Sunday, January 8, 2017

Upper Room Community Celebrates Epiphany With Inclusivity Theme

Debra Trees and Julie Corron led the Upper Room Community of Albany, NY, with the theme:  Inclusivity

Opening Prayer
O Holy One, we gather as the Christmas season concludes. Guide us on our journey to include the forgotten and marginalized, especially the forgotten and marginalized parts of our very selves. Amen.

Using the readings from the day, Deb led and concluded the shared homily.

Homily Starter.
Today’s readings remind me that we did not invent inclusion. It is far more ancient than our Inclusive Catholic Community. And yet inclusion is just as radical a concept today as it was in the Early Church. While we in 2017 are including women in the priesthood and diaconate, the Ephesians in their day were being reminded to include the Gentiles in their faith community. Our culture struggles with income inequality and today we celebrate the Magi giving gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to a child lying in a food trough. Jesus’ ministry was one of including the undesirables, the women, the poor, the tax collectors.

Inclusion is not new. It is an idea whose time has come again.

What did you hear?
What will you do?
What will it cost you?

Concluding Thoughts.
Epiphany: Inclusivity
All the way through the last 2000 years, and many thousands of years before that, inclusivity has been the opposite of tribal thought. The evolution of this dichotomy, of tribal living, is to include others. Let’s include the Gentiles; let’s include the women; let’s include the others. Here in this story of Jesus, we as humans make our initial “saved” attempt at inclusivity. We see our light, through the eyes of God. We see our inclusiveness, through the eyes of another. We embrace our responsibility to be grateful for this gift of inclusiveness, and share our own gifts, whatever they may be. Let us continue to share our unique gifts as we see them in our time and place, let us lead the way, and let us be grateful for our place in this continuum of love and light.  AMEN.

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