Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida Celebrates Feast of Body and Blood of Christ Co Presiders: Janet Blakeley ARCWP & Sally Brochu ARCWP Music minister: Linda Lee Miska

Corpus Christi – May 28, 2016

o-Presiders: Left: Janet Blakeley ARCWP, Sally Brochu ARCWP, right


GATHERING SONG: “Gather the People”  #304

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

(All raise hands extended in prayer)
ALL: God, the Father and Mother of Mercy, through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from your infinite love. May You give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and our earth. We make this prayer in the name of God our Creator, and of Jesus, our brother, and of the Holy Spirit, our wisdom. Amen.

Come, Holy Spirit, renew the hearts of all of us who are gathered here and those in our community who could not be with us today. Renew the personal lifestyles that give form to our days. Renew the social structures that shape our lives. Renew the earth with your presence that results in meaningful movements for justice and peace, liberation and life everywhere. O Holy Wisdom, we ask this in the name of our Creator God and our brother Jesus. Amen.
First Reading: Genesis 14: 18-20                                                                                                                                     Responsorial Response - Psalm 110
(Adaptation by Nan Merrill)                                                                                                                                                     
The Beloved says to all who will hear,                                                                                                                                       
“Come walk with Me.                                                                                                                                                                  
Let us give birth to a new Earth!”                                                                                                                                             
R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”
For the Spirit is the One who makes all things new,
and ever awaits our “yes” to the Dance!
Those who offer themselves freely, without reserve,
are guided through life’s rough paths.
R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”

Light beckons to light; divine dignity adorns all in holy array.
The Promise holds true forever, to all generations!
“As companions of the Most High,
Come! Claim your home in the Universal Heart!”
R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”

You, O Divine Breath, dwell within our hearts;
with unconditional Love, You assuage our fears.
You call us to holiness, to justice, and integrity,
to free those bound by oppression,
to bring light where ignorance and darkness dwell.
Come! Drink from the streams of Living Water.
Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.
R: Come! Feast on the Bread of Life.”

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia

Gospel: Luke 9: 11-17
Reader: The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL: Glory and praise to you, Jesus, the Christ!

Janet Blakeley ARCWP

Gospel: Luke 9:11-17
(Feeding the 5,000 men at Tabgah)

This has to have been one of the favorite Jesus stories ever told.    It must have been recounted over and over amongst the early Christians because it’s the kind of story people relish telling, and children love to be amazed by.   Under any circumstances, somebody producing 5,000 fish tacos is amazing.

The environment sets up the story.   We’re at an out-of-the-way place called Tabgah at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee.   The weather is like ours of the last week – sunny with blue skies, sparkling blue water, a green hillside that slopes down to the shore.   A perfect place for a picnic!   We know that what happened here was remembered because 300 years later  people built a church on this spot which is still standing.   Its floor is typical mosaic of the era – with a large round picture formed in the middle of the floor.   It shows a basket filled to the top with round flat breads and a dried fish on either side.   (We have a small replica of that mosaic on the altar if you care to look at it.)

Today is the solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ.   Although the term, Body of Christ, may indicate the human body of Jesus, or his presence in the Eucharist, or the Church itself, or - in today’s theology the entire creation - today we honor it as the Eucharist and for that reason we have this Gospel showing Jesus feeding everyone.   We see that he likes to feed people as much as he likes to share meals with them.

Over time, people have suggested all manner of ways in which this “miracle of the loaves and fishes” might have come about – that people carried a bit of food with them and the real miracle is that they shared it.   Others have suggested that the women - that is the uncounted women and children! -  the women, true to form, had brought and prepared food for the 5,000 men.   We don’t know how this came about - but does it really matter?   Most important  is what we learn about Jesus.   Not only do we see an ordinary man acquainted with hunger and thirst, but Jesus as an infinite resource wanting to fill our needs – needs he identifies even before we do.   One who gives to the extreme.

This brings us to the Eucharistic meal in which Jesus feeds us with his very self.   In both Hebrew and Greek, the words “flesh and blood” do not refer to parts of a person’s body, but to the entire person, i.e., everything that a person is.   Incredible as it seems, Jesus gives us his entire being - which means we now (already!) share in his relationship with God the creator, we have his Spirit, we share in their relationships with one another – which means that even as we live in this moment, we are part of the Trinity!   We have wisdom, an endless capacity to love, the power to heal, the strength to endure pain, eternal life….   We already have all this and more because Jesus has already shared it with us.

Why is the world not thriving because of all that Jesus has given us and continues to give us?    Maybe that’s because we fail to acknowledge what we carry within us, fail to access what is there.   How many times have you heard someone say
“Oh Lord – Give me strength!”   He already has the strength.   Maybe the prayer should be “I know you have given me all that you are.   Help me to find your strength within me and to draw on it.” 
“Help me to forgive.”   We already have his perfect forgiveness within us.   “Help me to want to forgive” or “Help me to draw on your forgiving nature until mine catches up.”  
“God, we ask you to heal this person.”   We have his healing power within us as well.   What’s needed is some variation of “I believe.   Help my unbelief.”  
The world is not thriving but hobbling along because we are hardly drawing on what Jesus has already given us in his Body.  

Contemporary theology has taken the notion of the Body of Christ to include the entire universe from the Big Bang forward.   The concepts are scarcely within my understanding and vocabulary, but the god-life within me nudges me to think they are true and valuable.   Maybe one day we will be able to talk about them.   For today, let us stay with this thought:

Jesus, the Christ, has broken through like sunlight breaking through clouds, by acting through us to transform the world into a growing likeness of himself.   In praise and thanksgiving, let us take time to recognize where he has done that in us.    

I believe in you, O Holy One, Source of all, the incomprehensible mystery of love beyond imagining.
I believe that I am in you and that you are in me.
I believe that our relationship is transforming my life.
I believe that you surround me with forgiving, abounding kindness in the midst of darkness, injustice, sin, and death.

I believe in Jesus, anointed by Your Spirit, who embodies your ways in his ministry.
I believe that Jesus did not come to die but to live and help others live in abundance on this beautiful earth.
I believe that Your Spirit anoints me to share in the same ministry by living justly, loving tenderly and walking with integrity.
I believe that you nourish and sustain me through prayer.
I believe that you summon my conscience to action on behalf of justice that will change oppressive structures.

I believe that Your Spirit is at work in all of creation.
I believe that you call me to be a co-creator with you and to join with companions on the journey as you beckon us to birth with you a new creation. 

Amen.                                                                                          A Personal Creed by Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP
Presider: With hearts filled with loving compassion, we lift up the needs of our community at this time. 
Response: God of all compassion, love through us.
Presider: That the millions worldwide that are hungry and starving, be fed, and may our hearts be opened to hear their cries for help, we pray.
Presider: That those who suffer abuse, may be healed and empowered, we pray.

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 (names), we pray. R.
Presider: For the ARCWP Ordination of Theresa Kasper today in a suburb of Chicago, we pray. R.
Presider: For what else shall we pray?

Presider: We hold these and all our unspoken intentions in our hearts as we gather around the Banquet Table today.

OFFERTORY Song: #310 – “Table of Plenty” verses 1-3

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 healing 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 - God of life, you nurture and sustain your people.
You bless us with abundance; you gift us with your graciousness;
you know our every need.

Voice - In the birthing forth of creation you call us into being.
You gift us with health and wholeness; you sustain our every endeavor.
You feed your hungering people.

Voice - You call us to work for justice, to share our table with all creation,
to feed the needy at our door, to see nobody left in need.

Voice - For the blessing of your gifts, and the challenge of your call to us,
we lift our voices as we acclaim in song your gracious love:                                                                                                          ALL:  “We Are Holy, Holy, Holy” – Karen Drucker

Voice - The table we share is adorned with the gifts of creation,

gifts given for all to share in equality and justice, a table where all are welcome,
and from which nobody is to be excluded, from the greatest even to the least.

Voice - As a Christian people, we celebrate the open table,
proclaimed by Jesus our liberator and our friend,
a table of abundant life, inclusive love, and redemptive liberation.
First Invocation:
Voice - In the power of the creative Spirit, Jesus lived life to the full.
We, too, are blessed in the power of that same Spirit,
which we now invoke upon all gathered here,
to celebrate the transformative energy
symbolized in our gifts of bread and wine,
given to nourish and sustain us into the fullness of life.

Invoking the memory of tradition: (Hands extended)
ALL: While sharing a feast at table, Jesus took bread,
blessed you, God of all good gifts.
Jesus broke the bread and along with the cup,
shared it among friends, and said:
Take this all of you and eat and drink:
this is my body which will be given up for you.

ALL: (Hands extended)  After the meal, Jesus took another cup,                                                                                                                        poured out in a spirit of solidarity and empowerment.
Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with his friends,
saying: Take this all of you and drink from it; this is the cup of my life-blood,
the life of the new and everlasting covenant.
In prophetic solidarity, it is poured out for you and for all.
Sustain one another in the power of sacred memory.

Eucharistic Acclamation
Voice - Nurtured by your word, nourished by your food;
Called anew to be your people, we acclaim your praise.                                                                                                          
As we celebrate this Eucharistic feast, we call to mind that we are a people
nourished throughout the ages; and we look forward in hope to that day
when the justice of our God will guarantee food
for all who hunger for the fullness of life.

Second Invocation:
Voice - With grateful hearts we receive the gifts of this table.
May the creative Spirit who energizes these gifts,
activate in our hearts, too, a hunger for that justice
that will guarantee sustenance for every human being.

Voice - In the spirit of this celebration, we rejoice and thank our God for all
we have received; but we do so in the painful awareness
of all who are excluded from the table of God’s abundant life.

Voice - Awaken in us, O God, a passion for equality and generosity of spirit
that all may be brought to the table of abundance,
from which our God wants no one to be excluded.

ALL - This prayer we make in union with all God’s people, living and dead,
and particularly with those laboring for justice in our world.
May we all know the blessing of our loving God,
Creator, Liberator, and Holy Spirit, in whose power we gather here,
nourished and sustained, now and forever.  Amen.
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Loving God. Amen.

ALL: (spoken) Our Father and Mother . .


Christ, who has nourished us, is our peace. Strangers and friends, male and female, old and young, the God of peace has broken down the barriers to bind us to God’s Self and to each other. Having tasted God’s goodness, let us as a community extend a sign of peace to one another.

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.

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.

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

Communion: Instrumental
Post Communion Song: “Eat This Bread” #333 Verses 1, 3, 5


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. ALL: Amen

Prayers of Gratitude / Introductions / Announcements

Presider: Our God is with you.

ALL: and also with you.

(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)

ALL: In gratitude, in deep gratitude for this moment, this meal, these people, we give ourselves to you, O God. Be with us as we go out as changed people because we have shared the Living Bread and cannot remain the same. Ask much of us, expect much from us, enable much by us, encourage many through us. So God, may we live to your glory, both as inhabitants of earth and citizens of the commonwealth of heaven. Amen.

Presider: Go in the peace of Christ. Let our service continue! 

ALL: Thanks be to God.

Recessional:  #321 “This Bread That We Share”

After liturgy today we ate at Sweet Tomato in Sarasota, Fl. At our liturgies we invite everyone to share Eucharist and, afterwards, we invite everyone to join us for supper.  Like Jesus and his disciples, our community likes to eat together. We enjoy food, share stories and laugh a lot!

Sonia Fuentes, left (with Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP) one of the founders of NOW, joined us for liturgy and supper May 28th.
For more information about women priests and inclusive Catholic Communities, visit the follwing:

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