Minnesota Episcopal
Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meeting:

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

Annual Special Projects


Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations



Lectionary Reflection

Year B, Proper 8
Episcopal (Standard) Lectionary – Revised Common Lectionary
New Testament Reading

2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15 [Episcopal (Standard) Lectionary]
2 Corinthians 8: 7-15
[Revised Common Lectionary]

[Start Standard Lectionary reading] We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints— and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. [Start RCL reading] Now as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you — so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.

I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. [End Standard Lectionary reading] And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something — now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has — not according to what one does not have. [Restart Standard Lectionary]I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written,

‘The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.’
[End both readings]


Reflection on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15
and 2 Corinthians 8: 7-15

by the Rev Tom Harries

The lessons from Deuteronomy (Standard Lectionary Reading) and 2 Corinthians share the call for generosity – in Deuteronomy toward your neighbor, in 2 Corinthians toward other Christian communities.

One option would be to ask, "What would it mean to be generous toward our sister and brother creatures, or toward the earth itself?"

Could we in generosity leave some water in the rivers for the fish, or actually take down some of the dams that prevent spawning?

Could we in generosity raise animals in less efficient but more humane ways? And would we help create the demand by paying the higher price?

Another possibility would be to focus on the impact debt forgiveness for poor countries, and generosity toward them, will have on the environment.  Much environmental destruction is done by people too poor to have significant choices in their quest to survive. A great deal more results from the need to earn dollars for debt service.

In many cases the poor are our fellow Christians, making 2 Corinthians particularly relevant.

Printable version


To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Proper 8

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Semi-Continuous Track
Gospel Theme Track
Old Testament
(Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
2 Samuel 1: 1, 17-27
Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15; 2: 23-24
Psalm 112
Lamentations 3:21-33
or Psalm 30
New Testament Reading:
2 Corinthians 8: 1-9, 13-15
(this page)
2 Corinthians 8: 7-15
(this page)

Tom Harries, MEESC Chair 2004-present, was Rector of St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church, Richfield, MN, when he originally wrote this reflection in 2000. 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.


This page last updated 2012-07-23.

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