Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC) Lectionary Reflection Year C, Proper 21, Gospel

Luke 16:19-31 "........Then father (Abraham), I beg you send him to my father's house for I have five brothers that he may warn them, so that they may not also come into this place of torment." Abraham replied, "They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them." He said, "No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repen" (vs 27-31)

Reflection on Luke 16:19-31 by the Rev Dcn Helen Hanten

We have long had prophets to tell us what the long term consequences of our overuse and abuse of the resources of Planet Earth will be. A group headed by Lester Brown of Earth Watch did computer modeling of the "state of the earth" from the late seventies, and found that, even using all possible variations of factors such as food production, use of energy, habitat destruction and air and water pollution, no way could earth continue to sustain the growing population of humans more than a few more generations. Each year there has been an update on each factor and on the total projection.

"But," says the rich man, "if someone goes to them from the dead, they will listen to them."

Will they? Would we? Like looking at the dead canary from the coal mine as an indicator organism? Do we listen to the messages of the endangered species? Do we look at evidence of extinct species? Do they speak to us from the dead? Do we slow down long enough to ask if this is in accord to God's plan?


Helen Hanten is a deacon and a member of St. Andrew's by the Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN. She originally wrote this reflection in 2001. Helen and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Helen Hanten or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

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This page last updated 01-09-11.