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Third Week of Ordinary Time

Heb. 10:11-18 & Mk. 4:1-20

Jesus sacrificed Himself to death on the Cross to achieve the forgiveness of sin. He shed His Blood for everyone. But people must be ready to ask and to receive that forgiveness.

Offerings made by priests of the Old Testament law had no power to take away sins. This was because God is the one offended by sin, and only the God made Man, Jesus Christ, can bring about its forgiveness. He did it once and for all by His sacrifice on Calvary.

Forgiveness is freely granted to us through the sacraments: in baptism, in receiving the Eucharist for the removal of venial sins and for all sins through the Sacrament of Penance. All we have to do, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is to make ourselves open to receive it by being truly sorry for our sins and being determined to try not to commit them again.

In no way do we ever make payment for our sin. Jesus alone can do that, and He has done it by shedding His blood for the remission of sins. God’s forgiveness is available to us without charge because of what Jesus has done. The penance we receive is not a punishment to pay for our sins; it is medicine to heal and strengthen us. The one sacrifice of Jesus is the only payment necessary or possible.

In the parable of the sower in the Gospel we notice how generous he is with the seed he sows. It indicates that God is lavish with His gifts. But no matter how generous God is the seed will not bear fruit unless the soil is right to receive it. So it is important that the soil on which the seed falls is kept fertile. The better the soil, the more fruitful will be the harvest. We belong to one of the different types of soil which Jesus describes. What type of soil describes each of us?

Holy Spirit, help us prepare the ground of our hearts so that it may always be ready to receive God’s seed and so produce abundant fruit.

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