The Saviour calls these to mind in the Gospel when He speaks of the sower's seed that fell among thorns, which grew up and choked what was sown. What these thorns are He Himself says a little later: they are worldly cares which, when they grow up in the human heart, choke in it the commandments of the Saviour. For who has ever been able to be concerned about Christ if he is concerned about the world? Who has been able to look after the necessities of the Church if he has been looking to the gain of his own house? Thus the Apostle says: The man who is without a wife is concerned about the affairs of the Lord, how to please God. But the man who has a wife is concerned about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife. And so, brethren, be on guard lest your vineyard bring forth not grapes but thorns, lest you harvest produce not wine but vinegar. For whoever gathers in the harvest and does not give to the poor collects not wine but vinegar. Whoever reaps the harvest and does not minister to the needy has not stored up fruits for sustenanace but has collected thistles of avarice. On account of this Scripture says of our earth: Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you.

VIII. Today, as everyone knows, we are celebrating the feast of Saint Cyprian, and with the birth (as it is called) of the grape harvest, which is already imminent, we compare the birth of his martyrdom. So it is that our thoughts and those of the world meet.

From B. Ramsay 1989 The Sermons of St Maximus of Turin New York and Mahwlah: Newman Press, Ancient Christian Writers series no. 50, pp. 31 and 28.