Hebrews 10:11-18

11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. 

Mark 4:1-20

1 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil; 6 and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 10 And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; 12 so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.” 13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them. 16 And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

THE FIRST READING: The OT sacrificial offering (Ex12:26,27) was perfected through Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension. A new sacrifice is offered daily by the ministerial priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek.” Because of our attraction to sin our faith journey with Christ is never perfect.  Left unchecked venial sins can morph into deadly sins (1Jn 5:17) and shipwreck our salvation! Our Lord instituted a New Covenant (Mt 26:26-28) ordinance of worshipping Him so that we may have every opportunity to have our non deadly sins forgiven in our participation in the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

St MARK PRESENT us with the parable of the sower. It seems rather strange that the twelve did not make sense of the parable! To be sure the apostles were attentive listeners, hence their suspicion that there was something more to this cryptic story than meets the ear.The essence of the parable suggests that because we are uniquely different from one to the other and do not share the same gifts, virtues, sense and sensibilities, we will naturally respond differently to our Lord’s call to serve Him. 

As seed requires fertile soil to take root, so we need to be in a state of grace,be broad-minded, approachable and open to being swayed by truth especially when the truth was hidden from us due to our vincible ignorance; false teachers or spiritual blindness! It is incumbent upon the believer to seek and be open to the unadulterated gospel truth and keep a clear conscience towards man and God so that His word can take root in us and bear fruit a hundredfold! Conversely our stubbornness to be open and follow the truth and listen to our inner voice of conscience and hear God speaking, can bring a sterile, barren spiritual state and wreck our salvation! Furthermore our incessant desire for worldly goods may retard or prevent our chances from delighting in the joy and riches of the Lord.

Psalms 110:1-4

The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” 2 The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes! 3 Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you. 4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”

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