Liturgical Year A, 2016-2017
Year of Matthew
The start of a new liturgical year, beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, also marks the transition from one Lectionary Cycle (A, B, or C) to the next.
These cycles are a result of the Second Vatican Council liturgical renewal, which ordered a change in the Sunday readings at Mass so that Catholics would become more familiar with the text of the Bible. As a result we now have a three-year cycle of readings on Sundays built around texts from the three synoptic Gospels--Matthew (Year A), Mark (Year B), and Luke (Year C). The Gospel of John finds expression throughout the various cycles, particularly during the Christmas cycle and in Year B between the 17th-21st Weeks of Ordinary Time.
On Weekdays, the Church follows a two-year cycle, ie. Year I, Year II.