Monday, September 24, 2018

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community -Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Kathleen Ryan, ARCWP, and Deven Horne led the Upper Room liturgy with the theme: "Lay down your passions and receive one another."  Kathie's homily starter is printed below the Sunday readings.

A reading from the book of James

Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

These are the inspired words of our brother James and the community affirms them by saying: Amen

A reading from the Gospel of Mark

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

These are in the inspired words of Mark, disciple of Jesus and the community affirms them by saying: Amen

Kathie's homily reflection:

James writes “You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” What are these passions that get in the way of our receiving? James is talking about passion as power-waging war, invading, fighting/killing, taking land and belongings that are not ours. In general that is not really a type of passion you or I have trouble with. It’s those people over there, those rulers, those dictators, that government, they have these passions not us!

Now the disciples are arguing about power too. Maybe not as strong as waging war, killing and fighting but more so arguing about who is in charge, who should be first, who is the greatest, or even more personally, who is loved best.

What gets in the way of our receiving? James says “passions”. Which passions? Maybe for you and I the more personal ones, wanting to be loved best, valued more, recognized for our work, heard and seen. Now I know my passions are definitely in the way of receiving. So what exactly are we receiving?

What is it that the Holy One wants us to receive? The Holy One wants us to receive Love. How do we receive this love?

We receive love by giving love. You and I are not able to give love if our personal passions are in the way. If I need to be first, or in charge or do it my way my passions are in the way. Let’s lay down our passions and receive.

And how do we lay down our passions, practice, practice, practice, practice loving kindness, practice putting the other first, practice as our Eucharist prayer correctly says live justly, love tenderly, walk with integrity with our God..

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