Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy Katy Zatsick ARCWP and Elena Garcia Co-presiders Mindy Simmons music minister and Russ Banner Cantor

Feb 18 2017 
Opening Song #302 Gather us In verses 1-3
Presider:  In the name of God Fountain of Compassion, of Jesus our Brother who lived Compassion and of the Holy Spirit Sofia our courage to love boldly.   ALL:  Amen.
All:  We gather at the table to share the compassionate presence of God our Beloved Mother and Father, aware that “we are called to act with justice, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with God.”  The Compassion of God loves through us as we comfort all those who are troubled and confront injustices in the most practical and immediate ways. Amen.
Presider:  O God, may we see your face in all who are demonized so that the bullying and hate will stop. All:  May we open our hearts like Mary, to God’s mothering love, affirming fullness of life for all. Jesus the Christ, may we see divine reality in victims, especially in all who suffer violence, and discrimination. May we, like Mary, champion the oppressed and protect the abused.
Voice:  O Wisdom Sophia, may we see your face in our brothers and sisters who are ill, unemployed, uneducated, are hungry and homeless, anxious and stressed or in any way suffering mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  ALL:  Jesus heal our selfishness and heal all those whom we meet.
All: (extending your hand in blessing) God of love may each of us awake to know that we are your beloved daughters and sons.  Heal us of our ignorance of our own identity and our ancestry in the human story. We ask all our sisters and brothers to forgive our failures to serve them in works of mercy and justice. May we be your ongoing caring Compassion in the world. Amen.
ALL:  Glory to God, glory; O praise God alleluia, glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God, 3x (sung)
All:  Loving God, we give thanks for your infinite love and tender compassion always at work in our world.  We cry out today for justice for all who are impoverished and marginalized. May we work for their liberation and do all we can to advance their well-being.  Amen
First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
All: Thanks be to God
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103 Sing “Our God is kind and merciful. Our God is kind and merciful.”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Gospel:  A reading from the Gospel according Matthew 5:38-48
The good news of Jesus, the Christ! All: Glory and praise to you, Jesus our Compassionate Brother!
Homily Starter Feb 18
Being the Compassion of God
by Katy Zatsick
Have you ever thought “I want to be like mom?” or “I want to be like dad?”
Today’s scriptures focus on spiritual identification with our God who is Mother and Father to each of us and to all of creation. The readings also focus on our behaviors as we live our roles of children of God.
  1. From the Hebrew scripture Leviticus: “Be holy, for I, Your God, am holy” …Love your neighbor as yourself! (they too are sons and daughters of your God) I am your God.”
  2. From 1 Cor “Are you not aware that you (each and every one of the 8 billion humans living today) are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Clearly our body and soul (identified as one by Jewish scholars without the Western dualistic split) is the place where God resides continually in human beings. “…for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple” Beloved Daughters and Sons all.
  3. And from the Christian scripture of Matthew “…love your enemies and pray for your persecutors. This will prove that you are children of God…be perfect, as Abba God in heaven is perfect.” Even if other sons and daughters of God are behaving badly or hurting others, the command of Jesus our brother is to Love them as God loves them.
Do you accept and live “I am a beloved son/daughter of the living God of evolution?” and “I am called to live my life understanding my role in God’s evolutionary plan?”
Let us listen to what a scholar of Science and Religion says today. Ilia Delio writes “God is not an idea but the living wholeness of reality, seen not by the physical eye of the scientist but by the gaze of the mystic, the inner eye of love.” (p59)
“God is not above but beneath us—meaning that we do not find him(sic) as a suprasensible idea, but as another ourself which dwells in and authenticates our darkness…Transcendence no longer hangs over man; (sic) he becomes, strangely, its privileged bearer. To come to a new understanding of God in our age, a God who is the God of evolution, is to know ourselves as privileged bearers of transcendence” (p 62) (Thus The Unbearable Wholeness of Being-is Delio’s title for this work)
“The world is not God and God is not the world, yet God is the unlimited depth of love of all that is, a love that overflows into new life.” (p 67)
“Since love is the core energy of evolution and God is love, God is the core of evolution, the unstoppable urge of cosmic reality for more life. In this respect evolution has a religious core, a deep, inherent drive toward ultimate wholeness.” (p 71) and Delio writes “There is an ultimacy at the heart of being itself, an allurement of attraction that is more than any being can possess. This ultimacy of love is God.” (p 75)
Finally, Delio concludes in her chapter on “Christian Love” “Jesus was a “wholemaker,” bringing together those who were divided, separated, or left out of the whole. He initiated a new way of “catholicity,” a gathering together of persons in love…Jesus gathered together what was divided and confronted systems that diminished, marginalized, or excluded human persons. Jesus challenged others not by argument or attack but out of a deep center of love…Faith in Christ should move us to be loving and free, to create new wholes, and in doing so, to create a new future for the human person, for society, and for the whole earthly community.” (p131)
Is your faith ready to follow Jesus in creating the spiritual and physical world as he lived it?
In our time, Science and Theology have reached a new synthesis of who we are as humanity.
Do you accept that we bear God’s wholeness within us?
Do you accept that Jesus calls us to love deeply and by doing so we participate in the spiritual, cultural and emotional evolution of humanity?
Do you accept we shall continue to evolve until all of humanity understands and acts our spiritual reality as Sons and Daughters of Love, Abba God?
Do you accept our Oneness in human diversity across the world, time, cultures and religions?
Delio mentions that we need to change our perspectives and to understand God with the eyes of mystics. Let us now look at how a mystic experienced the presence of God’s Love and life within her. Julian of Norwich lived in the 15th century and experienced a series of 16 visions and one included this image (I have kept her language) Meditation:
“I saw the Soul so large as if it were an endless world and a joyful kingdom. And I understood that it is a beautiful City.
In the midst of that city sits our Lord Jesus, God and one of us, a beautiful person of large stature clothed as befit his role as Bishop and King.
And beautifully he sits, peacefully and restfully, in the Soul his most familiar home and endless dwelling.”
Julian continues in the same understanding:
“The soul that realized on earth that it is the home and kingdom of our Lord Jesus is made like him and oned to him in rest and peace by his grace. This is full pleasing to God and great profit to us.”

(Meditations with Julian of Norwich, A centering book by Brendan Doyle, 1983, p114-115)
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 all of humanity and creation are one in the Heart of God and all humanity is Beloved of God. We believe that God loves us passionately and forgives and heals us of any word or action if we but ask God’s mercy.  We believe that God calls us to be the saving presence of the Holy One in the world for we are temples of our Loving God. We believe that we are called to love those in need of God’s Compassion in the most practical everyday ways.  We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey in our communities of family, neighborhood, country and faith. Here we are called to dwell in loving relationships with our brothers and sisters and all life of Mother Earth.  Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel compassion. Amen
Presider:  Aware that God, like a fierce mother bear who protects her Beloved sons and daughters, is a defender of the oppressed and pursuer of justice, we now bring the needs of those suffering, in our church and world, before you. Response:  Compassionate Mother and Father hear our prayer.
Presider:  For those who are being deported and families torn apart, those who have been rejected and demonized, our brothers and sisters who are LGBTQ, those persons of color and of the Muslim faith, we pray for acceptance and fullness of life.   R: Compassionate Mother and Father hear our prayer.
Presider:  For the hungry, lonely, homeless and for all those without basic human needs especially in the lands at war. R; Compassionate Mother and Father hear our prayer.
Presider: We invite your intentions…
Presider O Holy One, we walk in our Christian faith knowing that for you nothing is impossible and we can care for others in need through the power of your Spirit Sofia working in us.   ALL: Amen
Song as we prepare the offertory “Get Together” by The Young Bloods (see final page)
Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  This bread is your MMOJ faith community, your sons and daughters ministering with others to be your Compassion throughout our country, the world and for Mother Earth. Through your divine providence, we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life, acknowledging the presence of Jesus within us.   ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of the universe and all of humanity.  This wine is our desire to be justice makers for all our brothers and sisters who suffer in our country and throughout the world. Through your divine providence, we have this wine to offer. It will become our spiritual drink, our lives’ energy poured out in compassionate service for all.  ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Divine Presence, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus Christ in communion with all who live as the Compassionate presence of God in our world ALL:  Amen.
(Join us around the table)
Presider:  God dwells in each of and all of us.  ALL:  And also works through us.
Presider:  Let us lift up our hearts and love deeply    ALL:  We lift them up to God.
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Compassionate Creator of all.
ALL: It is our joy to give God thanks and praise.
Voice:  Holy One, it is right that we give you thanks and praise at this table of boundless compassion. Your empowering presence is revealed in the friendship meals where Jesus dined with tax collectors, lepers, sinners, and women.  All are accepted, loved, healed and forgiven. In joyful thanksgiving for your extravagant affection for all of us, we join with the angels and saints in an unending hymn of praise:
ALL: (sing) We are holy, holy, holy…, you are holy…I am holy…we are holy (Music by Karen Drucker)
Presider: Jesus taught his disciples how to love with a compassionate heart. Healing Spirit, we trust that your love flows through us as we feed your beloved children who are the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, assist the dying and work to change a system of injustice.
(Hold hand in blessing)
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. This is my body. Do this in memory of me. “
(pause as wine is lifted)
Presider:  Then Jesus took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered us the wine:
ALL: “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”
ALL:  The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we comfort our suffering brothers and sisters. The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we counsel our sisters and brothers. The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we advocate for justice for our brothers and sisters. Amen.
Voice:  Heart of Love, we celebrate our worship and gathering in memory of Jesus our brother, who reminds us that we are the face of God, through whom the Spirit redeems and heals injustice by Compassionate caring for our sisters and brothers whom we meet each day in our world.
Voice: Creator of the Universe, your love flows through all beings to heal our earth.  As we work for environmental healing, your sacred energy transforms the cosmic Body of Christ.
Voice:  Energizing Spirit, we are one with the cloud of witnesses who have lived your works of mercy during their lives.  As we serve human needs with generous hearts, we are channels of your tender compassion.
(Lift up the bread and wine)
ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, all glory and honor is yours, loving God forever and ever.  Sung: Amen.
Presider: Jesus taught that we are One in God’s Love and Compassion so we pray with Jesus:
All: Our Father and Mother…. sung
Sign of Peace…Sung: Peace is flowing like a river, joy…. hope… Alleluia (by Carey Laundry)
Presider:  Loving God, we will serve the least and the last in our world including Mother Earth,   ALL:  Namaste  (translation: The Spirit in me greets the Spirit in you)
Presider: Loving God, we will care for our Beloved sisters and brothers who need our help. ALL:  Namaste
Presider: Loving God, we will advocate for non-violence and justice for all in our world. All: Namaste

Music by Mindy during communion.
Presider: There is room at the table for everyone.  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ.
Song after Communion: “Nobody Can Stop the River from Flowing” by Kathy Sherman (see final page)
Prayers of Thanksgiving from the community, announcements
All:  Nourished at this open table where all are welcome, may we live the saving presence of God by doing works of mercy. Go, now and live the Gospel of Jesus!!
FINAL BLESSING (extend your hand in blessing)
All: Most Loving God you love justice and compassion. Help us to be open to your ways of mercy, compassion and truth that we may call forth in ourselves and in one another your ways of wisdom and love for all our Brothers and Sisters throughout our country and the world.   We love, bless and serve one another in the name of God our Creator, Jesus who is our brother of Compassion, and Holy Sofia our Wisdom living through all eternity. Amen.
Closing Song: “Peace throughout the Land” by Mindy and Ellen Bukstel (See final page)

Adapted from the liturgy by Bridget Mary Meehan, 2017

Get together
Love is but a song to sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

Come on people now
Smile on each other
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass

Repeat chorus

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at you command

Repeat chorus
We are sisters We are brothers
We are fathers and we are mothers
And we all can work together
To make peace throughout the land

When the heavens roll with thunder
And we all cry out for shelter
reach out to each other
Every woman child and man

Let us learn to love our neighbor
Let us free our hearts from anger
Then fear will pose no danger
As we’re walking hand in hand

We are people from different cultures
Putting trust in one another
Working side by side together
We can do it yes we can

Nobody Can Stop the River from Flowing

Nobody can stop the river from flowing
Nobody can stop the river from flowing
Nobody can stop the river from flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

Nobody can stop compassion from flowing
Nobody can stop compassion from flowing
Nobody can stop compassion from flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing
Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing
Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing
Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing
Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

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