From the Fathers


Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Dearly beloved, the reading from the holy gospel about the sower requires no explanation, but only a word of warning. In fact, the explanation has been given by Truth Himself, and it cannot be disputed by a frail human being. However, there is one point in our Lords exposition which you ought to weigh well. It is this. If I told you that the seed represented the word, the field the world, the birds the demons, and the thorns riches, you would perhaps be in two minds as to whether to believe me. Therefore, the Lord himself deigned to explain what He had said.
Store up in your minds the Lord’s words which you receive through your ears, for the word of the Lord is the nourishment of the mind. When His word is heard but not stored away in the memory, it is like food which has been eaten and then rejected by an upset stomach. A person’s life is in danger if he cannot retain his food; so if you receive the food of holy exhortations, but fail to store in your memory those words of life which nurture righteousness, you have good reason to fear the danger of everlasting death. Be careful, then, that the word you have received through your ears remains in your heart.
Remember these words: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” All who were there listening to Christ had ears of the body. But He who said to those same people: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” was referring, beyond doubt, to the ears of the heart. See then that the discourse which you hear takes root in your heart.
St. Gregory the Great