June 25 Gospel Reading

Matthew 13:4-9

[4] And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the
fowls came and devoured them up:[5] Some fell upon stony
places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up,
because they had no deepness of earth:[6] And when the sun
was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered
away.[7] And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung
up, and choked them:[8] But other fell into good ground, and
brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some
thirtyfold.[9] Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

St. John Chrysostom in Homily XLIV on Matthew XII says: 

"What then is the parable?…From where did He go out – He who is present everywhere and who fills all things? Or how did He go out? Not in terms of place, but of condition and dispensation towards us: coming nearer to us by clothing Himself with flesh. For because we could not enter – our sins fenced us out from the entrance – He came forth to us. And why did He come forth? To destroy the ground teeming with thorns? To take vengeance on the husbandman? By no means, but to till and tend it, and to sow the word of godliness. For by seek here He means His doctrine, and by land, the souls of men, and by the sower: Himself…Now these things He said to manifest that He discoursed to all without grudging. For as the sower makes no distinction in the land submitted to him, but simply casts his seed, so He himself likewise makes no distinction between rich and poor, wise and unwise, slothful or diligent, and brave or cowardly, but He addresses everyone. He was fulfilling His part, through foreknowing the results, so it might be in His power to say, 'What ought I to have done that I have not done?'…What could this be to show (speaking of seeds)? That obedience now will be quick and easier, and will presently yield its fruit."

Chromatius of Aquileia said in Tractate on Matthew 51.1:

"The Lord clearly points out that he is the sower of good seeks. He does not cease to sow in this world as in a field. God's word is like good seed in the hearts of people, so that each of us according to the seeds sown in us by God may bear spiritual and heavenly fruit. "

Leo the Great of Rome in his Homily 72: On the Lord's Resurrection II said:

"…there is no place for ignorance in faithful ears, the seed of the Word which consists of the preaching of the Gospel ought to grow in the soil of your heart, so that, when choking thorns and thistles have been removed, the plants of holy thoughts and the buds of right desires may spring up freely into fruit…"

St. John Chrysostom in his writing "On the Priesthood, 6.4" compares clergy to the sower

"It is necessary for the teacher to sow every day, so to speak, in order that by its frequency at least, the word of doctrine may be able to be grasped by those who hear."

Clement of Rome says regarding the sower and the seed in First Epistle to the Corinthians:

"Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Chris the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit."

In St. Augustine's Sermon 23 (4) on the New Testament, he exhorts his listeners while referring to this parable…

O you Christians,
whose lives are good, you sigh and groan as being
few among many, few among very many. The winter will
pass away, the summer will come; lo! The harvest will
soon be here. The angels will come who can make the separation, and who cannot make mistakes. We
in this time present are like those servants of
whom it was said, Will You that we go and gather them up?
for we were wishing, if it might be so, that no evil ones should
remain among the good. But it has been told us, Let
both grow together until the harvest.
Why? For
you are such as may be deceived. Hear finally; Lest while you gather
up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them.

What good are you doing? Will ye by your eagerness
make a waste of My harvest? The reapers will come, and who the reapers
are He has explained, And the reapers are the angels.
We are but men, the reapers are the angels. We too
indeed, if we finish our course, shall be equal to the angels of God; but now when
we chafe against the wicked, we are as
yet but men. And we ought now to give ear to the
words, Wherefore let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he
fall.
For do ye think, my Brethren,
that these tares we read of do not get up into this
seat? Think ye that they are all below, and none
above up here? God grant we may not be so. But
with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged
of you.
I tell you of a truth, my Beloved,
even in these high seats there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is
wheat, and tares. Let the good tolerate
the bad; let the bad change themselves, and imitate the good.
Let us all, if it may be so, attain to God; let us all
through His mercy escape the evil of this
world. Let us seek after good days, for we are now
in evil days;
but in the evil days let us not blaspheme,
that so we may be able to arrive at the good days.


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