Are our hearts interested in knowing who we are and where we are going?
Through the parable of the Sower, Jesus is trying to show us that there are four human reactions to God’s word, but only one path to salvation. The parable is about sowing seeds and how their growth depends on where they land. They can land on four different places and only thrive in one of these.
In this parable, Jesus represents the Sower, the seeds represent His messages, and the ground represents our hearts and how we react to His messages. There are four types of hearts, but only one type will allow the seed to turn into a vine and a garden of Paradise.
The seeds that land on the path are eaten by birds. This represents people who pay no attention to God and reject His word. Their hearts have been hardened and God’s word cannot enter.
The seeds that land on rocky ground grow at first, but soon die because they cannot take root. This represents people who listen to God but are easily swayed away from Him. Their hearts are shallow and can only hold God’s word briefly.
The seeds that land among the weeds are easily overtaken by them when they try to grow, and soon die. This represents people who hear and are touched by God’s messages, but aren’t sure. They are more impressed by wealth and success rather than God. Their hearts have been occupied by so many other cares and priorities, that there is no room for God’s word to multiply. No room for love in their busy hearts.
The seeds that land on good cultivated ground can take root and thrive. This represents people who embrace God’s messages of Love and Life, and remain faithful and serve Him in good and bad times. They shall find true salvation. These hearts are like a garden that has been ploughed, cleaned and prepared for the sowing of the seed. These people ‘believe in their hearts that God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead’ (Rom 10:9). They already rejoice in their hearts because they know that in Jesus Christ life comes through death. Like a seed, if it doesn’t fall into the earth and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much grain (Jn. 12:24). This occurs with us, if we do not suffer, we will remain on our own.
People today remain on their own and are lonely because they are motivated by their own interests and desires; they overvalue and prioritize their own importance, their own ideas, and their own activities to the detriment of a realistic and dynamic experience with life. They fail to see reality as it actually is, in God. They fail to know themselves and others as known by God.
So we see the majority of the world’s contemporary problems stem from the fact that most people just cannot or will not look beyond the end of their nose. They fail to notice that there is life and a world beyond them, that there are ‘other’ people and that there is a God who loves them and who created them to freely love Him.
This selfish and egoistic attitude has made people evermore indifferent and callous towards one another, creation and to God. And history and time teaches us the tragic consequences of our hearts disposition, but God teaches us about Life and the right manner of the heart.
Are there higher reasons than our own, to the meaning and goal of life?
Humanity’s rebellion against God is based on its free will to adore and idolize the powers of its own reasoning, over God its Creator. This exaltation of rationalism, of its intellect, is the basis of ‘original sin’, of sinful self love. The fall of humanity is in its reason of a salvation of enlightenment, and not a salvation of personal deification – participation into the eternal life of the One triune God, in Jesus Christ.
To love and worship God means to be in communion with Him, to be in a relationship with Him. It means to listen to Him and engage with His message, with what He is saying to us. It means to be in fellowship with all of who He is; He is Jesus Christ, He is the head and we are His body.
By doing this, God seeing the good disposition of the heart of a person, enters into them and His divine grace comes and dwells in them. In this way, one succeeds in living in Christ, since Christ Himself enters into the person.
Elder Porphyrios said: ‘’When one acquires the grace of God, one becomes possessed by God. Then one can say, ‘’It is no longer I who live; Christ lives in Me’’ (Gal. 2:20). If one abandons themselves to the grace of God, all is overturned; all is transformed into the life in Christ. Anger, resentment, jealousy, ingratitude, depression will become love, joy, longing, divine rapture, Paradise’’.