Saint Aedan of Ferns
(c.550 – 632)
He was the son of an Irish tribal chieftain and studied under St Finian and St David. He was the first bishop of Ferns, in Ireland, and founded many churches and monasteries.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 95: 1, 6
O sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth. In his presence are majesty and splendour, strength and honour in his holy place.
Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Hebrews 10:11-18
All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. The Holy Spirit assures us of this; for he says, first: This is the covenant I will make with them when those days arrive; and the Lord then goes on to say:
I will put my laws into their hearts and write them on their minds. I will never call their sins to mind, or their offences. When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.
Psalm 109 (110):1-4
R/ You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.
1. The Lord’s revelation to my Master: ‘Sit on my right: your foes I will put beneath your feet.’
2. The Lord will wield from Zion your sceptre of power: rule in the midst of all your foes.
3. A prince from the day of your birth on the holy mountains; from the womb before the dawn I begot you.
4. The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change. ‘You are a priest for ever, a priest like Melchizedek of old.’
Gospel Acclamation: 1S 3:9, Jn 6:68
Alleluia, alleluia!Speak, Lord, your servant is listening: you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 4:1-20
Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen!, Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’ When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’ He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept our offerings, O Lord, we pray, and in sanctifying them grant that they may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 33: 6
Look toward the Lord and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, receiving the grace by which you bring us to new life, we may always glory in your gift. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus is the High Priest who has offered the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. He is the Sower, who offers us God’s message of salvation: if we believe in him and obey his commands, then we will be purified and will obtain the salvation which he won for us by his sacrifice. How do we receive this message? How faithful are we to it? Are we simply indifferent to the message? Do we abandon God’s commands when we start facing persecution and difficult moments? Do we sacrifice God’s precepts because we want to enjoy the pleasures of the world? Or do we accept the message and stick to it come what may? To which of the above categories do we belong? May God give us the grace to choose and stick to the last one.