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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

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Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations



Lectionary Reflection

Year C, Proper 17
Revised Common Lectionary
General Reflection: Gospel Theme Track

Gospel Theme Track Readings

Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading: Sirach 10:12-18 or Proverbs 25:6-7
Psalm Psalm 112
New Testament Lesson

Reflection on the Readings
by the Rev Margaret W. Thomas

Issues of dietary and household codes held the people of Jesus' time to strict observance. Healing, too, was reserved for non-Sabbath days.

As Jesus challenged the codes, especially with common folks and healing of many sorts and conditions of people, he challenged Temple authorities, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the ruling occupiers, the Romans.

The parable concerning the invitations to the wedding banquet is a forerunner to the Heavenly banquet. This humbling of oneself to take the lesser, or lower, status seat at the banquet parallels our own challenge to humble ourselves for the poor, the ill, or the marginalized.

We may be able to extend the meaning to include the lives of plants and animals. If we really care for our fellow earth dwellers, we may be willing to relinquish space and pollution habitat to sustain their lives and their offspring's sustainability.

Are we willing to reduce our life styles so that the poor of body and spirit may have space on our planet? That is the same to me as giving up one's special seat at the table.

The Collect mentions the need to nourish the grafting. The restoring of true religion brings forth true religion for Jesus' sake.

The themes of justice are present in the reading from Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) and the Psalm. The reversal of the folks' seats at the table goes beyond justice to love in a sacrificial manner - the Jesus manner.

How do we invite the endangered species to our banquets? I fear the polar bear on the Coke cans set on the table will not be sufficient.

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other RCL Readings for Year C, Proper 17:

Reflections available at the active links
Semi-Continuous Track Gospel Theme Track
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading: Jeremiah 2:4-13 Sirach 10:12-18 or
Proverbs 25:6-7
Psalm Psalm 81:1, 10-16 Psalm 112
New Testament Lesson
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14


The Rev Margaret W. Thomas was Associate Rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 2007.  Margaret and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to the Rev Margaret W. Thomas 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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