Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship 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 11 Episcopal (Standard) Lectionary Revisted Common Lectionary Gospel Reading

Mark 6: 30-44 [Episcopal (Standard) Lectionary] Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56 [Revised Common Lectionary]

[Begin both] The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while. For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. [Break RCL reading]

As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat. But he answered them, You give them something to eat. They said to him, Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat? And he said to them, How many loaves have you? Go and see. When they had found out, they said, Five, and two fish. Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; 43and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces [End Standard Lectionary reading]

[Restart RCL reading] When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. [End RCL reading]

Reflection on Mark 6: 30-44 and Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56 by the Rev Tom Harries

I see two potential directions to go here.

Jesus calls the disciples away to a deserted place. You can refer to our material on sacred spaces and talk about experiences in sacred spaces, their potential for refreshment and insight. There is an importance of preserving parks and green space so that people continue to have the opportunity to go to a place apart by themselves and rest awhile.

Beginning with the feeding of 5000 one could talk about all the ways God provides for us through creation and the environment.

To me the most stunning one is oxygen in the air. We all breath every minute from birth to death without thinking about it, yet we could not live a moment without the whole process that keeps oxygen in the air. Similarly with water: you can fast quite a while, but without water you can last only a few days.

Only a small portion of the world's water is fresh. It is extremely important to be good stewards of it.

Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Proper 11

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Semi-Continuous Track
Gospel Theme Track
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Isaiah 57: 14b-21
2 Samuel 7: 1-14a
Jeremiah 23: 1-6
Psalm 22: 22-30
Psalm 89: 20-37
New Testament Reading:
Ephesians 2: 11-22
Ephesians 2: 11-22
Mark 6:30-44 (this page)
Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56 (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:

MEESC 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 2012-07-26.

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