Degrees of success

Unlike Luke’s version of the Parable of the Sower, which we read in church this morning, Matthew doesn’t merely say that those on the good ground “yielded a crop a hundredfold” rather he is more specific and writes: “But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” St. Cyril of Alexandria, in his Commentary on St. Luke, writes the following:

“Observe, therefore, that just as Christ described three degrees of loss, so similarly the degrees of success are equal in number.  For those seed that fell upon the pathway are snatched away by the birds; and those upon the rocks, and those among the thorns are choked. But that desirable land brings forth fruit in three several degrees, as I said, a hundred, sixty, and thirtyfold. For as most wise Paul writes, Each one severally of us has his own gift from God, one in one manner, and another in another. For we do not at all find that the successes of the saints are in equal measure. On us, however, it it incumbent to emulate these things that are better and superior to those of meaner kind; for so will Christ bountifully bestow happiness upon us…”

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