Saturday, October 19, 2013

Deacon Maureen McGill Shares with Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community/Dialogue Homily and Liturgy


Deacon Maureen McGill on left holds up cup and plate at liturgy, Priest Katy Zatsick on right holds up bread plate




On Oct. 19th, 2013 at our Saturday evening liturgy, Maureen McGill, a deacon with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, and Katy Zatsick, ARCWP, co-presided at a liturgy with Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida.



 
Deacon Maureen shared her thoughts and experiences on the theme of prayer. She presented the various types of prayers in the Psalms and focused on the prayer for help in crisis situations.









Maureen, who is a lawyer, served as a Magistrate in her practice, provided an insightful, funny uptake on the persistent widow and unjust judge in the  Gospel.  The summation was that we respond to people's cry for help as the hands and feet, eyes and ears, and heart of God.
 


MMOJ community extended a warm welcome back to Florida to Bridget Mary. Nancy Fusillo, from St. Petersburgh attended this joyous liturgy.






Friday, October 18, 2013

"Ministry of Compassion-Fruit of Our Labor" by Diane Dougherty, ARCWP


I first met Randy at our Wednesday night meal for the homeless before I was ordained.  He couldn’t get up because he hurt his knees so I got his second plate of food.  A long time passed before I heard “Hey, remember me?  I’m Randy”. He told me that if he could just get his birth certificate, he could get on Disability and get food stamps.  He asked me to help him so I whipped out my I pad and began what was to be a long process.  Because he didn’t come every week and I needed additional information, we played the waiting game and what should have taken a few weeks ended up months because he was taken off to jail.  When I finally saw him again, he said he got the certificate, but he hit a policeman and ended up in jail again. They didn’t give it back-could I please get him another one….so we began that process again getting some of the information, waiting for him to come to the Wednesday night meal to get the last few details.  One of his friends finally took me to his place under the bridge.  We got the process started. 

I didn’t hear from Randy for a long time.  His friends said he wasn’t at the meal because he didn’t feel good and someone said he was hospitalized but didn’t know where.  This was a new experience for me.  I felt like his family members must have felt, not knowing where he was, if he was OK or not.  About a month later I got a text from a visiting nurse telling me he was in St. Joseph Hospital with a number.   I called and in his usual tone of voice and succinct manner he said, “I’m sick.  I wanted you to know.” 

I went to visit him to find out he had an inoperable liver tumor.  He said, “I am going to die but I am not afraid. “ We sang and prayed and I listened to his stories of family….   During the time I had the overwhelming feeling of the feminine power of the loving God wrapping her arms around Randy and making a way of comfort and peace as he lived these last days.  Perhaps the greatest of all signs of God’s love was that for the first time in 7 years, he called his sister who had prayed for him always wondering what happened to her brother… within a few short days there was a peaceful reconciliation and a binding of souls in love once more.

Facing death, Randy wanted to have all his papers in order.  As we walked slowly up the hallway to his room to complete the last set, I sensed he was weaker. He used my shoulder as his leaning post.  After he signed the last piece of paper, he relaxed.  As a matter of fact, he joked with me. He got in bed and began to doze off so I thought I would leave quietly.  But before I got to the door I heard this “Hey!”  When I returned he had his big arms open for a hug and said “I am so grateful for all you did for me and for being my friend. And tell the people at that church thanks.”  I told him it was my privilege and his mother sent a lot of us as angels to be with him to let him know everything is OK.  And as I walked away he reminded me to bring that beef stew from the church and a can opener….We left laughing.  24 hours later he moved onto the next stage of his life. 

Reflecting on his peaceful death, I gave honor to all that ministered to Randy, the people and institutions that received him.  I sense we are each like a part of an unheard symphony of goodness and kindness. From the people at First Metropolitan Community Church, to Grady  and their nurses, the social workers,  his friend Billy, St. Joe’s and the Sisters at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, I hear each person’s goodness  as a holy note woven into the broad reaches of society confirming a melodious sound that raises up the dignity of each human being.  We men and women are the people of “Good News” bringing a song of hope to our earth…“when you did this to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did this for me”.  

Rev.  Diane Dougherty, ARCWP      Rev. Diane works at First Metropolitan Community Church in Atlanta an Inclusive, compassionate and empowering  community.  She ministers to LGBTQ Families through their education department, supports their transgender ministries, and cares for the needs of the homeless.


--

Homily for 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time by Judy Lee, ARCWP, Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Ft. Myers, Fl.

http://judyabl.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/prayer-a-hammer-and-a-trap-homily-29th-sunday-in-ordinary-time-102013/
Today we consider the true power of prayer. To do that we must consider what it means to pray. I am not always sure that I know. When my heart is moved by nature, a person, an animal, a movie or a book, a sunset or a call from someone, and I say “Thank you God!” I know I am praying. When I join our congregation in the prayers of the liturgy on Sundays, or at a Prayer Service, or at a hospital bed side, I am praying. When I call out in desperation, “Help!” I am praying. When I take my morning walk and chant names and faces to God, I am praying. When I sit quietly and look at my lake, I am praying. When I see pain in people and places, I am praying. When I read the Scriptures, I am praying. I am not always praying in words. I am not always praying as Jesus suggests, but I do pray when I am not even conscious of praying. How about you? What is prayer to you?
In Luke 18:1 Jesus tells us to pray always and not lose heart. Jesus is headed toward Jerusalem. He full well knows the path he is on and where it will lead for one who has the courage to confront the powers that be in “church and state”. He also knows the plight of those who accompany him and whom he accompanies- the poor, the dispossessed, the sick and outcast, the stranger and all those without power, including widows. He tells the story of the persistent widow to encourage those who have no power to keep on speaking up, if no one else will hear them, God will and God will deliver justice speedily to those that call upon God (verses 7-8a).  Jesus does not want those who nobody hears to lose heart.  God is with them. God hears and will act.
In choosing the persistent widow as the unlikely heroine of this parable, Jesus once again empowers women. While some, including the corrupt judge, may see her as a pest and a whiner Jesus sees her as a winner. He is teaching here about the relationship of our loving and just God to the “weakest” among us.  He is not comparing his loving Parent to a bad judge who needs to be pestered into doing right. Jesus is saying God is listening to the pain and need expressed to God.
In Jesus’ time, widows, left without a wage earner and the one from whom they derived status, had no power. The word for ‘widow’ in Hebrew means ‘silent one’. Yet this widow needed justice enacted and she spoke up-she wanted “legal protection from an opponent” (verse 3, TIB translation). I think of the many women who seek orders of protection against abusive men in their lives. I think of women who live in places where the law of the land clearly does not protect them.  I think of women here who are still too frightened to get orders of protection and the violence and death that ensues. I think of women who are locked into abusive relationships dependent on a man’s income.  I am thankful for the few housing opportunities we have for women with low or no incomes, especially for those with disabilities. Below is Karen who, at almost fifty years of age, now has her very first independent home through counseling, support, and Goodwill Housing. Karen prayed for her own home.
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Happy new home. Hooray for you, Karen!
I think of the young girls who were shot for speaking out for the education of girls in Pakistan and elsewhere. To Malala Yousafzai,16, who survived being shot in the head and neck by the member of the Taliban for her views, and to her friends and classmates, I say, don’t give up, don’t lose heart, God is with you, and so are we.
In the reading from Exodus Moses represents God’s power even in armed battle by holding his arms up. I think of how tired his arms were. And I am so thankful for Aaron and Hur who gave him a seat and stood on each side holding up his arms. I pray that we can find ways of holding up the arms of our sisters in lands where women are shot for wanting education.  Perhaps we do it through public outcry and education, perhaps we do it through donations or diplomacy, but do it we must. A few years back, in Pakistan, some businessmen (Mr. Chapbra and Mr. Ahmad among the leaders) got together and developed TCF, schools for the poorest children in the land. They are trying to get 50% enrollment of girls and are near that goal. They are funded by individual and corporate donations and are making a big difference. (PBS and Undertold Stories, University of St.Mary’s, Minnesota).
I think that addressing the issues of abuse in relationships is one of the hardest things we do pastorally, especially when economic issues reinforce the problems. I think of how tired we in the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community get in trying to hold up the arms of women and men who face despair, both economic and personal. I am so thankful for our Aarons and “Hers” who stand side by side with us to help our poorest sisters and brothers. When we act in community we can do anything. When we unite ourselves through prayer with the Birther/Father/Mother of the Cosmos we are truly empowered.
That is the essence of prayer-to unite ourselves with the power and love of God.  Scholar of the Aramaic language, Neil Douglas-Klotz in Prayers of the Cosmos translates the beginning of Jesus Prayer, not “our Father, who art in heaven” but from Abwoon d’bwashmaya-
O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos…
Wordless Action, Silent Potency-
Where ears and eyes awaken, there
Heaven comes.
When we pray, make time for communication with God, we tap into God’s power and God’s dream for the world and for us, and we awake. Then we bring God’s kin-dom to this world.
Another Aramaic scholar, Rocco Errico, says “that the word for prayer in Aramaic is slotha. It comes from the root word sla, which literally means ‘to trap’ or ‘to set a trap’. Thus, prayer in its initial sense implies ‘setting your mind like a trap so that you may catch the thoughts of God’-in other words, ‘to trap the inner guidance and impulses that come from your inner spiritual source’…It is an ‘alert sense of total sensitivity and attentiveness’.” (Setting a Trap For God, pp.6-7).  These definitions that come from the language Jesus actually spoke help us to understand how Jesus prayed and how we too can set the stage for being open to God in our praying. I think of the old hymn “In the Garden”-”I come to the garden alone when the dew is still on the roses…and the joys we share as we tarry there none other has ever known”.  Prayer is a time of conversing and communicating with God who is communicating with us and loving us.  Errico suggests that rather than play a recorded tape to God in prayer, that we come to God with a blank tape/DVR and receive the message that God has for us, and the power, love and joy that comes with our prayer relationship with God.  Prayer is attunement. When we are open to all God has for us and gives us, our response is thankfulness. And we are inevitably guided into action.
The story of the persistent widow assures us that God is attentive to us and in turn prayer is us being attentive to God as well. God will deliver justice and enable us to deliver it as well.  In a sense the brave widow “hammered” on the bad judge’s door until he opened up and delivered justice. Our hammering is our speaking up for justice and enacting it with God’s help. The old folk song by Peter, Paul and Mary runs through my mind-“If I Had a Hammer.” The song is prophetic- we sing out “warning and danger and the love of our brothers and sisters all over this land.”  Here is the last verse-through prayer we do have what we need to make noise and act for justice. We will sing this in church on Sunday.
“Well, I’ve got a hammer
And I’ve got a bell
And I’ve got a song to sing
All over this land.
It’s the hammer of justice,
It’s the song of freedom,
It’s a song about love between my
Brothers and sisters
All over this land!”
So, let us set a trap for God by attuning ourselves to our loving and just God.  Let us open ourselves in prayer to hear God’s message and receive God’s gifts of love and power to enact justice. Let us take our hammers, bells and songs and with the help of the community of believers let us hold up our weary arms and enact God’s power for and more importantly with those without power to change their lives.  Then we can not only pray but live
“teytey malkuthakh”- “thy kin(g)dom come”.
“Create your reign of Unity now-
Through our fiery hearts and willing hands”.
(Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos, p.19).
Amen.
Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community
Fort Myers, Florida

ARCWP Deacon Maureen Mc Gill Joins Women Priests in Visiting the Grieving and Sick

http://judyabl.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/arcwp-deacon-maureen-mcgill-joins-women-priests-in-visiting-the-grieving-and-sick/
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This is Pastor Judy Beaumont, Shayra, Miriam and Deacon Maureen
On Wednesday October 16th Deacon Maureen McGill accompanied women priests Judy Lee and Judy Beaumont in visiting a family in Tampa,Florida.  This is a family that the Good Shepherd Co-Pastors have ministered with for many years. Originally from Puerto Rico, with later residence in Florida, the daughter, Nancy, was  a MSW student of Dr. Lee’s in the University of Connecticut in the mid 1980′s. She became a wonderful social worker and was also a teacher,a poet and an Evangelical Pastoral Associate. She was the mother of twin girls, Shayra and Mia,now 23.  Because of serious Diabetes there were periods of time in which Nancy could not work and she struggled very hard to survive economically and as a single parent . At times she lived with her mother Miriam and she was Miriam’s only child. The family was very close and included an Aunt, Titi Gloria and a niece “Tata” who was raised by Gloria and lived with her in Gloria’s Senior Housing..  This is a family of faith and Nancy was its spiritual leader. She was an inspiration to all who knew her including us. At various times she asked us to pray with her and the family. When Tata was diagnosed with an advanced cancer in 2008 her time was short. The family was in crisis and we all faced this together. I gave dear Tata Holy Anointing and the family prayed with us.When she went home to God, we mourned with the family and helped Nancy to write the funeral liturgy. This loss was especially hard on Titi Gloria. She became especially close to us during this time. On special holidays like Noche Buena, the Christmas celebration, we would join Nancy and her family for a special meal prepared by Nancy and Miriam and for joyful customary singing with friends.
When the girls were 11-12, Nancy was hospitalized for her brittle diabetes and was in a coma for five months. During this time Pastor Judy Beaumont and I would go regularly to Tampa and join Miriam in her bedside vigil,anointing Nancy and praying.  MIraculously, Nancy emerged from the coma and began her life again. She was able to make a very special and wonderful Quincenera for her daughters and she was joyful at their High School graduation. She was delighted at knowing her grandaughter Sadie Belle Marisol for seven months. Yet her lot would be to go in and out of the hospital. In April of 2012 she suddenly fell into a coma and was rushed to the hospital where she lasted only a day. The family was in shock and we went immediately to them. Miriam’s grief was profound and she remained in this state for over a year. It was very hard for the whole family to regroup after this profound loss. My own heart is sad as we all face the world without Nancy in it. Yet we recall her with gladness because of who she was and the gifts of herself that she freely gave. With strong faith the family is sure that they will see her again with the Risen Christ.  Miriam moved back into Senior Housing  and eventually Shayra was able to move in as her caretaker.  They are finally picking up the pieces of their lives and are beginning to have the joy in their lives that Nancy wanted for each of them. Yet, a few months ago Titi Gloria had a stroke. She is now in a Nursing Home and regaining some of her abilities. There is still paralysis on one side but speech and some movement is returning.
Deacon Maureen joined us as she lives about a half our outside of Tampa and she is going to follow up in visiting Miriam and Shayra and Titi Gloria.  This was a joyful visit as Deacon Maureen was welcomed into their lives.
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This is Deacon Maureen encouraging Shayra who designs costumes. Shayra was delighted that Maureen understood the kind of designs and costumes she loves to work on.  
When we went together to the Nursing Home Miriam was so happy to bring the surprise visitors to her sister Gloria. Gloria responded first with tears then with great joy.
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I read some of Titi Gloria’s favorite Bible passages to her in Spanish and she was able to finish many of the verses. Then we looked at the family history that she kept in her Bible. We learned that this was the same day as her mother’s birthday!Image
Miriam was happy to see the history so well recorded. Miriam will be ninety in December and Gloria will be 88. Gloria was happy to know that Deacon Maureen would be visiting her and she asked her to call her Titi too-”Aunty”. Maureen said she would be happy to do this.We prayed with Titi and also her roommate. Titi said a loud Amen!
We will be back but we know this wonderful family is in good hands with Deacon Maureen.
Bendiciones y oraciones,
Pastor Judy Lee y Pastor Judy Beaumont

Homily for 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time by Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP/ Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Toledo, Ohio

Scholars are confident
that the parable in today’s Gospel
accurately reflects the message of Jesus.
The parable has two characters—the woman and the judge.
The judge does not care about people—
he is not in right relationship with others.
And he does not care about God—
he is not in right relationship with God.
In short, the judge is not just.
The woman is a widow, powerless
in a society that values men as human beings
and women as men’s property.
She asks the judge to set things right for her,
to order the protection required by the law.
And he refuses.
So she keeps on asking.
Finally, though he won’t do justice because it’s right,
he does it so he won’t be bothered by her any more.
The context of the parable, as Luke frames it,
reflects the application made by the early Christian community.
As time went on, some of the community had wavered in their faith.
The first disciples were dying, and Jesus had not returned.
They wondered if God had abandoned them.
So their concern over the delay of the Parousia
led them to read the parable
as an encouragement to continue to follow the Way of Jesus.
______________________________________
We are called to look at the parable,
just as our ancestors in faith did,
to learn the lesson that it holds for us.
In the words of Vatican Council II,
we are called to look at the “signs of the time”
and discern what these words of Jesus call us to.
So, what do we see going on in our world these days?
This week our nation hovered on the brink of financial disaster
from the federal government shutdown
and the debt ceiling debacles.
At the last minute Congress acted,
but they will return to the same issues again early next year.
In our world we have seen Syria
using chemical weapons against its own citizens,
and the United Nations
working on methods to prevent future atrocities.
In our elections we’ve suffered negative advertising
and serious lack of civility in public discourse
to the point that voter pressure
has led the two candidates for Mayor of Toledo
to pledge to conduct positive, civil campaigns on the issues
rather than attacking each other.
______________________________________
In today’s parable we see the judge
failing to do the job of justice he’s responsible for—
just as Congress has failed to do its job.
We see the widow pressing on in spite of refusal—
just as the United Nations continues to press Syria
and just as Toledoans continued
to call politicians to task about civility in campaigns. .
______________________________________
What the early Church learned from this parable
is that persistence pays.
They learned the need to keep the faith.
They learned that, in the end, perseverance leads to justice.
What are some of the things
that we can learn from the judge and the widow?
Last month we looked at the systemic conditions
that are degrading our environment
to the point that we are inflicting mortal wounds
to all of earth’s living things, including us.
It’s overwhelming. We feel powerless.
This weekend we are looking at hunger—
the systems and structures that cause hunger in our world. We know
that one in four Toledoans lives in poverty.
We know that nutritional deficiencies stemming from poverty
bring suffering, serious illness, and even death to children. And we
know that the hunger problem is global,
much worse in other countries than here.
It’s overwhelming. We feel powerless.
______________________________________
In the face of overwhelming need,
our Holy Spirit Catholic Community is organizing itself
to work on the systems and powers that cause injustice.
Millions of jobs call out for service,
and everyone in our Holy Spirit Catholic Community
is involved in some active work of social justice.
Every single one of you regularly engages
in hands-on volunteer work.
Some teach and tutor;
some donate soups and casseroles
and shirts and shoes and bus tokens;
some bring dignity and support to folks in the dying process;
some give rides to seniors who can’t drive any more;
some tend their grandchildren
so their parents can make a living;
some serve as docents at the Art Museum,
improving the quality of life for everyone;
some give advice and counsel.
For some of you the hands-on service is part of your “day job,”
and you do it with a spirit of care and dedication
that goes way beyond your paycheck.
Some of you do it as part of your family life,
with a spirit of cheerfulness and affection
that goes way beyond the task at hand.
Others do it for strangers you’ll never meet, or never see again,
with a spirit of joy and love.
It’s overwhelming.
At times we all feel powerless in the face of such great need.
But we do it anyway.
______________________________________
The lesson for today is that justice will win.
When it looks like no one cares whether we show up or not,
when it looks like we’ll never have enough food to go around,
when it looks like the planet is doomed,
Jesus is telling us to keep at it.
Our God is a God of justice,
and justice will prevail.
Amen.

--
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Mass at 2086 Brookdale (Interfaith Chapel):
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Mass at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Bev Bingle, Pastor
419-727-1774

"Bourgeois Disinvited from SNAP Phildelphia Fundraiser" by Tom Roberts/National Catholic Reporter/Bridget Mary's Response

http://ncronline.org/news/people/bourgeois-disinvited-snap-philadelphia-fundraiser
"Roy Bourgeois, a former Maryknoll priest, has been disinvited from a Philadelphia-area fundraising event for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) because some members of the organization feared he would use the event to advance the cause of women's ordination...Bourgeois told NCR in a phone interview he was "disappointed and baffled" by his dis-invitation. He said he "rearranged my plans to attend a fundraising event for an organization which I hold in high regard. Then came the disinviting."
"I was going there to support that organization and their cause," he said, "not to talk about women's ordination."At the same time, he said, "I really believe that if we had had women in the clergy all along, we wouldn't have a need for this fundraiser because they never would have covered up for the old boys' club..."

"I always say, 'Over 5,000 priests in the United States have sexually abused or raped more than 12,000 children. When Catholics hear the word "scandal," they don't think about women's ordination. They think of priests who abused children and bishops who covered it up.' "

[Tom Roberts is NCR editor at large. His email address is troberts@ncronline.orgNCR national correspondent Joshua J. McElwee contributed to this report.]

Bridget Mary's Response:
It is a sad day when organizations like SNAP, who support sexual abuse survivors, do not stand in solidarity with justice for women in the church. Women's rights  are not a "political" issue, but a human rights issue. Women priests are leading the church into a new era of equality, rooted in the example of Jesus in the Gospels. SNAP's disinviting of Roy Bourgeois is a missed opportunity to listen to a prophetic voice who connects the dots of clericalism to abuse in its many forms. Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp, www.arcwp.org
 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Conservative Catholics Question Pope Francis's Approach

By Michelle Boorstein

Rattled by Pope Francis’s admonishment to Catholics not to be “obsessed” by doctrine, his stated reluctance to judge gay priests and his apparent willingness to engage just about anyone — including atheists — many conservative Catholics are doing what only recently seemed unthinkable...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/conservative-catholics-question-pope-franciss-approach/2013/10/12/21d7f484-2cf4-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html


 




__._,_.___

Monday, October 14, 2013

Homily on Luke 17:12-17, The Tenth Leper: by Marianne Smyth, ARCWP 2013

When I first looked at today’s gospel, there did not seem to be much to it.

What is the message? It almost comes across as a lesson on manners.  When

 someone does something good, when someone gives a gift, the receipent

 usually has the manners to say “Thank you”.   The verses that come before it

are about forgiveness and doing what is expected.  The verses following are

about the Pharisees asking Jesus about when the  kingdom of God was

 coming. No clues there.  What were these verses really about?  I did some

 research to see if I could get a perspective of a first century audience.

 The policies, the Israelite paradigm regarding lepers is ancient.  The book of

 Leviticus was written ca 1440  BCE and is thought to be written by Moses.

 This rule book has two chapters instructing priests how to diagnose skin

diseases; how to perform rites of purification, how to judge when someone

 was clean or unclean. It specifies where and how those with leprosy were to

 live.  Survival for these folks was dependent on their total obedience to the

 laws of Leviticus. 

Leprosy, unlike other diseases, was not seen as a punishment imposed by

 God as a consequence of sin.   It was viewed as an inexplicable act of God. 

 In 750, BCE, King Uzziah had the disease.  This generated great fear among

 the Israelites.  No matter who they were, regardless of their rank and despite

 keeping every letter of every law, no one was safe.

 Lepers were totally shunned and had to live outside the city or town. 

Following the Old Testament regulations, they wore hoods and

 small bells. These bells were sounded as they approached others and they

 had to cry out “Unclean!  Unclean!”  Because leprosy was contagious,

 avoiding them was not an issue.  Author Barbara Brown Taylor suggest that

they were also avoided because no one wanted to catch their fear,

 loneliness and helplessness.

 
Obedience was so ingrained in their choices and behavior that when they

 saw Jesus and knew of his healing power,  they kept a respectful distance. 

 In calling out to him,  the lepers again showed great respect.  “Jesus, Rabbi,

 have pity on us!”   There’s no talk of sin or of faith.  Jesus simply told them,

 according to the law,  “Go show yourselves to the priests”.

 The lepers knew there was only one reason to seeking out the priests.

 They were going to be healed.  Obediently, they set off.  On their way,

 scabs fell off, feeling returned and normal skin color was restored.

One man chose to be disobedient and sought out not a priest but Jesus.

 On finding him, the man the man fell at his feet, shouting praise and

thanksgiving to God.  This one man, this healed outsider, stood out and

 gained attention not only because the was healed but also because he was

 a Samaritan, a foreigner as far as the Jews were concerned. 

 This guy was a double loser, a double outsider.  Quoting Barbara Brown

 Taylor, “He was one of the unclean who saw what the clean could not see

 and who refused to be separated from who gave him life”.

Jesus asks, “Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

He then tells him to “rise and go on you way”.

 Nine were obedient and sought out the priests.  One was disobedient and let

Love supersede obedience.

 Having read the gospel and the research, I have come to the uncomfortable

 conclusion that I probably would have been one of the nine.  Had I been

 a foreigner, I guarantee you that I would have been one of the nine.

Obedience absolves responsibility.  “It’s not my fault, was only doing

what I was told to do.”  I may have said “no” to my mother once or twice.

 I know I never said “no” to my father. May have expressed some displeasure

 over what I was being asked or told to do, but obedience was a forgone

 conclusion. Dad knew that, so did I.  Cannot imagine challenging a

 direction given by a teacher, a nun, a professor or supervisor.  I’m good

 in obedience, but am I good in love?

 Being  obedient usually has predictable and positive results.  One reward

 is pleasing the person in authority, the one telling us what to do.  Obedience

 frees the mind from independent thinking.

 Thomas hand, SJ pointed out that like all creation, if Christianity is to is to

 survive, it must evolve.  As Christians, we need to evolve out of obedience

and into love; into the Self-hood Jesus invites us.  We need to love God as

 Jesus taught and we need to allow ourselves to be loved by God. Today’s

 gospel’s message is in the form of a question.  Will we be one of the nine or

 one of the one?

 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

NEW: Inclusive Catholic Community of Albany with Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP

http://icc-albany.org
Mary Theresa Streck  was ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest on Sept. 15, 2013 in Albany, left is Elly Marinaro, right of MT is Bridget Mary Meehan and Janice Sevre-Duszynska.
Our Inclusive Catholic Community of Albany, NY now has a website.  Please see information below and add to us to the ARCWP and RCWP website.  There is a calendar tab on the website listing events including the following Liturgical Celebrations:
Oct. 20. 3:00pm - Theme Oneness with All Creation
Nov. 24  2:00pm - Theme of Gratitude and Thanksgiving  (please note the time change)
Dec. 15  2:00pm - Theme TBA
ICCA website http://icc-albany.org
This site is new and still under construction.  Vision and mission statement coming soon!
With gratitude,
Mary Theresa