And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13: 4-9)
The parable about the sower depicts the different relationships of the soul as it interacts and lives by the word of God.
First, we see those who do not heed the word at all. They hear, but the words do not enter their soul, instead they simply lie on top, like a seed on the road. The word is not compatible with them, because they have a different way of thinking, different rules, different tastes. Therefore, it it vanished from their memory very quickly,it is forgotten, as if it had not been heard at all.
The second group are those who hear the word willingly and accept it quite quickly, but do not want to put any effort in keeping the word. Therefore, they enjoy the word and especially the promises that come with it but only until personal sacrifices are required. As soon as there is a need to sacrifice something for the sake of loyalty and faithfulness to the word, they begin to turn away from it and refuse both the word and the promises in favor of their passions and the things they are attached to.
The third group of people are those who accept the word and begin to live by its guidance, but they are still heavily devoted to the worries, sorrows and other earthly cares, which suppress all the good beginnings that were formed under the influence of the word of God.
Finally, the forth group includes those who accept the word with full faith and have decided to live by its rules while showing readiness for any and all necessary sacrifices and do not allow their hearts to fall into the earthly trap of worries.
May the Lord grant everyone the strength to sit down and decide for themselves: Where do you belong?
Daily Gospel Reflections of St. Theophan the Recluse for June 29
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds