Kathie Ryan (ARCWP) and Bernie Kinlan led the Upper Room Liturgy with the theme: Where do we find God? Bernie led the homily starter that is printed below along with the readings from the day. The community opened liturgy singing Table of Plenty by John Michael Talbot:
Bernie Kinlan's homily starter:
We began by singing the invitation is given – Come to the Table. As we heard in Mathew, “The kin-dom of heaven is like a ruler bringing in invited guests and uninvited ones…
Can we realize that the Holy One has sent out this invitation to us? Oh yes, I have it here somewhere, ok, it must’ve fallen off the magnet on my fridge? Where is it? Oh darn, I can’t find it!
Where do you find the Holy One? In the “trappings of spirituality”? asks Joan Chittister in her weekly reflection. Or, as the characters in the gospel thought, Do we find the Holy One in our material successes, good works, and possibly even in positions of influence?
The gospel challenges us to merely accept the invitation; it is not earned and it is not reserved for the privileged or accomplished. We can easily miss that our Creator infused our core from a single cell with the invitation imprinted on our DNA to come and rejoice in the kindom.
We may forget the invitation and get caught up in the comforts or the sorrows of daily life. Paul in the Philippians reminds of his own experiences of plenty and poverty – and that in all times, the Holy One lavishes us with love and supports us with fortitude.
Mathew’s parable can wake us up to live spontaneously and accept the holy invitation, knowing that we are beloved. Can we leave aside the making of bargains with God, the pleading to a God who must be persuaded to be satisfied with us?
Perhaps, when we yearn to love the Holy One, we discover the Holy One… we find out how very much we are loved simply and clearly for who we are, right here and now.
What do you think? What is your challenge? Where in our shared kindom do you find the Holy One? A Reading from the Letter to Philippians
Brothers and Sisters, I know what it is to be brought low, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret: whether on a full stomach or an empty one, in poverty or plenty, I can do all things through the One who give me strength.
In return, our God will fulfill all your needs in Christ Jesus, as lavishly as only God can. All glory to our God and Creator for unending ages! Amen.
These are the inspired words of Paul, a disciple of Jesus. The community affirms these words by saying AMEN.
Then Jesus spoke to them again in parables. He said, “The kin-dom of heaven is like this: there was a ruler who prepared a feast for the wedding of the family’s heir; but when the ruler sent out workers to summon the invited guests, they wouldn’t come. The ruler sent out workers, telling them to say to the guests, ‘I have prepared this feast for you. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding.’ But they took no notice; one went off to his farm, another to her business, and the rest seized the workers, attacked them brutally and killed them. The ruler was furious and dispatched troops who destroyed those murderers and burned their town.
Then the ruler said to the workers, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but the guests I invited don’t deserve the honor. Go out to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find.’ The workers went out into the streets and collected everyone they met, good and bad alike, until the hall was filled with guests.
These are the inspired words of Matthew, a disciple of Jesus. The community affirms these words by saying AMEN.