conversion?
  • Who is called to conversion?
  • How does the Church community help us to change and grow?
catechism catholic doctrine


Catechism References

23rd Sunday of Year A

23rd Sunday of Year A

Bible Verses Cited in Catechism

1st Reading

Ezekiel 33:7-9

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

2nd Reading

Romans 13:8-10

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Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online

Gospel Reading

Matthew 18:15-20

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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