From the Gospel of Saint Matthew, 13:1-23
1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
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.
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
Matthew Chapter 13: The Parable of the Sower
The Parable of the Sower
Matthew Chapter 13 : 18
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Concerning the Sower, from Saint Cyril
Let us take into consideration why the seed on the wayside was snatched away. A wayside is almost always hard and unbroken, because it is trodden down by the feet of all those who pass that way, and seed is never sown there. No sacred or divine word, therefore, will be able to enter those who have minds that are hard and unyielding, for it is by the aid of such words that the joyful fruits of virtue can grow. Men of this kind are highways that are trodden by unclean spirit and by Satan himself, and they will never be producers of holy fruit because their hearts are sterile and unfaithful. Then there are others who carry th faith within them indifferently, a faith that is simply a matter of words. They have a religion that is without roots, for when they enter the churdch they are happy to see so many assembled and they readily take part in the sacred mysteries. But they do not do this out of seriousness of purpose, rather from a kind of lightheartedness. And when this kind of person goes out of the church he immediately forgets the holy teachings he has heard there… As soon as persecution arises, he will get ready to take to flight… ‘Break up fresh ground for yourselves, and do not sow among thorns’ says Jeremiah (4:3). Therefore, so that the divine seed may germinate in us, let us first drive away from our minds all worldly cares… They are rich and fruitful soil yielding fruit a hundredfold; good and beautiful are the souls who take deeply into themselves the seeds of the Word, and keep them and tend them with care.
– St. Cyril of Alexandria, Sermon on the Parable of the Sower