Lavishly Sowing Seeds
I was reminded of the Sower of the Seeds parable (Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8) when I visited a colleague to say goodbye. Sister Rose Marie Adams, I. H. M., who has served as Executive Director for the Office of Catholic Formation and Evangelization in the Raleigh, NC Diocese for the last seven years will be returning to Philadelphia this summer. We were able to enjoy a short visit this week and reminisced about her time there and the relationship we enjoyed.
If we are lucky, there are only a few times in our lives when we encounter people who share in our life’s mission and leave us changed. It may be an individual or group who share unique bonds united by mission or purpose. Sister Rose is one of those people. She and I developed a friendship while learning about faith, family, and fun. I remember getting to know her over a meal and collaborating with her on various catechetical initiatives at the diocese.
During our visit she expressed a similar appreciation of our bond and said we shared in lavishly sowing seeds for the kingdom of God. She said “that’s what disciples do!” I was taken aback as I was humbled at her inference that I remotely reflected in her work, and yet her summation seemed so simple! I had not thought of it in those terms but she was correct.
Lavishly sowing seeds offers a richness that needs to be explored. Lavish can be characterized by extravagance, or squander. At first glance, lavish sowing may seem wasteful, but for the kingdom implies without reservation. It is an intentional effort without critique. We know sowing is the process of planting seeds. Jesus tells of the sower – some seeds fell on the path, on rocky ground, some among thorns and some on rich soil. We also know that the seed Jesus refers to in the parable is the Word of God. A sower might be careful not to waste seed on areas that will not grow, but Jesus knows that we cannot always tell who will represent the path, rocky ground, thorns or rich soil. We must lavishly sow seeds for the kingdom of God!
Before parting each other’s company we agreed we would see each other again. Goodbyes are never easy, but I left with a smile on my face and a new seed in my heart. A disciple of disciples, she will surely be missed in the South, but welcomed back to her order and whatever her next mission will be. Only God knows exactly what she’ll be doing, but one thing is for sure, she’ll be lavishly sowing seeds!