First Reading | Hebrews 10:19-25
In Jewish and Christian theology, blood symbolizes the life essence of an animal or a person. This is why the Jews never eat food made from blood. Blood as life essence was offered to God as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. For Christians, the blood Jesus shed on the cross is a definitive sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is without sin and His sacrifice is perfect—the only one that brings true and lasting forgiveness.
19 Brothers and sisters: Since through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary 20 by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, 21 and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,” 22 let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. 25 We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R: Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
1 The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness—the world and those who dwell in it. 2 For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (R) 3 Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? Or who may stand in his holy place? 4 He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. (R) 5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. 6 Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. (R)
Gospel | Mark 4:1-20
We cannot hide anything from God. He knows and sees all things. We may fool those around us about our true character, but not God. Let us be faithful to our Christian calling so we can be men and women of integrity, living what we proclaim, and being true to our identity as the redeemed of the Lord.
A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.
21 Jesus said to his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. 23 Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.” 24 He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. 25 To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”