In the Gospel this weekend, we hear about soil and the sowing of seeds. There’s also an actor, a sower, no one specific. I know that in this COVID-19 time, many of you have been sowing seeds—planting gardens of flowers, succulents, fruits, and vegetables. Some of you, not all, have had great success—beauty, produce and self-satisfaction, and healthier eating.
The Gospel is also about not only hearing the Word of God, but also receiving it. What does receptivity look like? How do we create receptivity? What helps us to hear, understand, learn, and act differently?
We use the expression “planting seeds” to often indicate that we begin a process with an idea, a thought. We also begin a process of growth by examining our attitudes, our expectations, and our ability to wait. “Seed money” is set aside for growth. Some of the harvested potatoes are set aside for the purpose of seeding or sprouting the next crop.
My identity as a daughter of farmers helps me to relate to these agrarian, earthy images of seeding. My identity as a Sister, my vocation in life, has been about sowing seeds of learning. Having come of age in the mid 1960’s, I experienced the “seeds of discontent” about war, poverty, women’s rights. Today I call it “seeds of change” or “We can be better than this.”
For me, living in this pandemic is offering the opportunity to think about what “seeds” I am planting. As we adapt to social distancing, avoiding crowds, and the wearing of masks, we also plant the seeds of alternative ways of connecting, of showing our love and care for each other, of interdependence and of compassion. We are returning to seeds planted long ago in us—the seeds of our faith—and accepting the commission to spread the Word in our domestic churches. And we look forward to what will sprout and flourish. Through discomfort, we find hope. As the Mexican proverb in the image above states, “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”