|Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sun City|
Fifth Thursday of Lent- April 6, 2017
Looking at ourselves, Being Christ for Our World
"God spoke to Moses: Tell the Children of Israel: "YHWH, the "I AM" the God
of your ancestors, the God of Sarah and Abraham, of Rebecca and Isaac, of
Leah and Rachel and Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my Name forever;
this is the name you are to remember for all generations." Exodus 3:15
Presider: In the name of God our Creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of
the Holy Spirit, our Liberator we begin our worship together All: Amen
Gathering Prayer All: O God, be with us during this season of Lent as we
seek to serve you more faithfully. Bless our country and our world.
Enlighten our leaders; make them instruments of your peace. Bless all in
research; reward their efforts with healing for our people and regeneration
for our environment. Let us be a time of salvation for us and of glory and
praise to you. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
(People's Companion to the Breviary Liturgy of the
Hours with Inclusive Language p441)
Healing our souls and spirit this Lent
Presider: As we pray and fast against injustices and give alms, may we be
the face of God in our world by living Gospel compassion and justice. Jesus,
you are compassion. All: Jesus, we will live compassion and do justice.
Presider: Jesus, your death reminds us that must be willing to suffer the
consequences of living truth to power. Jesus, you walk with us in our
courage. All: Jesus, we will walk with others in their challenges and stand
against systemic injustice in our communities, nation and world.
Presider: Jesus, in your rising, you show us the path to liberation from
structures of domination, Jesus, you are liberator. All: Jesus, we will live
your vision of liberation and justice, one with your peoples, your planet
and all creation.
Presider: Let us pause now for reflection. Place your hand over your heart
and breathe in God's compassionate love for you...be aware that God
forgives, frees and heals us...Let us let go of guilt, live justly, and love
tenderly. We are the face of God in our world... (Extend hands and recite
prayer of General Absolution and prayer for healing)
All: God, Mother-Father of mercies who through the life, death and
resurrection of Jesus, have reconciled the world and sent Sofia your Holy
Spirit among us so that we might live and be Jesus in our time and place.
May we live to bring to its fruition the kindom of God on Earth. God give us
pardon and peace always; we only need to be open to God's reconciliation and
peace. We forgive ourselves for the times when we were closed to your
healing and we forgive others when they were not, as well. Amen.
First Reading: from Jean Leclercq, ("Solitude and Solidarity," P 81)
Each human being is like a mirror of every other and of the whole universe;
personality is the crossroad of the entire world. And the Logos (Jesus) who
is in God, who is God, who is the mirror in whom God...is reflected in the
oneness of their Spirit, is also the mirror of every human being. The
inspired word of Jean All: Thanks be to God.
Psalm: #105 Response All: "You are the promise of our wholeness and
Seek the One who is Life, your strength, Walk harmoniously in Love's
Presence! Remember that you are not alone, for through Love doubt and fear
are released. All: "You are the promise of our wholeness and holiness"
O people of the earth, ever bear in mind the unity of diversity in the
Divine plan. You are the promise of our wholeness, you await our readiness
to choose Life. All: "You are the promise of our wholeness and holiness"
Your covenant of Love stands firm through all ages; You forgive us when we
stray far from Home. Help us to learn to trust You, to untangle the webs of
illusion that we have made. All: "You are the promise of our wholeness and
Give us Wisdom and courage to release all that binds us. O Divine Presence,
as we surrender our hearts to You, teach us to be worthy of trust. All: "You
are the promise of our wholeness and holiness"
(from Nan Merrill "Psalms for Praying-an Invitation to Wholeness)
Gospel: John 51-59
Jesus said to the Jews. "The truth of the matter is, anyone who keeps my
word will never see death." They retorted, "Now we're sure you're
possessed! Sarah and Abraham are dead; the prophets are dead; yet you claim,
"Anyone who keeps my word will never know death." Surely you don't pretend
to be greater than our ancestors. Sarah and Abraham, who died! Or the
prophets, who died! Who do you make yourself out to be?"
Jesus answered, if I glorify myself, that glory comes to nothing, but the
One who glorifies me is Abba God, of whom you say, "This is our God." You
haven't come to know God, but I do, and if I were to say, "I don't know
God," I would be a liar, like you! But I do know God and I faithfully keep
God's word. Your ancestors Sarah and Abraham rejoiced to think that they
would see my day---and they did see it, and were glad."
Then the authorities objected, "You're not yet fifty years old, and you say
you've seen Sarah and Abraham?" Jesus answered them, "The truth of the
matter is, before Sarah and Abraham ever were, I AM." At this they picked up
stones to throw at Jesus. But he hid himself and slipped out the Temple.
This is the Good News of our Brother Jesus. All: Glory and Praise to you our
Brother Jesus the Christ.
Jesus promises eternal life for those who keep his word. How do I find
Jesus' words most life-giving? How do I mirror God's love for all in my
daily life especially this Lent? What does Jesus mean when he says, "The
truth of the matter is, before Sarah and Abraham ever were, I AM?" What do
you believe happens after death? What part of my life brings glory to God?
Profession of Faith All: We believe in I AM who calls us to be the
compassion of God in our world. We believe in Jesus, whose death and
resurrection reveals that God's liberating love overcomes all oppression
including death and evil. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of
Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to live Gospel equality in
inclusive communities where all are welcome everywhere in our nation and
world. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends who
inspire us to live holy lives. We believe in the love that does justice and
heals our world. Amen
Prayers of the Community
Presider: That you may free us of the doubts of who you are and may we trust
in your Love for our world and each of us, we pray. Response: I AM of all
ages, hear us!
Presider: That we may live compassion and mutuality, letting go of all
selfishness and self-interest we pray. Response: I AM of all ages, hear us!
Presider: That we will do all we can to save all life on earth, we pray.
Response: I AM of all ages, hear us!
Presider: That the sick may be healed, especially Mary Prouty, Tish Rawles
ARCWP, Bob Murray MMOJ-Sarasota (mention names), we pray. Response: I AM of
all ages, hear us!
Presider: For what else shall we pray?
Presider: O Holy One, we walk in faith that nothing is impossible and we can
care for others. May we ask for others, seek justice for others, knock on
doors for others in need through the power of your Spirit Sophia working in
us to heal each other and the world. All: Amen
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
Presider: Blessed are you, O God, Seeker of all. This bread is your MMOJ
community seeking for and knocking on the door to your Presence asking to be
the living mirror of your Compassion throughout our country. 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. This wine is our asking
and seeking to be in solidarity and justice makers for all those who suffer
in our country and our planet. Through your divine providence, we have this
wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Divine Presence, we are united in this sacrament by the love of
our Brother Jesus Christ in communion with all who seek to be the
Compassionate presence of God in our world ALL: Amen.
All: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have this
bread and this wine, the whole of creation, and our own lives to offer.
Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. Amen.
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
Presider: Let us give thanks to our God. All: It is our joy to give God
thanks and praise.
Voice: Life-giving Love, You have called us to be midwives of grace, radiant
reflections of your holy presence on earth. 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. And so we join the angels and saints as
All: We are holy, holy, holy. You are holy,... I am holy,... We are
holy...(3 times -Karen Drucker)
Voice: Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast
that celebrates your boundless love in the universe. As mystics and
prophets, we are the hands of I AM, lifting up those who suffer, the
vulnerable and excluded in our world today. 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. As
midwives of grace we welcome all God's family into the Circle of Life at
Your Banquet of Love.
Voice: Jesus threatened the religious and political leaders of his time and
so they put him to death. Like Jesus, the holy ones throughout the ages
have been executed for their prophetic witness by the oppressive systems
they challenged. As God's beloved, we speak truth to power and work for
justice and equality, no matter what the cost.
(Please extend hands as we recite the consecration together)
All: May your Spirit, present in these humble gifts, 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.
All: On the night before he was betrayed, Jesus gathered with his friends
including us for a meal. He took bread, broke it and said; Take this all of
you. This is my body. Every time you eat it, remember me.
All: In the same way after supper, Jesus took the cup, and raising it with
love beyond all telling, he gave thanks and shared the cup with those at
table and said to us: Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the
cup of my life blood, the making of a new and everlasting covenant. Every
time you drink of it, remember me.
Presider: Jesus, who was with God "in the beginning of the creation of the
heavens and the earth," is with us now in this bread. Jesus' Spirit, of whom
the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim
this mystery of faith. All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives
in us and through us in the world today.
Voice: And so, liberating God, the I AM of all creation, 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. We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdala,
Peter, Paul, Junia, our patron saints and all the saints and angels who hold
us with loving prayer each day. We remember our loved ones and all those
who have died, that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace
of our compassionate God.
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours,
Loving God. Amen.
The Prayer of Jesus All: Our Father and Mother who is in heaven, blessed is
The Sign of Peace; Presider: God, we ask you to grant us Your peace and
unity beyond all words and imagination can express. Join hands in a circle
of love and sing Peace...Love...Joy is flowing like a river...
Litany at the Breaking of the Bread
All: Loving God, You ask us to live mercy, we will do so. Loving God, You
seek for us to live justice, we will do so. Loving God, You ask us to live
equality, we will do so.
Presider: This is Jesus, who calls us to open doors that are closed and to
share our bread on the altar of the world. All are invited to eat and drink
at this sacred banquet of love.
All: Jesus our I AM, we are worthy to receive you and to be your compassion
in our world. Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving
All: Life-giving God, Jesus showed the way to overcome all oppression
through his death and resurrection. Through the power of the liberating
Spirit at work within us, and our world, we will comfort the afflicted and
afflict the comfortable by living as the Compassion of God and the Gospel
values of justice, peace and equality in our lives and communities. Amen
Community Prayers of Gratitude
Concluding Rite Presider: Our God is with you. All: and also with you.
Closing Blessing (Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)
ALL: May our gracious God, bless us all gathered here, in the name of God
our Loving Creator, in the name of Jesus our Healer and in the name of Sofia
Holy Spirit our Sanctifier as we care and minister to one another and all
those we meet with love. Be with us as we continue on our path and follow in
the footsteps of Jesus for we are the face of God in our world. Amen.
Closing Prayer Presiders: May we all go in the peace of Christ who
continues to seek us in relationship with him as Beloved brothers and
sisters. Let our service continue! ALL: Thanks be to God.
Adapted from a liturgy by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP