25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, C Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, September 22, 2019


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
Amos 8:4-7
Unfair business practices and injustice to the poor will be judged by God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 113: 1-2,4-6,7-8
Praise be to God, who raises up the poor.

Second Reading
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Paul tells Timothy that prayer for those in authority is pleasing to God because God wills the salvation of all.

Gospel Reading
Luke 16:1-13 (shorter form, Luke 16:10-13)
Jesus tells a parable about a dishonest steward who is commended for his prudence; one cannot serve both God and money.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today's Gospel sounds puzzling to contemporary readers, but it can be made less so by considering the economic system which stands behind the parable. A steward is dismissed because he is squandering his master's property. He is called dishonest because he is not serving the interests of the rich man, his employer. In response the steward, in an attempt to ensure favor for himself among the rich man's debtors, brokers repayment of the rich man's loans by foregoing the interest and fees that had been levied to line the steward's pockets. It is this action, in which the steward puts aside his greed and takes the longer perspective in order to enhance his security, which is commended by the rich man.

The passage concludes with three morals for the listeners. The first exhorts the listener to be prudent about the use of wealth. Like the steward in the parable, those who would follow Jesus must put transitory affairs in proper perspective. Christians should handle the affairs of temporal life with an eye toward eternal life.

The second concerns trustworthiness. Those who can be trusted in small things can also be trusted in great things. If Christians handle money and other passing things responsibly, then they can also be trusted with the affairs of the Kingdom of God.

Finally, Jesus tells his listeners that no one can serve two masters simultaneously. God must be put ahead of money.


Gospel Reading
Luke 16:1-13 (shorter form, Luke 16:10-13)
Jesus tells a parable about a dishonest steward who is commended for his prudence; one cannot serve both God and money.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Younger children are becoming better at telling the difference between fantasy and reality. Help children understand that it is important to tell the truth about big things and small things. 

Materials Needed

  • none

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite children to share times when people might be tempted to lie. (Accept all reasonable answers, including when they might get in trouble or when they want something.) 
  2. Say: In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about people who are dishonest, or do not tell the truth. Listen carefully to learn what he says.
  3. Read the short form of today’s Gospel, Luke 16:10–13.
  4. Ask: What does Jesus say about people who are dishonest about small things? (They are also dishonest about big things.) Say: When we make a habit of telling the truth, people know that they can trust us. As Christians, we tell the truth. This helps us be closer to God and to have good relationships with others. Ask: What might we do if we are tempted to lie? (Accept all reasonable answers, including pause and remember that Jesus calls us to tell the truth; pray; be brave and tell the truth.) Say: Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit for the strength and courage to tell the truth.
  5. Conclude by praying to the Holy Spirit for the strength and courage to be honest about big things and small things. 


Gospel Reading
Luke 16:1-13 (shorter form, Luke 16:10-13)
Jesus tells a parable about a dishonest steward who is commended for his prudence; one cannot serve both God and money.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Children want to be trusted, but adults know that trust is earned by one's actions over time. We gain a reputation for honesty by being responsible in small things and in large. Christians conduct all of their affairs, small and large, in ways that show what we value most, God and our relationships with others.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. As a group, make a list of the jobs or chores the children are asked to do at home or at school. What happens if they do not do their job well? (Accept all answers.)

  2. Ask what they might have done to earn their current responsibility. For example, are they now trusted to dust their living rooms because they handled the responsibility of cleaning their bedrooms? Are they trusted to play outside with less adult supervision because they have demonstrated their ability to observe the rules? (staying out of the street, staying in their own yards, and so on)

  3. Say: As we grow up, our parents and teachers give us greater responsibilities. However, in order to continue to mature toward independence, we must show ourselves to be trustworthy in these responsibilities. In today's Gospel, we hear a parable that Jesus told about what it means to be trustworthy in the eyes of God.

  4. Invite a volunteer to read the parable of The Dishonest Steward, Luke 16:1-9.

  5. Explain what the steward's job was and why the master thought him to be dishonest. (Perhaps he was not securing repayment of the master's money because he was charging too much interest). Explain how the dishonest steward earned praise by being more responsible about his job. (His job was to secure the rich man's money, not to secure his own wealth).

  6. Ask another volunteer to read the conclusion of today's Gospel, Luke 16:10-13.

  7. Invite the class to summarize what Jesus is saying in this last part of today's Gospel. Say: Jesus reminds his disciples that we show what we value most by our actions. If we are honest people, then we will be honest in all the things we do, large and small. Christians are challenged to act always in ways that demonstrate that we put God first in our lives.

  8. Ask the group to identify ways in which they can demonstrate in their lives what Jesus teaches in this Gospel. Make a list together as a group.

  9. Invite each child to choose one action he or she will take this week that shows that he or she puts God first in his or her life.

  10. Conclude by re-reading the Gospel or by praying the responsorial psalm for this Sunday.


Gospel Reading
Luke 16:1-13 (shorter form, Luke 16:10-13)
Jesus tells a parable about a dishonest steward who is commended for his prudence; one cannot serve both God and money.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Young people are notorious multi-taskers. They will attempt to do almost anything while talking on a cell phone or text messaging. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus warns us about the danger of trying to serve two masters at once.

Materials Needed

  • Paper
  • Pens or markers, two for each student

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Distribute to the students blank sheets of paper and two pens or markers.

  2. Ask the students to take a pen or marker in each hand and to simultaneously draw a circle with one hand and a square with the other.

  3. The students will have drawn circles that include square sides and the squares that have curved or rounded sides.

  4. Invite the students to try some other challenges, such as rubbing their stomach with one hand while patting their head with the other or, while sitting, lifting their right foot off the floor and making clockwise circles while drawing the number six in the air with their right hand. (Their feet will change direction.)

  5. Explain: There are some tasks that are difficult or even impossible to do at the same time. When it comes to certain tasks, our brains can only concentrate on one item at a time. Sometimes, we think we can do two things at one time, such talking on a cell phone while doing our homework. But usually when we do two things at once, one of those things will not get our full attention. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus warns us about trying to serve God while at the same time serving money.

  6. Invite a volunteer to read aloud the parable of the dishonest steward (Luke 16:1-9).

  7. Explain the steward's job and discuss why the master thought the steward was dishonest. (Possible answer: Perhaps the steward was not securing repayment of the master's money because he was charging too much interest.) Explain how the dishonest steward earned praise by being more responsible about his job. (The steward's job was to secure the rich man's money, not to secure his own wealth.)

  8. Ask a volunteer to read aloud the conclusion of today's Gospel, Luke 16:10-13.

  9. Invite the class to summarize what Jesus is saying in this last part of today's Gospel. (Accept all reasonable answers.) Say: Jesus tells us that we cannot serve God and money. He is not telling us that money is bad, but he wants us to know that true happiness does not come from money but from God.

  10. Invite the students to choose one action they will take this week that shows that they put God first in their lives.

  11. Conclude by rereading the Gospel or by praying the responsorial psalm for this Sunday.


Gospel Reading
Luke 16:1-13 (shorter form, Luke 16:10-13)
Jesus tells a parable about a dishonest steward who is commended for his prudence; one cannot serve both God and money.


Family Connection

Talk with your children about some things that they have done to show that they can be trusted. Talk a bit about what it means to be responsible. Responsibility often means that we put aside something of passing value for something of greater value.

Read together the short form of today's Gospel, Luke 16:10-13. Talk about the importance of responsible use of money and our material possessions. As a family, commit to one action that you will take this week to show that your family serves God and not money.