Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection
Year A, Proper 13, Gospel

Matthew 14: 13-21

Jesus withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Reflection on Matthew 14: 13-21
by the Rev Wanda Copeland

How often it is that we do not seek God from the fullness of our lives, but from the dearth. We are regularly reminded that as Christians, we do best when we live out of our ‘theology of abundance’ rather than scarcity. However, the reality is we more clearly see our need for God from our times and places of pain. Even Jesus took time to go “to a deserted place by himself”. He knew he needed to clear his mind of all the insults, false accusations and the conceit. Before we taste of the abundance given to us from God through Christ, we are invited to the deserted place apart. We are invited to come to a place of hunger. We are called toward a time of separation so that we can more clearly focus on who and what we have.

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Hebrew Scripture
Nehemiah 9:16-20
no reflection available
New Testament
Romans 8:35-39
Matthew 14:13-21
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The Rev Wanda Copeland is rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Elk River, MN. Wanda was the second chair of MEESC, and since 2001 she has been the chair of the Episcopal Ecological Network.  She originally wrote this reflection in 2002.  Wanda and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to The Rev Wanda Copeland or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the web site.

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