Monday, November 18, 2019

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Gnostic Spirituality- Podcast

PODCAST: The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Gnostic Spirituality  -- Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean Image: The early Jesus movement (the Hebrew Christians or Ebionites) seem to have reinterpreted these images used around the Mediterranean world for the sun god and moon goddess, adopting them, transforming them into the earliest icons of their own faith: the sun of god Christ and his companion Mary of Magdala, surrounded by the Twelve Apostles (related to the twelve signs of the zodiac). We don't have much information about "the Mary Magdalene community", if you will -- the spiritual group that once valued the GofMM as one of its scriptures, other than what can be observed in the contents of the book. It presents Mary as not only equal to her male counterparts as an apostolic leader in early Christianity, but also perhaps as the widow of Christ -- wife of the guru, and his primary spiritual successor with the most insight and understanding of Christ's message. Mary also described visions of the radiant form of her Master, the resurrected Christ. The Gnostics, like other mystics, see the soul as being beyond gender. The physical, and subtle bodies: astral, causal, mental, etheric… have a gender or combination of genders, but the soul is beyond gender. Therefore the Gnostics of two thousand years ago were generally more open to the idea of the leadership roles of women, including as Apostle, as in the case of Mary Magdalene, who is portrayed in the Gospel of Mary as a kind of spiritual successor to Yeshua (or wife of the master), and more enlightened than anyone else in the group. "Mary answered and said, What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you." (Gospel of Mary Magdalene) "When Mary said this, she turned their hearts to the Good, and they began to discuss the words of the Savior." (Gospel of Mary Magdalene) Mary was an apostle or master who was a visionary, one who saw many visions of various inner planes or heavenly regions during her meditations, and the Radiant Form of her spiritual master. A beautiful passage from the Gospel of Mary about a soul Mary saw during one of her visions when she was exploring the Second Heaven. This soul was being questioned by a being or power given the name “Desire”: "The soul answered saying, You did not see me nor did you know me. You mistook the garment I wore for my true self. And you did not recognize me." How easy it is to only see the surface, to in fact be wasting away whole lifetimes being a surface-dweller, neither knowing one’s self nor seeing the true identity of others as souls. In truth we are all particles of Light dwelling within bodies, we are Notes that make up a divine symphony. In Gnostic scriptures such as the Gospel of Mary, unenlightened human existence is portrayed as a kind of night of the living dead, souls living in a world of sleep caught up in dreams of illusion, trapped in spiritual ignorance somewhere in time, limited to only a couple of dimensions, tethered to material existence seemingly unable to become aware of anything more. One of my favorite passages from Mary is when a liberated soul exclaims: “I was set loose from a world and from the chain of forgetfulness that exists in time!” Another “Mary” further to the East by the name Mira Bai once said, “My mind, birth after birth, lost in slumber, Awoke on hearing the Sound my Master gave." “When the Blessed One had said this, he greeted them all. ‘Peace be with you!’ he said. ‘Acquire my peace within yourselves. Be on your guard so that no one deceives you by saying, ‘Look over here!’ or ‘Look over there!’ For the Seed of True Humanity exists within you. Follow it! Those who search for it will find it.” Some commentary found in a footnote of the same translation adds: “The disciples must search within themselves, to find the Seed of True Humanity that is within each person. They must guard against those who try to lead them astray by requiring that a person conform to what is outside.” (The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller) For the mystic-soul there is no need to construct outward temples made of wood and stone, as the human body itself is already a temple of the Spirit. I’m sure this “within you” message of the Gnostic or mystical gospels is one of the reasons why they were not politically useful to some in antiquity, and thus they were banned. The saying above reflects a theme found in the teachings of countless mystics and masters, that the focus is “within”, not elsewhere in the outer world of the five senses, the kingdoms of this world. Thus, contemplative meditation for mystics serves as a kind of heavenly “portal” or “doorway” to the Divine. Podcast Download Page: All for the love of wisdom and radio, James Bean *Donate* Button on This Page -- Help This Effort Continue:

"The Real Jesus" Documentary

Top 5 takeaways from the Amazon Synod by Luke Hansen, S.J., Excellent Overview and Analysis of Amazonia: "New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology,"

The three-week Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region, on the theme, "Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology," concluded on Oct. 27 in Rome. Here are five key takeaways from the synod.
1. The synod was prophetic in placing Amazonian and indigenous communities at the center of the synod process and for making a clear option for these communities over foreign economic interests.
In the two-year preparatory process for the synod, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, or REPAM, coordinated about 300 listening sessions in the Amazonian region. About 22,000 people were directly involved in the territorial assemblies and smaller dialogue groups, and another 65,000 people participated in parish groups.
At the synod itself, there were 16 representatives of different Amazonian indigenous communities who shared their faith and cultural heritage with the synod and delivered compelling personal testimonies about the negative effects of climate change and extractive activities. Several of these indigenous leaders appeared at Vatican press briefings during the synod, speaking passionately about what is at stake for their communities.
On Oct. 16, Yesica Patiachi Tayori, a bilingual teacher and member of the indigenous pastoral team in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, described the decimation of her people, the Harakbut indigenous community, used as cheap labor and murdered by the thousands after the invasion of their land by rubber companies.
A few decades ago the Harakbut were as many as 50,000; they have been reduced to as few as 1,000 people today. Ms. Tayori said she made a direct appeal to Pope Francis to bring their story to the international level so that her people, faced with continuing external threats, do not go extinct.
At the synod, "the periphery speaks from the center with the awareness that its experience is heard as a prophetic voice for the whole church," said Antonio Spadaro, S.J., a synod member and the editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, in an interview with Vatican News. "And, precisely for this, it is judged by some as disturbing
2. At the heart of the synod process and the final document is conversion at the pastoral, cultural, ecological and synodal levels.
Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J., a special secretary for the synod,  presenting the final document at a Vatican briefing on Oct. 26, underlined the synod's call for these four conversions (pastoral, cultural, ecological and synodal)because, he said, there are "no new paths" and "no real change" without these conversions.
"With the Amazon burning," he said, "many more people are realizing that things have to change. We cannot keep repeating old responses to urgent problems and expect to get better results." Referring to the urgent need for ecological conversion at both the personal and communal levels, the cardinal said the ecological crisis is so deep that if we don't change, "we're not going to make it."
Several synod participants pointedly challenged Europeans and North Americans to examine and change their lifestyles and engage in political action in solidarity with Amazonian communities who bear the burden of climate change and the activities of multinational companies involved in mining and deforestation.
People who live in Europe and North America have a "heightened responsibility" for political action in support of indigenous communities since "we live from the benefits of this tragic exploitation in most parts of the world," said Josianne Gauthier at a Vatican briefing on Oct. 14.
Ms. Gauthier, a Canadian and the general secretary of CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic solidarity organizations, said her role at the synod was "to listen to voices we don't have direct access to all the time" and to consider how to support indigenous communities after the synod through "political pressure" in international political instruments
3. This special synod-the first Synod of Bishops to be organized around a distinct ecological territory-sought to practice what it preached regarding "integral ecology" and care for our common home.
In this regard, synod organizers undertook several important measures: implementing an online registration process in order to avoid printing paper; utilizing bags, pens and cups made with biodegradable materials rather than plastics; and most significantly, to be a "carbon neutral" synod, the organizers offset the emissions spent to get more than 200 participants from South America to Rome-estimated at 572,809 kilograms of carbon dioxide-with the purchase of 50 hectares (123 acres) of new growth forest in the Amazon.
"The synod is a son, a daughter, of 'Laudato Si','" the encyclical published by Pope Francis in 2015, said Mauricio López, the executive secretary of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, in an interview with America.
"The synod is not the end of the road," Mr. López said, "but the beginning of a new stage for the church in the Amazon, planting the seeds of metanoia, of radical conversion, from within, at this kairos moment."
4. All 120 paragraphs of the synod's final document (currently available in Spanish only) were approved with the necessary two-thirds majority vote, including proposals related to married priests and women deacons.
Even though these highly debated proposals had the most votes against them, the synod was able to find language to satisfy large majorities of voting members. It is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that even discussion about such questions was strongly discouraged in previous papacies.
In the paragraph on married priests, the synod noted that many Amazonian communities go for a year or more without the Eucharist and other sacraments because of a serious shortage of priests; that celibacy is a "gift from God" but also "not required by the very nature of the priesthood"; and that criteria should be established for the priestly ordination of "suitable and esteemed men of the community, who have had a fruitful permanent diaconate." The bishops supported the proposal, 128 to 41.
In the paragraph on women deacons, the synod acknowledged that in "a large number" of the consultations carried out in the Amazon, "the permanent diaconate for women was requested," adding that the theme was also important during the synod. Then, referring to the Study Commission on the Diaconate of Women that Pope Francis had established in 2016, the synod expressed its desire "to share our experiences and reflections with the Commission and await its results." This paragraph received the support of 137 bishops, with 30 against.
In his remarks at the synod's closing session, Pope Francis decided to immediately respond to this proposal, assuring the 265 synod participants that he would reconvene the commission, perhaps with new members. "I take up the challenge" for the synod "to be heard" on this topic, the pope said, as the synod hall responded with applause.
Several bishops and other participants spoke strongly in favor of women deacons throughout the synod, but perhaps the most compelling case was made by Bishop Evaristo Pascoal Spengler, O.F.M., of Marajó, Brazil, on the eve of the highly anticipated voting on the final document.
At the synod's conclusion, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, a papal appointee to the Amazon synod, told America in an interview, "It was clear to me that the majority of bishops at the synod were in favor of recommending women to be in the diaconate."
The bishop also said the pope's closing comments "certainly signaled" that the papal commission would have "a new perspective and new people" looking at the possibility of women deacons "to see is there a way that this can be accomplished.
5. Since his election as pope in March 2013, Pope Francis has transformed the Synod of Bishops into a privileged place of discernment and conversion.
Through the enhanced preparatory process, the increased participation of lay women and men as experts and auditors, the encouragement to speak freely on controversial topics and the rich discussions in small groups, Pope Francis has ensured that the synod is a place of encounter, listening and dialogue with others and with the Spirit, in which everyone is invited to let go of expectations and be open to conversion.
The synod is "not a discussion, not a parliament," but there is "a spiritual dynamic" said Giacomo Costa, S.J., the synod's secretary for information, at a Vatican press briefing on Oct. 16. The biblical image, he said, is "the blind man who throws away his cloak to go to God," and for the synod it means "to leave behind the safety of your arguments."
The synod "is a path of discernment" that must "leave space for the Spirit," Father Costa said.
On the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops in 2015, Pope Francis said that God expects the church to follow the "path of synodality" in the third millennium.
Synodality refers to the active participation of the whole People of God in the life and mission of the church, according to the International Theological Commission. It means embracing the diversity of charisms, vocations and ministries of God's people
Pope Francis has called upon the church to become more synodal at every level: bishops and priests being close to the people, walking together, and having "the smell of the sheep"; greater collaboration at the diocesan and regional levels; and the global Synod of Bishops becoming an instrument of encounter, dialogue and conversion.
In his closing remarks at the Amazon synod (currently available in Spanish only), Pope Francis said that three topics received a majority vote as possible subjects for the next synod, and one of them is "synodality." The pope said he does not know if the topic will be chosen-he is still "reflecting and thinking"-"but I can certainly say that we have walked a lot and we still have to walk more on this path of synodality."

Luke Hansen, S.J., a former associate editor of America, was a special correspondent at the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazonian Region.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy - November 17, 2019 - Presider: Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP

Afire with Divine Presence Liturgy for Sunday, November 17

Welcome: Today’s theme is all about patience and perseverance as foundational to keeping and living our faith in challenging times. It is worth remembering that Jesus is present to those who doubt and the gospel for today offers wisdom to those in need.

A word about the gospel before we begin; there is little proof that it was Jesus who said these words attributed to him by Luke more than fifty years after Jesus died. Writing after the temple was destroyed, Luke may have used known history and may have wanted to show Jesus as omniscient about what was to come. Or, maybe the truth is less calculated and far more inspiring than that. There was plenty of apocalyptic thinking around the time of Jesus predicting that the Jews were on a collision course with the Roman occupation. It might not be rocket science or require a crystal ball to see that the beloved temple was on the frontline of trouble to come.

Whether we are hearing Jesus or his intermediaries, there remains a potent message of living a faith that is at once subversive and hopeful, dangerous and promising, elusive and true. It is our ancient heritage and a revelation as close to Jesus as we have.

Opening Prayer adapted from Joyce Rupp

A Prayer to be Freed from Tizzies

Dear God, You who did not invent tizzies,
be with me when I get caught
in the wild worrying of my mind
and the needless scurrying around
in my fearful heart.

Let me fall headfirst into the truth
of your never-ending presence,
wrap your kind arms around me
and calm my doubts and fears.

Dear God, You did not invent tizzies,
I did,
and only I can send them on their way,
and I will,
if you strengthen me
to let go of my anxious hold
on what is nonessential.

Opening Song: Come be in my Heart by Sara Thomsen

First Reading is from Nilus of Ankara with notes added by Edith Barnecut 

In time of great trial it is of great profit to us patiently to endure for God’s sake, for it is said, “By patient endurance you will win life for yourselves.” The Holy One did not say by your fasting or your solitude and silence, or your singing of psalms, although all of these are helpful in saving your soul. Bu by “patient endurance” in every trial that overtakes you, and in every affliction, or any kind of disgrace, either small or great; whether it be bodily weakness or any trial whatsoever caused either by other people or by evil spirits.

The apostle writes:” With patient endurance we run the race of faith set before us,” For what has more power than virtue? What has more firmness or strength than patient endurance? It is the Queen of virtues, the foundation of virtue, a haven of tranquility. It is peace in time of war, calm in rough waters, safety amidst treachery and danger. It makes those who practice it stronger than steel. No weapons or brandished bows, no turbulent troops or advancing siege engines, no flying spears or arrows can shake it.

Not even the host of evil spirits, not the dark array of hostile powers, nor the devil himself stand by with all his armies will have power to injure the man or woman who has acquired this virtue through Christ.

These are the inspired words of Nilus and the inspired notes of Edith Barnecut. Amen. 

Gospel from the disciple known as Luke:

Some disciples were speaking of how the temple was adorned with precious stones and votive offerings. Jesus said, “You see all this? The day will come when one stone won’t be left on top of another—everything will be torn down. They asked, “When will this happen Rabbi?”

Then he said to them “Nation will rise against nation. There will be great earthquakes, plagues and famines. But before any of this, they’ll arrest you and persecute you, sending you to prison and bringing you to trial. And it will all be because of my name. This will be your opportunity to give your testimony.

Do not worry about your defense beforehand for I’ll give you the words and a wisdom that none of your adversaries can take exception to. You’ll be betrayed by parents, brothers, sisters and friends and some will be put to death. Yet not a hair on your head will be harmed. By patient endurance you’ll save your lives.”

These are the inspired words of the disciple known as Luke and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Starter Homily by Lynn Kinlan ARCWP: 
They will know we are Christians by our resolve. Usually, it is said they will know we are Christians by our love. But what kind of love? Heartfelt love sustains and nourishes. True love grows and ripens with time. Love that has heft, breadth and depth — that requires a firm determination to hang in there, which is the definition of resolve. In preparing for today, we realized that the hallmark of faith, of members in our community in particular is resolve determination and hopeful perseverance.

Faith like ours is not for the faint of heart. Jesus lived and preached and died for a faith in radical love that depends on what Nilus, a monk from the 5th century, calls the Queen of virtues – patient endurance. As Edith Barnecut, a Benedictine sister explains, patience gives us the strength of steel and makes for calm in rough waters.

Neither Nilus nor Edith is talking about assuming the patience of a doormat or the endurance of a fanatic. It isn’t about pious acts or following rules. Rather, patient endurance is all about the ability to seek balance and the visionary’s skill of taking the long view. These are the skills that save us from the tizzies and allow us to approach holiness with the hope that all manner of things shall be well. Hopefulness is the child of patience.

The gospel from Luke similarly suggests that our worry will turn to wisdom, that betrayal and loss and disaster cannot harm a hair on your head if you persevere. Luke doesn’t mean perseverance that is plodding nor keeping the faith by adhering to rules. The resolve of the gospel is more hopeful than that, more promising; it provides the opportunity to stand up for what we believe, to claim the joy of exceptional wisdom and the grace of saving each other and blessing our very lives.

And so the days of Roman occupation, of persecution for being Christian. Of violence that destroyed the holy temple – these were frightening days but they were also the time during which faith in Jesus blossomed and scripture was revealed and inspired. It may be that the most challenging of times are the times when our faith comes to fruition and we are lit afire with Divine Presence. There is blessing in our every challenge, love in every path toward faith. For we are children of God and we are resolved. 

Communion Meditation: There is a Season by Kathy Sherman

May we be blessed with Your wisdom to seek middle ground in the midst of division and to find peace. May we sustain ourselves and each other with patient endurance that will nurture and grow our faith in easy times and challenging times. Amen.

Closing Song: Sing Out Earth and Skies by Marty Haugen

Liturgy at The Wellness Connection Retreat Center - Presiders: Santa Orlando and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP

Santa Orlando and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP, led a Eucharistic liturgy of Thanksgiving at The Wellness Connection Retreat Center in Waterford, NY. The theme of the liturgy was "Gratitude Amidst Chaos." Mary Theresa's homily starter is below the readings.

Opening Reflection:
Written by Santa Orlando

Give thanks...
Perhaps for family and friends? For all Loving relationships?
For good health and economic stability?
For safety? For security? 
For Nature which provides food for body and soul?

So much to be thankful for.

Disturbing times require more Thanksgiving-
More compassion, less ego,
More empathy , less dualism,
More tolerance, less anger.

Amidst the struggle is HOPE.
And what is it we hope for?
Is it for courage to bear witness to the pain and struggle?
Is it for awareness that prompts us to change our ways?

Or, is it for openness to love more deeply and unconditionally?

Who is the recipient of our Thanks and What is the source of our Hope?
So many questions…..

Turn to the essence of love.
Perhaps together we will find the answers.
Opening Song: We Come to Your Feast by Michael Joncas


First Reading: Gratitude by Joyce Rupp 

To be grateful for what is,
Instead of underscoring what is not.

To find good amid the unwanted aspects of life,
Without denying the presence of the unwanted.

To focus on beauty in the little things in life,
As well as being deliberate about the great beauties
Of art, literature, music, and nature.

To be present to one’s own small space of life,
While stretching to the wide world beyond it.

To find something to laugh about in every day,
Even when there seems nothing to laugh about.

To search for and to see the good in others,
Rather than remembering their faults and weaknesses.

To taste life to the fullest,
And not take any part of it for granted. 

To find ways to reach out and help the disenfranchised,
While also preserving their dignity and self-worth.

To be as loving and caring as possible,
In a culture that consistently challenges these virtues.

To be at peace
With what cannot be changed.

These are the inspired words of Joyce Rupp and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Response: Psalm 139 sung by Kathryn Christian 

Alleluia – Eightfold Alleluia sung by Jan Phillips 

Gospel: LK 21:5-19 

While some were speaking about the temple,
how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God,
Jesus said, “As for the things you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another, all will be torn down.” 

They asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"

Jesus answered, "Beware that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.'
Do not follow them! 

When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified;
for such things must happen first, but the end will not follow immediately."
Nation will rise against nation, and empire against empire.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will bring you before rulers and governors
because of my name.
This will be your opportunity to give testimony.

Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I will give you words and a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.

You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

These are the inspired words of Luke and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Homily Starter by Mary Theresa

The theme for today’s liturgy is “Gratitude Amidst Chaos.” We just heard a beautiful reading by Joyce Rupp on gratitude and then we heard a disturbing Gospel by Luke that foretells a time of chaos in the Jewish community. Jesus warned his followers that their revered temple, a place that symbolized their connection to the Divine and their connection to each other, would be destroyed. It seems that they were not surprised by Jesus’ words but instead wanted to know how soon all of this was going to happen. They were accurately reading the signs of the times.

The Gospel sure sounds like the chaos we are experiencing right now in our world community. Countries are rising against each other and revered religious institutions are losing their credibility. The political and religious institutions are in chaos.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds his followers, then and now, to stay true to what he has taught them – take care of one another – especially the poor and marginalized. Confront the systems of oppression with non-violent prophetic witness even if it puts you at odds with revered political and religious institutions.

So how do we prepare ourselves for this type of conflict? Jesus tells his followers to keep their focus on him and they will be fearless. How do we do that? What practice(s) help to keep your heart steadfast on the Gospel message? Meditation? Prayer? Reflecting on a good book? A beautiful poem? What feeds you and leads your feet to prophetic non-violent witness of the Gospel?

In the first reading, Joyce Rupp provides meaningful, prayerful practices in one brief passage. Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude is good for you; it creates a biochemical shift in the body. The brain responds to positive input and sends life-enhancing messages to every cell.”

Emerging scientific theories are confirming what mystics have known – we are one – not just all human beings, but all creation, the entire universe. So when we send out those grateful prayers, or any prayers, we are affecting not only ourselves but others as well. We are creating a less chaotic world.

What are your thoughts about the readings?


Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future.

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.

May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. 

United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise: 
Holy Holy Holy... sung by Karen Drucker

We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world, we pray for peace in their name.

And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on - this great blossoming that is meant to go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name.

And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this,
For the animals that have no voice in this,
For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this,
For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their name.

We thank you for our brother, Jesus who showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.

We invoke Your Spirit upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.

When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat, this is my very self. 

Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. 

Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love. We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation. 

We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

For it is through learning to live as he lived, and why he lived, and for whom he lived, moving us to worship you truly, at this time and all time and in all ways. AMEN!

Let us pray as Jesus taught us:

Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come.
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,
Each day you give us all we need;
You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen (Miriam Therese Winter) 

May the Peace of the Holy One be with each of you. 

Peace Song: Blessing Song byJan Phillips


This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Communion Song: Song of Thanksgiving by the Dameans


May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion penetrate us, that we may penetrate the numbness that continues our society’s injustices. May we know that we are loved.
May we continue to be the face of the Holy One to each other and may we be a blessing in our time! Amen.

Closing Song: May the Longtime Sun by Sara Thomsen 

SOA Watch Liturgy Led by Women Priests Katy Zatsick ARCWP and Diane Dougherty ARCWP, Music by Charlie King, 30th Anniversary of Efforts to Close School of Americas at Ft. Benning, GA.

"Father Roy Bourgeois started the first protest in 1989 after a massacre at The University of Central America in El Salvador. Bourgeois says the massacre was lead by officers trained at the former school of the Americas.After the school closed, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC was born.
Father Bourgeois does not distinguish from WHINSEC. He says it was an issue then and it continues to be an issue now and they are protesting to get the school closed down.
Father Bourgeois visited El Salvador to see how the people live first hand.
“When we were there we knew if we were living like the people here with our children. If we stay we die. So they’re seeking life as we would. They want to survive and that’s why so many of them are forced out of there countries in Latin America with a connection to what’s going on here,” Bourgeois said."
SOA Vigil Liturgy Led by Katy Zatsick ARCWP, Diane Dougherty ARCWP and Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP (not in photo)

Charlie King - provided music 

SOA Watch Sunday Liturgy, Saturday, November 16, 2019 - Columbus, GA: Called to be Justice-Makers (Liturgy written by Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP)

Opening Song

(Now we’ll read Sunday’s Gospel and the Writings of Salvadoran martyr Ignacio Ellacuria twice.  After the first time, we’ll go around and share a word or phrase from either that touches our heart. Then, the second time around, each person shares why the word or phrase was important.
This is the way of the communities in El Salvador, where the prayer never ends until everyone speaks because of belief that God is speaking through each person to the community.

Gospel: Luke 21: 5-19  (Inclusive Bible)
Some disciples were speaking of how the temple was adorned with precious stones and votive offerings. Jesus said, “You see all these things?  The day will come when one stone won’t be left on top of another-everything will be torn down.”
They asked. “When will this happen Rabbi? And what will be the sign that it’s about to happen?”
Jesus said, “Take care not to be misled. Many will come in my name saying, “I am the One,” and “The time is at hand.” Don’t follow them. And don’t be perturbed when you hear of wars and insurrections. These things must happen first, but the end doesn’t follow immediately.”
Then he said to them: “Nation shall rise against nation, and empire against empire. There will be great earthquakes, plagues, and famines in various places-and, in the sky there will be frightening omens and great signs. But before any of this, they’ll arrest you and persecute you, bringing you to trial before rulers and governors.  And it will all be because of my name-this will be your opportunity to give your testimony. So make up your minds not to worry about your defense beforehand, for I’ll give you the words, and a wisdom that none of your adversaries can take exception to or contradict.
Even your parents will betray you, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends, and some will be put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, yet not a hair on your head will be harmed. By patient endurance, you’ll save your lives.

Ignacio Ellacuria, philosopher and rector of the University of Central America in San Salvador, was one of the key intellectual authors of  liberation theology.  On November 16, 1989, he and other members of the Jesuit community of the University were massacred by Salvadoran army troops. Here are three of his quotes.

The Writings of Ignacio Ellacuria:

Do everything possible so that liberty is victorious over oppression, justice over injustice, love over hate…

Every human being is called to solidarity in a world battling between life and death…

Always remember that there is no conversion to God if there is no conversion to the oppressed.

Prayers of the Faithful: What do we pray for? We pray…

Celebration of Eucharist
On the night before he died, Jesus met with his friends, broke bread and giving thanks, blessed it. Then he shared it with them saying, This bread is me. This bread is you. Serve justice.
In the same way, he took the cup, poured the wine and giving thanks, blessed it. Then he shared it with them saying, This is the wine of new life. Drink! I am with you always.

Communion Song – 

Communal Blessing
"Remember that you are highly favored,
Deeply loved, and
Greatly blessed."
Closed with and addition.
"May you go forward to continue to work for justice and peace in the name of
Jesus" Amen. 

Closing Song