Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, June 11, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Pat MacMillan, Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons

+ Liturgy +
At the Table of Embracing Love, we encounter extravagant love forgiveness and healing.

Presider:  In the name of God, our Creator and of Jesus our brother and of the Holy Spirit, our wisdom.  ALL:  Amen.
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP (left) and Pat MacMillan (right) Co-Presiders, Mindy Lou Simmons at piano, Photos by Alicia Bartol-Thomas

PresiderWe gather at the table of embracing love with hearts open to forgiveness, healing in the liberating presence of the Spirit among us.
ALL:  The love of God is in our hearts and forgives completely.

Presider:  O God, may we see your face in sex workers and all who are abused and exploited.  ALL:  May we open our hearts, like Mary, to God’s mothering love.   Presider:  Jesus the Christ, may we see the divine reality in victims especially in women who have been abused and exploited.  ALL:  May we like Mary, champion the oppressed and stand with our sisters who are abused and exploited.   Presider:  O Wisdom Sophia, may we work in solidarity for a liberating empowerment and justice for sexual workers.  ALL:  May we, like Mary, live a connectedness and friendship with others.  Presider:  May the God of love, forgive us our lack of trust in your Spirit Sophia moving with us, in us, and through us, leading us to guidance, courage, healing and empowerment.   
ALL: Amen.

ALL:  Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God, 3x (sung)

Presider:  Loving God, We give thanks for your infinite love and tender forgiveness always working in our world.  We cry out today for justice for all who are victimized by sexual violence and exploitation.  May we work for their liberation and do all we can to advance their well-being ALL: Amen. 

First Reading:  2 Samuel 12:7-10,13
Responsorial Psalm: Ubi Caritas (sung)
Second Reading:  Galatians 2:16:19-21
Gospel Acclamation:  ALLELUIA!    (sung)
Reader:  A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 7:36-8:3    ALL:  Glory to you O God.

Reader:  The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL:  Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!
Meditation: Bridget Mary "Simon, can you see?" by Diarmuid O'Murchu,  Inclusivity,pp. 150-151.
Simon, Can You See?
By Diarmuid O’Murchu

Can you see this person standing here, a woman of full truth
With the elegance of womanhood, richly feminine imbued?
With the beauty of her passion, erotic to the core
And the birthing-power within her inviting to explore!
Simon, can you see? Can you see? Can you see?

Can you see the tears of centuries of patriarchal woe
And the courage it must take her for integrity of soul?
Can you see the waves of flowing hair with which she wiped my feet
And the kisses of her intimacy, making healing so replete?
Simon, can you see?…

Can you see her hospitality, her warmth, her embrace;
Her ability for birthing as a mother to each race?
A living icon of the ages, the Goddess we long have known,
Maligned and desecrated by the dogmas YOU have sown!
Simon, can you see?…

Can you see her jar of ointment, anointing to empower
Those excluded by oppression, overwhelmed and weighed down?
Can you see her gracious pouring out, abundant as of yore
While you stand there in judgment, a pontificating bore!
Simon, can you see?…

Her eyes though filled with weeping tears are contemplating clear.
She can see right through the lot of us, our judgments and our fear. Remember Holy Wisdom—she embodies it anew
And she radiates sheer goodness for creation to imbue!

She has known the ups and downs of life, the sinful and the free.
And forgiven much, she's loving much—for empowering liberty.
The system can't contain her and the freedom she proclaims,
She's a living revelation where love and justice reigns.
Simon, can you see?…

Long after we have run our course and echoes fade in time
Her name will be invoked afresh in Scripture and in rhyme.
And the alabaster jar she holds will replenish many souls,
And where the Gospel is proclaimed, her fame will be disclosed.
And, then, Simon, you might see; I hope you will see!
From Inclusivity by Diarmuid O’Murchu, p. 150

In today’s gospel, we read of a woman who was deeply ashamed of the life she was leading.  We feel her pain and her shame as we read how she washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair then kisses them over and over again.  In the middle of a dinner party, she is publicly humbling herself.  She appears to be a broken woman.  Surely, she is heartbroken over the life she is living. But perhaps her public display is saying something more.  Perhaps she is purposely showing the people at this party the indignities of her life and saying, “Look, look what you have done to me?”
 In her time, not unlike today in many countries around the world, women are  considered made to serve men.  When those men die, divorce or sell them, these women and children are left destitute.  There are no social programs to help them.  To add more pain to their plight the societies they live in turn against them.
Religions founded by male prophets (that’s pretty much every religion in the world) has put women in this submissive place in almost every society in the world.   
The gospels have become word and the word has been carved into every institution in our country – families, schools, businesses, military, politics, the executive, legislative and judicial branch.  Many families still want their sons to be educated over their daughters.  Many countries around the world don’t educate girls or stop educating them after elementary school.  Women are not allowed to work or own property.   Daughters are being sold into slavery.  Florida is 3rd in the nation for human trafficking. In Saudi Arabi, Afghanistan and other middle eastern and Asian countries fathers still sell their daughters into marriages with older men or into slavery.  But we have laws to protect our daughters -  but do they? Just this week, our judicial system failed a young rape victim. Because the judge was concerned more for the rapist than the women who was raped.  Only 1/3 of rapes are reported in this country and 97% of rapist receive no punishment.
To this day, we still hear women being criticized for working and not staying home with their families.  Even though, as Elizabeth Warren tells us, that’s not a choice anymore, both parents working is a necessity.  Strong, independent, professional women are not held in high esteem – they scare people. Look at Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable rating – she is not nurturing, friendly enough!  Although people who know her say very different things, it’s what the system is saying that gets heard.
As Americans we consider ourselves quite progressive, yet we’ve never elected a female president. Let’s see what the rest of the world has done! (Read names) Do we have a systemic problem?  It’s interesting to note, that even our highly educated first ladies aren’t allowed to hold professional careers while their husbands serve.  They are expected to take care of their families and do charity work.  I wonder what Bill is going to do?
Yes, religions have put us here but we, we the people are the church.  How will we raise women up, free them to be whatever they chose to be, allow them to be independent and ensure they are treated fairly within all our systems?

Profession of Faith:   ALL:  We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge exploitation and injustices.  We believe that God loves us passionately and forgives us everything.  We believe that we are radiant images of God who calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously.  We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey.  We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our church and world.  We believe that all are one in the Heart of God.  We believe that women’s liberation is human liberation.  Here we dwell in loving relationships. Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.

Presider:  Aware that God, like a fierce mother bear, who protects her young, is a defender of the oppressed and pursuer of justice, we now bring the women and men in our lives, in our church and world, before you. Response:  Loving God, hear our prayer.
Presider:  For those who have been abused, we pray for empowerment.  R.   Presider:  For those who have confronted their abusers, we pray for courage.  R. Presider:  For those who have been sexually exploited, we pray for healing.  R.   Presider:  For the men and women who are working in the sex industry, we pray for their well being.  R.   Presider:  In your name we pray that we can do all things by the power of your Spirit working in us.   ALL: Amen

Bob and Pat Ferkenhoff and Mary Al Gagnon brought up the gifts

Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  Through your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life.   ALL:  Blessed be God forever.   
Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  Through your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink. 
ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider:   Nurturing God, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus Christ in communion with all who work for liberating empowerment of the exploited and abused in our world..  Like the unnamed woman in the Gospel, may we celebrate the passionate love of a God who forgives completely.  We ask this through Wisdom Sophia, Jesus, our brother, and the Holy Spirit.  ALL:  Amen.

Presider:  God dwells in you.  ALL:  And also works through you.  Presider:  Lift up your hearts and love deeply    ALL:  We lift them up to God.   Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator of all.   ALL: It is our joy to give God thanks and praise.

Presider:  Holy One, it is right that we give you thanks and praise at this table of embracing love. Your empowering presence is revealed in the friendship meals where Jesus dined with tax collectors, lepers, sinners, and women.  Here no distinctions are made between the sinner and the righteous. All are accepted, loved and forgiven.

Love of the Ages, Jesus treated women and men as beloved and equal disciples.  As we gather around this table, we once again recall Jesus’ encounter with the woman of questionable character whose passionate love reflected a God who forgives everything.

In joyful thanksgiving for your extravagant affection to all of us, we join with the angels and saints in an unending hymn of praise:
ALL: (sing)  We are holy, holy, holy   (Music by Karen Drucker)

Presider:  Through sacred meals, Jesus taught his disciples how to love and forgive, heal and empower. Jesus was deeply moved by the ministry of a broken woman in Luke’s Gospel who washed his feet with her tears and anointed them with oil.  He praised her great love and said that those who love much are forgiven much.  At this friendship meal, Healing Spirit, we come as we are with our failures, trusting that your love flows through us as we give and receive forgiveness.

ALL:  As we come together in memory, Jesus we pray that Your Spirit will come upon these gifts of bread and wine and upon us, that we may become the body and blood of Christ blessed, broken and shared.  (pause as bread is lifted)
ALL:  We remember how, on the night before he died, Jesus was at table with those he loved.  He took bread and blessed you, God of all creation.  He broke the bread shared it with his friends and said, “Take this, all of you and eat it. This is my body which will be given for you.”   (pause as wine is lifted)
Presider:  Then Jesus took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine: 
ALL:  “Take and drink the covenant renewed in my blood, for you and for everyone.  When you do this, you remember me.”

ALL:  The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we forgive.
The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we ask for forgiveness. 
The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we serve others.

Presider:  Heart of Love, we celebrate this feast in memory of Jesus, our brother. We cherish the memory of the loving woman who ministered to Jesus.  She reminds us that we too are the face of God, through whom the Spirit speaks to end abuse and exploitation of victims in the sex industry.

Creator of the Universe, your love flows through all beings to heal our earth.  As we ask forgiveness of the Earth for environmental destruction, your sacred energy transforms the cosmic Body of Christ.   (Pause now to pray for forgiveness aloud or in the silence of your heart)

Presider:  Energizing Spirit, one with the cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, we labor for justice and equality. As your hands and feet serving a suffering and violent world, we are instruments of your peace and empowerment.

ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ,  All glory and honor is yours, loving God forever and ever.

Great Amen.

We pray with Jesus:   Our Father and Mother….

Sign of Peace
Let us offer one another a sign of peace
Presider:  Loving God, we will give and receive forgiveness,     ALL:  Namaste
Loving God, we will be instruments of healing,
ALL:  Namaste
Loving God, we will be the face of God’s compassion,    ALL:  Namaste

There is room at the table for everyone.  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ.

Communion Song
Blessing Song
ALL:   May the blessing of peace be upon you.
May peace be all you know.
May the blessing of peace be upon you.
May it follow wherever you go.

Shalom, salaam, shaanti, pacem May peace prevail on earth  2x
(continue with joy, love, light) © Jan Phillips 2012
Presider:  Nourished at this open table where all are welcome, may we share abundant love and forgiveness with everyone.  Go, now and live the Gospel of Jesus!!

We love, forgive and bless one another in the name of God, our Creator, Jesus our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom.


Bridget Mary Meehan,

After liturgy some members of MMOJ shared a meal together.

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