Minnesota Episcopal
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Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

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Lectionary Reflection

Year B, Epiphany 3
Revised Common Lectionary
General Reflection



Reflection this Sunday's Readings
by the Rev Tom Harries

It will be a challenge to tie these lessons into a sermon on Creation care, but there are two usable jumping off points.

In the Episcopal Church the collect for this Sunday reads: "Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." (Emphasis added.)
This reminds us that God's love and Christ's redeeming work extend to the whole world. It is not limited only to Israel nor, I would argue, is it limited only to human beings. I'm reminded of Paul's statement in Roman's 8:19-20: " For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God."

If redemption includes the whole world, and if we are called to participate with God in the process of redemption, then we should also extend out work to embrace the whole of creation.

Note that the disciples were fishermen, and that Jesus, picking up on that, uses the metaphor "fishers of men" to describe their new ministry. Throughout the gospels, Jesus uses images associated with nature in his parables and teachings. I think of the mustard seed, the seed growing secretly, the metaphor of yeast, etc.

When the majority of people still farmed or fished for a living, these were natural metaphors to use. But they also remind us that Jesus understood the Kingdom of God to be present in the world around us-hidden, but active. The whole world and not just individual people are infused with the presence of God.

One of my favorite lines from Eucharistic Prayer C in the Book of Common Prayer says, "Open our eyes, to see your hand at work in the world about us."


Printable version


To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Epiphany 3:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Jeremiah 3: 21-4:2
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 130
Psalm 62: 6-14
New Testament Reading
1 Corinthians 7: 29-31
Mark 1: 14-20
Mark 1: 14-20


The Rev Tom Harries was rector of Holy Communion Episocpal Church, St. Peter, MN, and Co-chair of the Environmental Stewardship Commission when he originally wrote this reflection in 2009. Tom and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Tom Harries 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 website.


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