Saturday, February 13, 2016

Liturgy for Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community on First Sunday of Lent, Cheri McDonough and Katy Zatsick, ARCWP, Co-Presiders, Mindy Simmons, Music Minister

Mary Mother of Jesus
Inclusive Catholic Community
First Sunday in Lent
Feb 13, 2016
Cheri McDonough and Katy Zatsick ARCWP co-presiders.
Mindy Simmons Music minister.

“Be Still and Know” By Mindy Simmons
Be Still and Know, Be Still and Know,
Be still and know, that I am God
Know that I am the I AM In the silence of your soul.  Know that I am the I AM In the silence of your soul. -Sing 3 times

Presider:  Let us begin in the name of our God, a God of Love, Wisdom, and Liberation.    ALL:  Amen

Prayers for Compassion and Healing
Presider:  God of tender compassion, You are our peace.  ALL:  Now and forever, we will be your peace.

Litany of Peace “God of all creation” by Dan Schutte (sung):
Response All: let us be your peace
God of past and present, R
God of future ages, R
God of great compassion, R:
God of tender mercy, R:
As we work for justice, R
With hope and healing, R
With light and loving, R
Here and at all times, R
Now and forever, R

Co-Presiders:  O Lover of All, in this journey into the heart of compassion, we celebrate your love unfolding in the healing and wholeness of everyone and of every living thing.  You call us to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to warmly welcome everyone who comes through our doors as your presence among us.  In communion with Jesus, our brother, and in the power of Your Spirit, we will live your love poured out each day.    ALL: Amen.

First Reading Deuteronomy 6:4-10
Responsorial Psalm 91
Response: All: Our God is kind and merciful

Second Reading:
From Abounding in Kindness: Writings for the People of God, Elizabeth A. Johnson pg 205-206

The gospel can be proclaimed as the good news of Jesus, a prophet and child of Sophia, sent to announce that God is the God of all-inclusive love who wills the wholeness and humanity of everyone, especially the poor and heavy burdened. (Jesus) is sent to gather all the outcast under the wings of their gracious Sophia-God and bring them shalom. This envoy of Sophia walks her paths of justice and peace and invites others to do likewise.  Again and again in the imaginative parables, compassionate healings, startling exorcism, and festive meals (Jesus) spells out the reality of the renewing power of the reign of Sophia-God drawing near.  New possibilities of relationships flower among the women and men who respond and join his circle.  They form a community of the discipleship of equals.

Then they crucified him.  Jesus’ included all that makes death terrifying: public condemnation, physical anguish, betrayal by some close friends, even abandonment by God.  Historically, this death is a consequence of a hostile response of religious and civil rulers to the style and content of Jesus’ ministry to which he was radically faithful with a freedom that would not quit.  The friendship and inclusive care of Sophia are rejected as Jesus, preeminent in the long line of Sophia’s murdered prophets, is violently executed. Ecce homo: Christ crucified, the Wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24)

Faith in the resurrection witnesses that this crucified victim of state violence is not abandoned forever.  Sophia’s characteristic gift of life is given in a new, unimaginable way.  Her pure, beneficent, people-loving Spirit seals (Jesus) in life with God as pledge of the future of all the violated and the dead.  This same Spirit is poured out on the circle of disciples drawn by the attractiveness of Jesus and his gracious God  and they are missioned to make the inclusive goodness and saving power of Sophia-God experientially available to the ends of the earth.

…Along with other forms of political and liberation theology, feminist theology repudiates any interpretation of the death of Jesus as required by God in repayment for sin.  Today such a view is virtually inseparable from the underlying image of God as angry, bloodthirsty, violent, and sadistic father (or mother-KZ), reflecting the very worst kind of male (or female-KZ) behavior.

…What comes clear in the event, however, is the willingness of the gracious Sophia-God of Jesus to enter into solidarity with all those who suffer and are lost.  The cross in all its dimensions—violence, suffering, and love—is the living parable that enacts Sophia-god’s participation in the suffering of the world.  This too is the Word of God.
All: Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation read by All:  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 Luke 4:1-13
ALL:  Glory to you O God.
Reader:  …The good news of Jesus, the Christ!    ALL:  Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!

Homily Starter Feb 13, 2016
Mindy Simmons wrote our Opening, Offertory, and Closing songs.
Using these chants I would like to reflect on our journey through Lent with a theology of blessings and Love which is our God of Evolution.

Our Gospel teaches “Jesus went out into the desert” He went alone to be with his God, to spend time in prayer and reflection as Jesus was beginning his public ministry. Our opening song tells us “Be still, and know I am God” So in our time, our 40 days of Lent call us to spend time alone to reflect on our lives and how we are called to follow Jesus in the 21st century. (Hold up Franciscan Center brochure will you make a commitment to spend some time with Jesus this Lent, get away from your normal routine-enter Sacred space within and if you can, change your physical space to enter into a deeper relationship with our God of Original Blessing and evolution? Let us make a fearless moral inventory. Are we tempted by greed? Consumerism? power? Hungers that isolate us from others?

Our second song “Blessed be the Gifts” reminds us of the gifts we have received and the gifts we are for others. Love, God of Evolution has created us to make meaning of our existence and to have a personal and communal relationship with God. We have received the gifts of consciousness and feelings. We have received the gift of free will; we can make choices and as blessings for the world we can be the Compassion of Christ in our time and place. What do we offer to God as our response for the blessings we are for the world? You have a copy of the commitments made by MMOJ members to work for justice, peace and equality-will you do what your promised to follow Jesus our Way?

And our closing song gives us the promise of our Lenten discipline. Spending time with our God in silence, changing behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions that keeps us from being compassionate as God is compassionate. The gift we will receive is the Presence of the Spirit Sophia “I am learning I am growing into who I was meant to be. As I surrender then my heart opens and Spirit lives through me.” Our words and actions will be Sophia’s Compassion for the world. We will celebrate Easter as beloved, blessed sons and daughters of God now risen and through us God’s compassion will bring new life for those most broken and suffering the cross in their lives..

Dialog Homily
What does setting aside atonement theology mean for you spiritually, especially during this season of Lent?
Will your understanding of the Theology of Blessing and Evolution change your Lenten practices this year?
How will your Lenten practices hopefully deepen your relationship with Jesus-Sophia, our brother?

CREED:  We believe in a God of extravagant love who dwells within us, rejoices with us in our blessed selves and who weeps with us in our struggles, losses and sufferings.
We believe that we are one with all creatures great and small in a dynamic, evolving cosmos.
We believe in Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection shows us how to live fully and joyfully and to serve others, especially the outcaste and heavy burdened.
We believe in Your Spirit, who works through us for justice and peace and to overcome oppression of all kinds whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race or class.
We believe that we are called to live in mutual respect as disciples and equals in inclusive communities of empowerment.
We believe that we are forgiven, healed and whole in the heart of divine mercy.
We believe that we are united forever with all who have gone before us in the communion of saints. Amen

Prayers for the Community
Presider:  With hearts filled with loving compassion, we lift up the needs of our community at this time.
Presider:  That those who suffer abuse may be healed and empowered, we pray.
All: Response: God of all compassion, love through us.
Presider:  That those bound by hatred, hostility, and violence will be healed and made whole, we pray.  R.
Presider:  That the sick may be healed, especially (mention names), we pray. R.
Presider:  That the dead may live forever in God’s presence, we pray. R.
Other Intentions
Presider: We hold these and all our unspoken intentions in our hearts as we gather around the Banquet Table today.

(Song during collection and presentation of the gifts) “Blessed be the gifts” by Mindy Simmons  All:
Blessed are the Gifts that we receive
As we give so love returns in kind
So let us breathe love and live peace
and do the best we can
to give ourselves in service
to our God Divine!

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.
Presider:  God is with us, loving and showing mercy through us.
ALL:  Namaste
Presider:  Lift up your hearts.
ALL:  We lift them up in tender love, open to serve.
Presider:  Let us give thanks to our God.
ALL:  It is our joy to give God thanks and praise.

Voice One:  Gracious Wisdom, You embrace us with extravagant affection in our blessedness and brokenness. We thank you that in this festive meal, your Spirit continues to be poured out among the circle of disciples gathered here in our giving and receiving forgiveness and offering the gift of your shalom/peace. We join with the angels and saints and people of every race, faith and nation to glorify your presence as we sing:
ALL:  We are holy., you are holy., I am holy., We are holy.-each sung 3 times

Voice Two:  Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast of unending delight. Here we encounter the glory of God in an evolving cosmos. Here divine compassion connects us to the young, the old, the least and the last, to everyone everywhere on our journey into the heart of mercy.
Voice Three:  We especially thank you, Nurturing God, for Jesus, Your anointed, who shows us how to love with a peaceful and courageous spirit. In Jesus, you show us how to care for those who face illness, and grief and how to help those who experience rejection and marginalization.

Voice Four:  God of tenderness, Jesus showed us the heart of mercy when he preached good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, healing to the broken. Jesus called women to be apostles and disciples and treated them as equals in his circle of companions.

Voice Five:  In response to people’s sufferings, Jesus broke rules and violated religious taboos. He shared meals with women, saved a woman from being stoned and said that prostitutes would enter heaven before religious leaders.  He healed the sick and comforted the lonely. Jesus challenged the priestly class and political leaders of his time and so they ridiculed, tortured and put him to death.

Voice Six:  In faithful love, You raised the crucified Jesus, radiant and glorious to new life.  Like the holy ones throughout the ages, Moses and Miriam who led their people from oppression to freedom, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection shows us how to live freely and joyously in the midst of injustice, darkness and evil and death.

(Please all extend hands as we recite the Epiclesis and Consecration together)

All:  May your Spirit, present in these gifts and in us, fill us with a new outpouring of love that makes us more deeply one Body in the Cosmic Christ living the fullness of your compassion.

Presider:  On the night before he was betrayed, Jesus gathered with his friends for a meal. He took bread into his hands, broke it and said:
ALL: Take this all of you. This is my body. Do this to remember me.

Presider:  In the same way after supper, Jesus took the cup, raised it with love beyond all telling.  Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with those at table and said:
ALL: Take this all of you and drink from it.  This is the cup of my life blood, of the new and everlasting covenant.  Every time you drink of it, remember me.

Presider:  Now then, in sacred memory, let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:
ALL:   In every creature that has ever breathed, we see your tenderness; in every living being that has passed on before us, we see your goodness; in everything yet to be, Christ will come again!  In our breaking of the bread of earth, Christ of the Cosmos is being

Voice Seven:  Holy One, your transforming energy is always moving within us and working through us. We give thanks for all holy women and men who have been your face in our lives. They showed us how to forgive self and others, let go of guilt, refrain from judging others and see the good in people who irritate us. Let us pause to remember and name some of these holy women and men aloud or in the silence of our hearts.

Voice Eight:  God, who opens doors and hearts, enlighten our religious ministers and political leaders.  May they welcome refugees, transform poverty into plenty, and work for human dignity and justice for all. We pray for our pope and bishops, especially Bridget Mary and the Bishops of ARCWP, and all God’s holy people.

Voice Nine:  We remember those who are sick and suffering.  May they be healed and strengthened, and filled with every blessing in your loving presence. 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 into your embrace.

ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Loving God. Amen.

ALL:  Our Father and Mother . . .

Presider:  God, we pray for peace and unity as we join hands in a circle of love and sing
“Peace before us, Peace behind us, Peace under our feet, Peace within us, let all around us be peace.” Then “Love before us…Christ before us…”

ALL:  Loving God, You call us to live mercy, we will do so.  Loving God, You call us to live justice, we will do so. Loving God, You call us to live equality, we will do so.
Presider:  This is Jesus, who calls us to open doors that are closed and share our bread on the altar of the world.  All are invited to eat and drink at this sacred banquet of love.
ALL:  Jesus we are worthy to receive you and to be your compassion in our world.  We are the Body of Christ.

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

Mindy plays music while we receive

All: :The Face Of God  by Karen Drucker
You are the face of God
I hold you in my heart You are a part of me
You are the face of God…
You are the face of love
I hold you in my heart  You are my family
You are the face of God…

All:  O God of Compassion, Jesus showed us how to love one another and heal our hearts.  Through the power of Your liberating Spirit at work within us, we will give and receive forgiveness, live joyously, and work for healing, justice and equality for our earth and for all God’s holy people.  Amen

Prayers of Thanksgiving from community
Introduction of visitors

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

(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL:  May the God of Abraham and Sarah, the Blessed One of Jacob and Rachel, Sophia, Holy Wisdom,
walk with us and all created life on our journey into the heart of compassion! Amen.

Presider:  Go in the peace of Christ.  Let our service of God’s compassion continue!    ALL:  Thanks be to God.

“Spirit Lives Through Me”
By Mindy Simmons
I am learning I am growing into who I was meant to be. As I surrender then my heart opens and Spirit lives through me. (chant 3 times)
adapted from liturgy by: Bridget Mary Meehan Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

Commitment for Peace and Justice making
Memorial of Martin Luther King
MMOM January 23, 2016
Offered by members of MMOJ-will be placed in our Prayers requested journal and we will pray for their involvement each day and liturgy.

We will continue to work at the homeless soup kitchen
Welcome the stranger-PA

To bring commitment and action forward from me
Pray-2 persons
Prayers and reflection for guidance in this endeavor

Pray for equality in the RCC
To work as a RCWP
To work with the community of Saint Rose to address issues of racism and injustice.

Study and teach:
Continue to study and give classes on soul healing
Lead book discussion groups on Just Mercy, dark money.

Southern Poverty Law Center-2 persons
SURE in Sarasota
Human trafficking freedom movement -2 persons
All Lives Matter
Equal Pay for equal work $15 minimum wage 2 persons
Volunteer at ACLU-WI
Pax Christi program to fight racial injustice
“Black Lives Matters” and “I have a dream”

Vote/speak up on justice and equality issues:
Vote for people who are courageous enough to end discrimination
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Sign petitions-2 persons
Speak up
Continue to speak out
Speak out at gatherings of family, friends or strangers when an injustice is spoken.
Letter to editor once a month on justice, peace issues.
I commit to engage my FL neighbor to “All lives matter.”
Send letters after receiving emails from justice groups. Will continue my efforts.
Continue friendships with friends of color
Speak up whenever and wherever I hear anyone speak against poverty, injustice, and diversity.
I will address elected officials through calling and writing.

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