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Friday. [Rom. 16:1–16; Matt. 13:4–9] The parable about the sower depicts various relationships of souls to?ward the word of God. In the first group stand those who do not heed the word at all. They hear, but what is heard does not enter into their soul; it lies on its surface, like the seed by the wayside. The word does not fit in them because they have another way of thinking, other prin?ciples, other tastes. That is why it soon disappears from memory, is forgotten as if it was not heard at all. The second group is of those who hear the word willingly and re?ceive it quickly, but do not want to bear any labour to fulfil it. There?fore, they delight in the word — es?pecially its promises — until a sacri?fice is required. As soon as the ne?cessity arises to sacrifice something for faithfulness to the word, they betray it, renouncing both the word and its promises in order to cater to their attachments. The third group is of those who receive the word and begin to live according to it, but then give themselves over to many cares and sorrows of the world, to earthly concerns, which suppress all the good undertakings which had just formed under the influence of the word of God. The fourth group is of those who receive the word with full faith and resolve to live according to its requirements, with a readiness for all sacrifices and labour, and do not allow their heart to be tied to anything earthly. Sit and decide each of you, to which of these groups you belong.
Saint Theophan the Recluse