4th Sunday of Louke

Today is the fourth Sunday of Luke and we commemorate the holy Father of the Seventh ecumenical Council in Nicaea, who defined the correct teaching of the Church regarding the honourable veneration of the holy icons. Icons have great power. We know it best today based on television which influences us and is a teacher of life.
Jesus also spoke to us in images and parables. And in the Gospel He spoke to us the parable of the Sower, and He Himself is the Good Sower. He sows the divine word in our souls and in the fields and lands of our existence. He tells us of a sower who went out and sowed seeds. The seed was good. But the places on which it fell were not the same, the differed. That is why two thirds of the seeds were lost. Only the fourth brought fruit one hundred times over.
The Apostles heard the parable and asked Christ about it. He replied: “It has been given to you to understand so that I may entrust you with the mysteries of God”.
The seed is the word of God. He did not speak of Himself as the Sower. This is how humble Jesus Christ is! And that part of the seed which fell on the road and was trodden by man and eaten by birds is those souls and hearts which are fanatics, plundered, incapable of anything good. The word of God, the divine word, and whichever other way the Lord knows of to speak to our souls, falls and brings no results. Along comes the devil and takes up the word. And says to those souls in his sly way: “These are all lies, there is no truth in them. You are good, you don’t need anything”.
Then some seed fell on stone, where there was very little sand. And it sprouted. But, because it had no moisture and good conditions, it dried out. These are those people who have the good will but whose souls are cold and full of difficulties. They are enthused, make a start, but as soon as difficulty or temptation or any other problem strikes, they disappear. They let the seed go and they, too, leave.
Then, some seed fell on the land where there were thorns, various other plants and insects. The seed grew together with the stones. But the thorns grew over the seed and it vanished. These are those people who want to be with God and with evil too, both with the Church and in the world. “And so they hobble on both legs” as the Prophet Elijah would say. They want to be right with everyone. But this is not possible. In the end, both the word of God is lost and our souls are in difficulty.
The fourth instance is those souls and hearts which are the good and pure soil. As the Gospel says and gladly accept the divine word. They have great patience, they are nurtured and bring enormous results that are important and loved by God. They are the souls that struggle, that try, that accept the divine word and do everything possible in order that God’s will be realized and applied.
So, where do we belong…? We each need to ask of our souls. But we should not lose hope. Our soul is a field. It may be trodden on and have thorns. But the word of God is all-powerful and His divine Grace is effective. And a field full of stones and thorns and that is trodden on can become a beautiful garden. The soul of an evil person can be softened by divine grace and be sanctified. We have examples in the Gospel of the thief and from the life of the Church and of this world.
O, good Sower! O, our Jesus Christ, who continues every day, in happy or sad times and in ways which You know, to sow in our souls! Do not leave us. Continue to sow in us. And persist. Persist and help us to cultivate the field of our soul, so that we might make our souls into a place of Your Kingdom. Amen.

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