Sunday, March 1, 2015

" You Are the Beloved of God, A Radiant Light" -Homily Starter and Lenten Liturgy for Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Sarasota, Fl. 2nd Sunday of Lent by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP with Jack Duffy, Co-Presiding

Bridget Mary Meehan and Jack Duffy co-preside at liturgy at MMOJ for Second Sunday of Lent, Feb. 28

A beautiful chant of Ubi Caritas led by Alicia Bartol-Thomas before our Lenten liturgy

Alicia Bartol-Thomas leads Taize Chants before Liturgy
( Homily Starter Meditation by Bridget Mary Meehan, followed by dialogue with community led by Jack Duffy) Mindy Lou Simmons played  Holy Ground by Monica Brown in background)

Take a few deep breaths and relax as we journey to the depths of our mystical soul.  Let us be aware that all of life is sacred and that we walk on holy ground…

Karl Rahner, a prominent Vatican 11 theologian, stated that “the devout Christian of the future will either be a mystic, “on who has experienced something or he (she) will cease to be anything at all.”…

Our Gospel story describes a religious experience of the disciples in which they encountered Jesus as the Beloved of God, radiant in the light of Divine Mystery.... 

Let us go to the mountain top with Peter, James and John and contemplate Jesus transfigured in radiant light… “Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them and there came a voice from out of the cloud:“This my Beloved, my Own, listen to this One”…. 

Be aware that you are the beloved of God, a radiant light of God's presence in our world... Every day as you reach out with acts of kindness you help others give birth to new life, tender compassion and prophetic justice in our world….

 St. Hildegard of Bingen said: “You shine with radiant light…God hugs you.  You are encircled by the arms of the Mystery of God.” …

Sometimes an illuminating light appears in times of loss and pain and God speaks to us…

Open yourself to the Word of God shared in the following letter written by a grieving father to Dr. Alexander in Map of Heaven  (pp.105-106)

 “My daughter Heather was born in 1969 with severe cerebral palsy. She never sat up or spoke, she died at the age of 20….Fast forward to 1995. In bed for the evening and still fully awake, I asked: “how can there be a God who let this happen?”  Instantly a glowing all white figure appeared on the left side of the room. It was my daughter. She pointed at me and shouted: “No Daddy, you are wrong! Look! She pointed to the right side of the room. A rolling cloud of bright white light engulfed the room. I instantly knew a few things with no words spoken at all. It is hard to describe the feelings of euphoria I had.  I knew she was okay and an angel of God.  I knew we were all ok with what’s ahead after death… I knew it was real and when some asks me: “Do you believe in God?” I answer, “No, I just don’t believe, I know without a doubt.”

Be aware of experiences you have had of God’s glorious presence in happy times and sad times….

With every breath, in every step, we walk on holy ground in awe of Divine Mystery encircling us and all beings in our universe….
(Sing Holy Ground)

 Questions for Discussion in Shared Homily:
 Share a Mount Tabor experience of God’s presence in your life.

How can we live as mystics nurturing our spiritual lives and serving others each day?
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Liturgy for Lent

Presider:  In the name of God, Midwife of Grace, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit, our Liberator.  ALL:  Amen

Presider:  My sisters and brothers, God loves us infinitely and is with us always.  ALL:  and also with you.
Presider:  As we pray, fast, and give alms, may we be midwives of grace by living Gospel compassion, Jesus, you are compassion. ALL:  Jesus, we live compassion.  
Presider: Jesus, your death reminds us that God is always on the side of those who suffer. Christ, you walk with us in our sufferings.  ALL:  Christ, we walk with others in their sufferings.
Presider: Jesus, in your dying and rising, you show us the path to liberation from structures of domination, Jesus, you are liberator.  ALL:  Jesus, we are liberators and doers of justice

Presider:  Let us pause now for reflection.  Place your hand over your heart and breathe in God’s compassionate love for you…be aware that God forgives, frees and heals you and all…Let go of guilt … live justly..  love tenderly… You are the face of God, a midwife of grace, in our world… (Extend hands and recite prayer of General Absolution)

ALL:  God, the Father-Mother of mercies through Jesus you have reconciled the world and sent the Holy Spirit among us to experience forgiveness and healing.  Through the ministry of the Church, may God give us pardon and peace, and may we absolve each other of our sins in the name of God, the Father-Mother, and of Jesus, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

Presider:  God of Love, Midwife of grace, during Lent you call us to renew our bodies, minds and spirits. May we experience your grace drawing us to new life in the depths of our mystical souls and in our prophetic call to live justly, love tenderly and walk with integrity in your presence. We ask this, one with our brother Jesus, through the power of your Spirit.  ALL: Amen. 

First Reading
Responsorial Psalm
Second Reading
Gospel Acclamation: Praise, honor and glory to our God.  Be compassionate as God is compassionate, praise honor and glory to our God.

Gospel: Reader:  A reading from the Gospel according to . . .  ALL: Glory to you O God.
Reader:  The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL:  Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!


Profession of Faith:  ALL:  We believe in God who calls us to be compassion in our world. We believe in Jesus, whose death and resurrection reveals that God’s liberating love overcomes all oppression, including death and evil. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to live Gospel equality in inclusive communities. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who inspire us to live holy lives. We believe in the love that does justice and heals our world.

Presider:  That we may live compassion and mutuality, letting go of all patterns of domination we pray.
Response: God of all ages, inspire us!
Presider:  That those bound by hatred, hostility, and violence will be set free, we pray.  R.  
Presider:  That the sick may be healed, especially (mention names), we pray.  R.   
Presider:  That the dead may dwell forever in God's presence, we pray. R.   (Other Intentions)

Presider:  Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. 
ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
(All come around the table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer, background music may be played) 

Presider:  God is with you, proclaiming liberation ALL:  and also with you. 
Presider:  Lift up your hearts that Jesus proclaims healing, justice and peace for all people. 
ALL:  We lift them up to God. 
Presider:  Let us give thanks to our God.
ALL:  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Voice One:  Lifegiving Love, You have called us to be midwives of grace, radiant reflections of your holy presence on earth. United with You, we are one with all beings in the community of creation as we celebrate the new life occurring in our expanding cosmos. And so we join the angels and saints as we say: 
ALL: Sung “We are holy, holy, holy, you are holy, holy, holy, I am holy, holy, holy” chant by Karen Drucker

Voice Two:  Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast that celebrates your boundless love in the universe.  As midwives of grace we are Your hands, lifting up those who suffer, the vulnerable and excluded in our world today

Voice Three: We especially thank you, Holy One, for Jesus, the Compassion of God, who came to show us a new vision of community where every person is loved and all relate with mutual respect. As midwives of grace we welcome all God’s family into the Circle of Life at  the Banquet of Love.

Voice Four: Jesus threatened the religious and political leaders of his time and so they put him to death.  Like Jesus, the holy ones throughout the ages have been executed for their prophetic witness by the oppressive systems they challenged.  As midwives of grace we speak truth to power and work for justice and equality, no matter what the cost.

All: (please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together)
Let your Spirit come upon these gifts as we pray:
On the night before he died, Jesus took bread into his hands and said:
This is my body, he said. Take it and eat of it. Do this in in memory of me.


At the end of the meal Jesus took a cup of wine, raised it in thanksgiving to you, and said:
Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life in you. Do this in memory of me.

Presider:  Now then, let us proclaim the mystery of the Christ Presence made new again through you:  

ALL:  In every creature that has ever breathed, Christ has lived; in every living being that has passed on before us, Christ has died;  in everything yet to be, Christ will come again! 

Voice Five:  We honor the holy women and men who have revealed your compassion and justice in our world.  We thank you for ordinary people in our lives who show us how to love tenderly and have revealed the heart of our God, especially  (pause to remember and name some of these holy women and men). 

Voice Six: And so, liberating God, Midwife of Grace, we hold our religious ministers and political leaders in the light of Christ Sophia, Holy Wisdom.  We pray for our pope and bishops, the young and the elders, and all God’s holy people.

Voice Seven:  We remember those who are sick and suffering.  May they be healed and comforted.  We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdala, Peter, Paul, Junia, our patron saints and all the saints and angels who surround us with loving prayer each day.   We remember our loved ones and all those who have died, that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace of our compassionate God.

ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

ALL:  Our Father and Mother . . .

and forever.  Amen.

Presider:  Let us pray for the peace of Christ in our world as we sing and hold hands in a community prayer for peace (Peace is flowing or other appropriate hymn)

ALL:  Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power, we will do so. Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will do so. Loving God, You call us to live as Your presence in the world.  We will do so.

Presider:  This is Jesus, who called women and men to be partners and equals, and who liberates, heals and transforms our world and us.  All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. 

ALL:  Jesus you make us worthy to receive you and become you for others.  We are the Body of Christ. 

Presider:  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ!  ALL:  Amen.

Presider:  Life-giving God, Jesus showed the way to overcome all oppression through his death and resurrection. Through the power of the liberating Spirit at work within us, and our world, we will comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable by living as the Compassion of God the Gospel values of justice, peace and equality in our lives and communities.   ALL:  Amen

Presider:  Our God is with you.
ALL:  and also with you. 

(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL:  Holy One, Midwife of Grace, we bless one another as we, like Jesus, live Your generous service to all especially the least and the last.  Amen.

Presider:   Go, bring forth life as midwives of grace in our world.  Let the service begin!  ALL:   Thanks be to God.


God, A Midwife: Psalm 22:9-10 “Yet You drew me out of the womb, you nestled me to my mother’s bosom; you cradled me in your lap from my birth; from my mother’s womb, you have been my God.”

Bridget Mary Meehan
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

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