|Cana by Giotto di Bondone|
Homily: “They Have No Wine, You Have to Act”
In the Gospel Mary and Jesus are at a wonderful wedding celebration.
I don’t know about you, but I love wedding celebrations especially Irish weddings because all the relatives gather and there is so much fun, laughter, story- telling and most of all dancing! The “Siege of Ennis”, a fast Irish folk dance, can last at least 20 minutes! I bet there are some youtube videos you can see for yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_bishBer5U
In this story, we meet an assertive Mary, who is a mover and a shaker. She takes charge, mobilizes Jesus into action, gets the job done, and then, its back to the party! Does anyone know women like that in our community? I sure do!
Bishop John Shelby Spong wrote the following in his book: The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic: (P82)
“There are six stone jars present that are meant to be used for the Jewish rites of purification. The mother of Jesus stands at the nexus between the shortcomings of the ritual activity of the Jews and the celebration of the new life that Jesus came to bring—new life that is symbolized by the marriage ceremony. The “old wine” has been spent. There is no more for the celebration.”
The time for new wine has come!
In her reflection, theologian Elizabeth Johnson writes that Mary’s prophetic words echo down through the centuries:
|Joe Adler and Bridget Mary Meehan converse|
“They have no wine…no food, no clean drinking water, no housing, education or health care, no employment, no security from rape, no human rights.” (Elizabeth Johnson, Abounding in Kindness, p. 299)
|Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Jim Marsh ARCWP share before liturgy|
One example on the news this week is the residents of Flint Michigan have no clean drinking water.
In this Holy Year of Mercy, we are called to be new wine to the poor, outcaste and heavily burdened! “We Christians are called to go out of ourselves to bring the mercy and tenderness of God to all…No one can be excluded from God’s mercy” Pope Francis said as he promoted the Year of Mercy.
|Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP|
In order to bring mercy and tenderness to all, the hierarchy of the institutional church must begin by asking forgiveness for its spiritual abuse of the people of God, and bring the new wine of spiritual renewal and reform to transform oppressive structures and laws. As a way forward, Pope Francis could ask forgiveness for centuries of sexism and pour the new wine of love and healing by lifting excommunications against all Catholics who follow their consciences including women priests and our supporters!
“Based on her need to stand against humiliation, the interchange between Mary and Jesus resembles the interchange between Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr, on an ordinary day in Montgomery. By refusing to give up her seat on the bus, or give in to one more instance of the humiliation of her people, Parks provoked a moment in history, and she provoked King’s entry into that moment as its vital wine and its transforming agent…And that response became the first of King’s unforgettable signs, moments of memorable light in a ministry in which he lived as John’s gospel says Jesus did, offering powerful signs in very ordinary human situations. (Nancy Rockwell, “Cana an Unexpected Time”)
So too, today, like Mary and Jesus, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., we, in the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement and in Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, are pouring new wine into new wineskins to promote gender equality in our church. We are definitely breaking some rules and unjust laws! And we are trying, trying to provoke the hierarchy to act to transform the church into a more inclusive home where all are welcome.
|Bridget Mary Meehan,, ARCWP and Jim Marsh, ARCWP co-preside at liturgy|
In our struggles for justice and loving inclusivity, we are living Jesus vision of the kindom , a word that translated from the ancient Aramaic means a companionship of empowerment. Here, at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, we welcome all to join us in sacred circle of disciples and equals to celebrate Eucharist at the Banquet Table of God’s extravagant love. The Feast has begun! The wine is flowing. Abundance is ours.
Like Rosa Parks , Martin Luther King and Mary, Mother of Jesus, we are prophets of justice who know that they have no wine and we must act!
Shared Homily Reflection Question.
1. In what situations, relationships do we experience abundance, “new wine”?
2. How are we prophets and advocates for justice, announcing there is no wine for the poor, refugees, women in the world and church?
|Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community review budget at annual meeting of 501-c-3|
|Kathryn Shea, ARCWP shares birthday cake with community in celebration of Bridget Mary's birthday|
|Bridget Mary Meehan blows candle on delicious chocolate birthday cake|
Liturgy: Celebrating New Life as Midwives of Grace
GATHERING SONG AND GREETING
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: Let us pause now for reflection. Place your hand over your heart and breathe in God’s passionate love for you…breathe out God’s, extravagant love for everyone….
Open yourself to Spirit energy within the depths of your soul, healing and empowering you…
Now let us praise God by singing Glory to God…
Song of Praise: Glory to God, glory. O praise Glory alleluia.
Glory to God, glory. O praise the name of our God. (x2)
Presider: God of Love, Midwife of grace, we experience your grace drawing us to new life in the depths of our mystical souls and in our prophetic call .We rejoice with our brother Jesus, through the power of your Spirit. ALL: Amen.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia
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 is compassion in our world. We believe in Jesus, whose death and resurrection reveals God’s infinite love. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to live Christ’s presence. We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends, who inspire us to live holy lives. We believe in the church as the people of God, living in faith, hope and love.
Presider: That we may bring new life into our world, we pray
Response: God of all, love through us
Presider: That we may foster healing of our Earth, we pray. R.
Presider: That the sick may be healed, we pray. R.
Presider: That we may be forever one with our beloved dead in the communion of saints we pray. R. (Other Intentions)
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
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. (hold up bread and wine)
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, abounding in love
ALL: and also with you.
Presider: Lift up your hearts in Christ who lives and loves , heals and empowers through you.
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: Life-giving Love, You call all persons to be friends of God. 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. We join the angels and saints as we sing:
ALL: Sung “We are holy, holy, holy 3 x Karen Drucker
Spirit Divine, Come to me
Feeling Love, Healing me
Open my heart, Allow me to see
Beauty and love, lives in me.
Voice Two: Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast that celebrates your dazzling love in the universe. As midwives of grace we are Your hands, lifting up those who suffer, the vulnerable and neglected 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.
Jesus threatened the religious and political leaders of his time and so they put him to death. As God raised Jesus to new life, we trust that your promise of faithful love will be with us in our suffering and raise us up to fullness of life.
All: (please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together)
*While sharing a feast at table, Jesus took bread,
blessed you, God of Compassion. Jesus broke the bread, and along with the cup,
shared it among friends and said:
Take this all of you: eat and drink;
this is my body …
After the meal, Jesus took another cup,
poured out in a spirit of solidarity and empowerment.
Jesus gave thanks and handed the cup to those at table 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 in love beyond imagination.
Sustain one another in sacred memory.
*Adapted from Diarmuid O’Murchu
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 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. We remember our loved ones and all those who have died, that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace of our gracious God.
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
ALL: Our Father and Mother . . .
and forever. Amen.
THE SIGN OF PEACE
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)
LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
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: Behold the Body of Christ. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.
ALL: Jesus we are 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.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Presider: Life-giving God, You come to birth each day in our universe through suffering death and new life. Your Spirit is moving in us as we love passionately, and extravagantly to bring your shalom to everyone equally especially the marginalized.
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 serve others with loving kindness .
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
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community