Sunday, July 29, 2018

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy - Feeding of the 5000

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP, led the Upper Room Liturgy with the theme: "We are blessed. We are broken. We are enough." Bridget Mary's homily starter and Mary Theresa's conclusion  is based on the story of  the"Feeding the 5000" as retold in the Gospel of Mary.

Holy Mystery, may we listen with assurance and excitement as the infinite, boundless, depths of love are revealed within and among us. May we awaken to the promise that we are always, no matter what the obstacles or setbacks we experience, embraced with love and compassion. May we be consumed with such a hunger and thirst for justice that our words and actions inflame others to become signs of justice. May we have eyes to see human need, hearts to care for our sisters and brothers and hands and feet to lighten others' burdens.

Prayer for Peace by David Haas 

"Jesus multiplies the loaves and fishes" by artist Bénédite de la Roncière, based on a depiction of the Gospel scene created by a Christian community in Cameroon (Vie de Jésus MAFA,

First Reading: "Loaves and Fish," a poem by Sister Simone Campbell:

“I always joked that the miracle of loaves and fish was sharing
The women always knew this
But in this moment of media notoriety
I ache, tremble, almost weep at folks so hungry, malnourished, faced with spiritual famine of epic proportions
My heart aches with their need
apostle-like, I whine, ‘What are we among so many?’
The consistent, 2000-year-old, ever-new response is this:
’Blessed and broken, you are enough’
I savor the blessed, cower at the broken, and pray to be enough.”

These are the inspired words of Simone Campbell and we affirm them by saying: Amen!

Gospel Reading: "Feeding of the 5000" from the Gospel of Mary of Magdala

Jesus, seeing that a great multitude was coming to him, said to Phillip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?”

This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Phillip answered him, “Two hundred denarii’s worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may receive even a little.”

Jesus said to him, “Have the people sit down.” So, the people sat down, and Jesus said to the disciples, “Go amongst the people and collect all the food that they will give you and bring it to me.”

The disciples were filled with doubt that the multitude would do as they asked, but they said nothing and did as he said. When they collected all the food that was given to them, they brought it to Jesus who, raising his right hand, blessed it and, having given thanks, he distributed it to the disciples and instructed them to divide it equally among the multitude.

When they were filled, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the broken pieces which are left over, that nothing be lost.”

So, they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces that were left over by those who had eaten. They were amazed and questioned Jesus about what had occurred. He answered them saying, “Only from the truth I tell you, when more than one are gathered together in the Spirit’s name, then the Spirit is with them. And when the Spirit is with them, then there is always enough for all.”

When the people saw the sign that Jesus did, they said, “This is truly a great prophet who has come into the world.” 

These are the inspired words of Mary of Magdala and we affirm them by saying: Amen!

(From: Quillan, Jehanne de. Gospel of the Beloved Companion: The Complete Gospel of Mary 


Bridget Mary’s homily starter:

In all of the churches today, the congregations are listening to the story of the Feeding of the 5000 as told by Matthew. Today we listened to the story as told by Mary of Magdala. In Matthew’s version Jesus blesses the loaves and fish and the Apostles distribute the food. The miracle is attributed to Jesus. In the Gospel of Mary, the Apostles are commissioned by Jesus to go among the crowd and collect whatever food they would give to them. In Mary’s version, the miracle is attributed to the people who give from what they have.

Last weekend, at the FCM Conference, keynote speaker, Simone Campbell made reference to this “miracle.”

"At the end of Matthew’s story, he writes that 5000 men were fed, to say nothing of the women and children. What does it mean? Here is what I think it means. It means they just counted the people who thought it was a miracle. The women — the women knew they brought food from home. Don’t you hear it all the time? Women pull out food — and here is some crackers and cheese and here is this and that. The guys always say, ‘Wow, a meal! What a miracle!’"

The point of the story is not about multiplication, but about distribution. As followers of Jesus, we are called to radical justice, to provide for those who are most in need, their “daily bread.” It is about both material and spiritual nourishment.

Mary Theresa’ homily conclusion:

Sister Simone asks the question, So, what can we do when we so easily become overwhelmed? Her good advice is to do just one thing. We can’t do it all, but we can do something. We belong to a diverse and wonderful world community with many gifts and resources. We are part of the world community that needs to be fed and nourished. We are one in our humanity, filled with divinity yet imperfect. We are blessed, we are broken, we are enough!

Communion Meditation
Until All Are Fed by Bryan Field McFarland

How long will we sing? How long will we pray?
How long will we write and send?
How long will we bring? How long will we stay?
How long will we make amends?

Until all are fed we cry out. Until all on earth have bread.
Like the One who loves us each and every one…
We serve until all are fed.

How long will we talk? How long will we prod?
How long must we fret and hoard?
How long will we walk to tear down this façade?
How long? How long? How Long?

How can we stand by and fail to be aghast?
How long ‘til we do what’s right?
How could we stand by and choose a lesser fast?
How long ‘til we see the light?

On the green, green grass they gathered long ago.
To hear what the Master said.
What they had they shared - some fishes and some loaves.
And they served until all were fed.

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