The Gospel of the day (Mark 4, 10–23)

Explaining the Parable of the Sower

10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

14 The sower soweth the word.

15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

Those who hear the Word and receive it

Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies at Matthew, homily LXIX, IV, in Church Fathers and Writers (1994), vol. 23, p. 799

If the angels are glad when a sinner repents (Luke 15,7), how won`t they be glad of so many righteous who live like them? At them there is no master or servant; all are servants and all are masters. Do not consider my words an enigma; they are servants for each other and masters of one another.

When evening comes no sadness falls into their soul as it happens to many people who think of the worries caused by the daily troubles. After dinner they are not afraid of robbers, they don`t shut the doors, they don`t pull the latches and they are not afraid of other things people are afraid of: to carefully turn off the lights and fires so that no speak may put their house on fire. Their talks are quiet and calm as ever. They don`t speak like us of things which don`t concern them. They don`t say: This one became a great governor, that one lost his job, this one has died and that one inherited a fortune and many others of this kind. No! They always speak of the future ones and philosophize; and as if they lived in another world, as if they moved to heaven, as if they lived there, this is how they speak about all the things from there, about the bosom of Abraham, about the crowns of the saints, about the living with Christ; no word at all about this world; as we are not interested in what the ants do in their ant hills, they are not interested in what we do, they are interested only in the King from above, in the war they have to fight, in the scheming of the devil, in the great deeds the saints did.


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