Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Fifth Sunday of Lent – April 1, 2017,Co Presiders: Janet Blakeley ARCWP & Sally Brochu ARCWP Music ministers: Mindy Lou Simmons and Russ Banner

MMOJ Community prays Eucharistic Prayer around Altar

left to right: Janet Blakeley ARCWP, Sally Brochu ARCWP

BELL – Moment of Silence
GATHERING SONG: “I Love You, God” (see song sheet)
Presider: Let us begin in the name of our God, a God of Love, Wisdom, and Liberation.
ALL: Amen


Presider: God of tender compassion, You are our peace.

ALL: Now and forever, we will be your peace.


Presider: O Lover of All, in this journey into the heart of compassion, we celebrate your love unfolding in the healing and wholeness of everyone and of every living thing.

You call us to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to warmly welcome everyone who comes through our doors as your presence among us.

In communion with Jesus, our brother, and in the power of the Your Spirit, we will live your love poured out each day. ALL: Amen.


First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 130 – Response: “Out of the depths I cry to you, O God”. Second Reading: Excerpt about “Resurrection” from the book “Abounding in Kindness” by Elizabeth Johnson
Gospel Acclamation: (Spoken) Praise, honor and glory to our God. Be compassionate as God is compassionate, praise honor and glory to our God.
Gospel: John 11: 1-45
Reader: The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL: Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!

Homily Starter:
Year A – 5th Sunday of Lent – Homily Starter by Sally Brochu, ARCWP
Ezekiel 43:12-14 – Writing by Elizabeth A Johnson – John 11: 1-45
Homily Starter: Sally Brochu
Our three readings today all focus on resurrection and God’s promise to bring us all to a fuller life.
In the first reading, Ezekiel speaks about dry bones coming to life. Here he is speaking about the resurrection of the people of Israel who were In exile in Babylonia. According to Rabbi Arthur Waskow in a midrash on this passage “Ezekiel teaches that the resurrection can’t be complete until the Breath / Spirit enters, and the Breath / Wind / Spirit comes from all four corners of the earth”. Rabbi Waskow continues: “The openness to the Holy Interbreathing of all life is happening much more (not yet enough) through the spiritual renewal of Judaism”. He speaks of the Breath or the Spirit of God that breaths life into all of creation.
The second reading is an excerpt from the book “Abounding in Kindness” written by theologian and prolific writer, Elizabeth A. Johnson (P.189-190). She speaks of how the resurrection is a transforming act of God. Jesus was transformed and the whole of our historical reality was transformed. We, all of us, are also transformed, not just after our death but in the here and now of daily life. Many of us have experienced this but may not have applied the word ‘resurrection’ to that experience. Not until recently did I think that I had experienced resurrection, but I did. Thirty seven years ago, I experienced it on the first day of my sobriety. This experience, that I am calling resurrection, manifested itself in that, from that day, I never again had an urge to have a drink. This lead me to becoming more alive and real and that transformation continues today, a day at a time. We do experience resurrection, we just don’t use this word to express this reality.
Now let’s take a look at the Gospel. We have looked at this Gospel many times and often its focus has been of the miracle that Jesus performed. We know that, but let’s look at it in the context of our focus today. Jesus through the power of the Spirit called Lazarus back to life. You notice that the large stone to his grave was rolled away. We don’t have to know how, or even who did it, but if we look at this stone as a metaphor for that which hindered Lazarus from the fullness of human life, this can be a powerful application for our lives. Additionally, how did this experience, this resurrection, manifest itself in Lazarus’ life?
To conclude, let’s go back to the thought that resurrection is a transforming act of God in our lives, that we can experience in the here and now. Like Lazarus then, we too, can walk out into the light and see with new eyes and experience life deeper and with greater meaning.
Resurrection – what are your thoughts?
We believe in a God of extravagant love who dwells within us, rejoices with us in our blessed selves and who weeps with us in our struggles, losses and sufferings.

We believe that we are one with all creatures great and small in a dynamic, evolving cosmos.

We believe in Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection, shows us how to live fully and joyfully and to serve others especially the outcast and heavily burdened.

We believe in Your Spirit, who works through us for justice, peace and to overcome oppression of all kinds whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race or class.

We believe that we are called to live in mutual respect as disciples and equals in inclusive communities of empowerment.

We believe that we are forgiven, healed and whole in the heart of divine mercy.

We believe that we are united forever with all who have gone before us in the communion of saints.


Presider: With hearts filled with loving compassion, we lift up the needs of our community at this time.

Presider: That those who suffer abuse, may be healed and empowered, we pray.

Response: God of all compassion, love through us.

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, especially (mention names), we pray. R.
Presider: For what else shall we pray? R.

Presider: We hold these and all our unspoken intentions in our hearts as we gather around the Banquet Table today.
OFFERTORY: Spirit of the Living God (see song sheet)
Presider: Please join us around God’s table.


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 One: Gracious Wisdom, You embrace us with extravagant affection in our blessedness and brokenness. We thank you that in this festive meal, your Spirit continues to be poured out among the circle of disciples gathered here in our giving and receiving forgiveness and offering the gift of your shalom/peace. We join with the angels and saints and people of every race, faith and nation to glorify your presence as we sing:

ALL: Holy, holy, holy. Karen Drucker

Voice Two: We especially thank you, Nurturing God, for Jesus, Your anointed, who shows us how to love with a peaceful and courageous spirit. In Jesus, you show us how to care for those who face illness, and grief and how to help those who experience rejection and marginalization.

Voice Three: God of tenderness, Jesus showed us the heart of mercy when he preached good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, healing to the broken. Jesus called women to be apostles and disciples and treated them as equals in his circle of companions.

Voice Four In response to people’s sufferings, Jesus broke rules and violated religious taboos. He shared meals with the poor, saved a woman from being stoned and said that prostitutes would enter heaven before religious leaders. He healed the sick and comforted the lonely. He challenged the priestly class and political leaders of his time and so they ridiculed, tortured and put him to death.

Voice Five: In faithful love, You raised the crucified Jesus, radiant and glorious to new life. Like the holy ones throughout the ages, Moses and Miriam who led their people from oppression to freedom, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection shows us how to live freely and joyously in the midst of injustice, darkness and evil and death.

(Please all extend hands as we recite the Epiclesis and Consecration together)
All: May your Spirit, present in these gifts and in us, fill us with a new outpouring of love that makes us more deeply one Body in the Cosmic Christ living the fullness of your compassion.

Presider: On the night before he was betrayed, Jesus gathered with his friends for a meal. he took bread into his hands, broke it and said

ALL: Take this all of you. This is my body. Do this to remember me.
Presider: In the same way after supper, Jesus took the cup, raised it with love beyond all telling. Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with those at table and said:

ALL: Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of my life blood, of the new and everlasting covenant. Every time you drink of it, remember me.

Presider: Now, in sacred memory, let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:

ALL: In every creature that has ever breathed, we see your tenderness; in every living being that has passed on before us, we see your goodness; in everything yet to be, Christ will come again! In our breaking of the bread of earth, Christ of the Cosmos is being re-membered!

Voice Six: Holy One, your transforming energy is always moving within us and working through us. We give thanks for all holy women and men who have been your face in our lives. They showed us how to forgive ourselves and others, to let go of guilt, refrain from judging others and see the good in people who irritate us. Let us pause to remember and name some of these holy women and men aloud or in the silence of our hearts.

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Loving God. Amen.


ALL: (spoken) Our Father and Mother . . .

Presider: God of Peace and Compassion, grant us your peace and unity beyond all words can express. 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.

Presider: 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.

Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ! ALL: Amen.
Communion Song: Instrumental


Post Communion Song: “The Face Of God” – (See song sheet)


Presider: 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 of Visitors/ Announcements


Presider: Our God is with you.

ALL: and also with you.

BLESSING (Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)

ALL: May the God of Abraham and Sarah, the Blessed One of Jacob and Rachel, Sophia, Holy Wisdom, walk with us and all created life on our journey into the heart of compassion! Amen.

Presider: Go in the peace of Christ. Let the service continue! ALL: Thanks be to God.
Recessional: “I Am the Bread of Life” verses 4 & 5 (see song sheet)
Song Sheet for Fifth Sunday of Lent – April 1, 2017

Gathering Song: “I Love You, God”

I love you, God, and I lift my voice To worship you, Oh my soul, rejoice Take joy, Oh God, in what you hear May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.

Offertory Song: “Spirit of the Living God”

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me; Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me; Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the Living God, move among us all; make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love: humble, caring, selfless, sharing. Spirit of the Living God, fill our lives with love.

Communion Song: “The Face of God”

(Words: Reverend Karyl Huntley & Karen Drucker music: Karen Drucker)

You are the face of God
I hold you in my heart You are a part of me
You are the face of God…

You are the face of love
I hold you in my heart You are my family
You are the face of God…
Closing Song: “I Am the Bread of Life

Verse 4:

I am the Resurrection, I am the life.

If you believe in me, even though you die you shall lie for ever.

Refrain: And I shall raise you up, and I shall raise you up, and I shall raise you up on the last day.

Verse 5: Truly, we believe that you are the Christ,

the Son of God, who has come into the world.


This Heart of Compassion liturgy was published by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP. Permission is given to use and/or adapt.

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