Lindy Sanford, ARCWP, and Debra Trees led the Upper Room Eucharistic celebration: Love One Another.
Welcome and Theme
LINDY: Theme: Our readings today speak to Loving one another, and knowing that this capacity has been given to us before time began. As we step into holiness, how can we define that for ourselves so that we follow the path to love? This vision is our prayer for today.
DEB: Opening Prayer: Holy One, you gift us with our humanness so that we are able to love you and each other. Help us to listen to your words in our minds, and in our hearts. May we always reach for your hand to love and be the sacred beings that you envision with us.
Opening Song and Peace prayer: Loving Kindness by Karen Drucker
First reading: 2nd Timothy 1:9
We are called to this consecrated life for the Holy one's own purpose, to love one another. This grace was given to us before the beginning of time and revealed to us by our brother, Jesus by the Good News he taught us.
These are words of Paul, and the community affirms them by saying Amen.
Second Reading: John 15, 9-17
Jesus said "As my Abba has loved me, so have I loved you.
Live on in my love.
And you will live on in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I live on in Abba God’s love and have kept God's commandments.
I tell you all this that my joy may be yours, and your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.
There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.
And you are my friends if you do what I command you.
I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I have learned from Abba God.
This command I give you:
That you love one another.”
These are the words of John, and the community affirms them by saying Amen.
Lindy's Homily reflection:
Today is the last Sunday of the Easter liturgical season.
Those last things that we are told Jesus talked about after his resurrection are so very important for us to hear.
In these readings I hear Jesus reminding us that we are each given a sacred task before the beginning of time...to love one another...
We were created out of and by the Holy One's love...We are called to pour it out onto others,,, that love that we were created with.. to treat each person, each creature, and our Mother Earth with the courtesy, respect and justice we hunger for ourselves.
Deb's homily reflection:
In our day, in our time, we have been called to become saints. In my mind, this is no more than Jesus’s commandment to Love One Another. When Pope Francis, with his recent exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate”, encourages all of us to holiness, he helps us to know that it is possible. This is the extension of Jesus’s love and his command to love. Holiness is simple; it is “the saint next door”. It is a way of life, not an intellectual pursuit.
James Martin, SJ, a Jesuit priest and author provides his view of the top five take-always from Rejoice and Be Glad:
Holiness means to be yourself.
Everyday Life can lead to holiness.
We should avoid acting as if we know everything, and that everything that is right comes from us alone.
To be kind really matters.
And finally, that the Beatitudes are a Roadmap for Holiness, especially the act of Mercy.
Loving one another, being a saint, and holiness are really all one and the same thing. And we can do it! We do it every day.
LINDY: WHAT DO YOU HEAR JESUS ASKING OF US TODAY, THAT OUR JOY WILL BE COMPLETE?
COMMUNION SONG: THE SUMMONS by John Bell.
BLESSING: May we continue to be the Face of God to each other. May the harmony of being connected across culture, race, time and space create in us the yearning to love as One Body, joyfully and persistently. May each of us shine with the terrific love of Jesus. Amen.
CLOSING SONG: ROOM AT THE TABLE by Carrie Newcomer