Saturday, November 24, 2018

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, Cosmic Christ, Nov. 24th, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan and Kevin Connelly, Music Minister: Linda Lee Miska

Theme: Celebrate Our Mystical Oneness in the Cosmic Christ
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Kevin Connelly -Presiders

Gathering Song: Sing a New Church #413
Verses 1, 3 & 4

Presider: In the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom     ALL:  Amen.
Presider: Every flower and rock illumines divinity 
ALL: On the Altar of the World.

Reconciliation Rite:
(Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in love with others and with creation)
General Absolution by Community: (All raise hands extended in prayer and recite together.)

All: Aware of our oneness with all creation, we express our sorrow for our failures to care for life on earth and pledge our energy to heal our wounded earth.

ALL:  Glory to God, glory, O praise God alleluia, glory to God, glory oh praise and alleluia (Sing 3 times)

Opening Prayer:
All: May, we who are stardust, be filled with awe as we experience our mystical oneness, with all creation in the Heart of Love.  May we cherish every amazing day, conscious of divine presence everywhere. Amen.

Liturgy of the Word:

First Reading: Daniel 7:13-14

Karen Hylen

Responsorial Psalm: #545  Sing to the mountains (substitute God for “Lord”)

Second Reading: Quest for the Cosmic Christ by Pastor Dawn

The Apostle Paul wove the hopes and dreams of his people with the life and teachings of Jesus and declared that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ the one chosen by God to usher in a new age of justice and peace. It makes sense that Paul would have described Jesus in this way. Paul was trying to move this fledging movement beyond the confines of Israel. In the life and teachings of Jesus, Paul saw a new way of being in the world. Paul didn’t want to overthrow the Roman oppressors; Paul wanted to transform them. Paul pointed to Jesus of Nazareth and the Reign of God based not on violence but on Jesus as the way to peace and Paul knew that this would require transforming oppressors into justice-seekers and peacemakers. Not an easy task in a world where might makes right and Caesars hold on to power with violence.

Today, the title has pretty much become a name, as most Christians refer to Jesus Christ as if Christ was Jesus last name. It’s sad, almost tragic that the concept of the Christ has been reduced to a surname; a surname that has had the effect of denying the humanity of Jesus himself who lived and died in ways that encouraged his followers to be more fully human. The conflation of Jesus and the Christ has in many ways diminished Jesus and the Christ. For just as surely as the human Jesus of Nazareth has been lost in Jesus Christ, the Christ has been lost in Jesus. The Apostle Paul teased out from his own religious tradition the notion of the Christ, the one who has existed from the very beginning of time.

Paul was certainly not the only Jew to see in Jesus of Nazareth the embodiment of the Wisdom of God, the Sophia, the one who danced with God at creation.

The writer of the Gospel according to John recorded they hymn to Jesus that we know as the first chapter of John: “In the beginning was the word.” Wisdom, Sophia, Logos, Word, Christ are all ways in which the Hebrew people describe an aspect of the Divine that has all ways been embodied in humanity; nowhere more so than in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In the conflation of Jesus of Nazareth and the Christ we have lost some of the power and the depth of meaning that our ancestors knew as the Christ. Traces of the Christ have survived, but they have been muted by the church and by our culture. They mystery that is the Christ, the aspect of God which is embodied in Creation since the very beginning has been lost to so many of us who call ourselves Christian. Jesus lived for about 33 years, the Christ has always been

As our understanding of the cosmos is ever evolving, so to our understanding of the Christ, the aspect of Divinity that has always been embodied in creation will evolve. For a long time now theologians have been using the term “cosmic Christ” to express more fully the concept of the One our ancestors have experienced in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the One who existed long before the birth of Jesus and who continues to live among us

These are the inspired words of Pastor Dawn.

Gospel acclamation: Alleluia ( Eightfold)

Gospel: John 18:33-37

Homily Starter: Bridget Mary Meehan 

Homily Starter for “ Celebrating our Mystical Oneness in the Cosmic Christ” by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

On Monday, as I was walking around Big Lots, (a store in Florida), surveying dolls for Christmas gifts for my cousin Elaine’s daughters in Ireland, the large assortment of princess dolls in dazzling, colorful outfits drew my attention. I wondered what is it about the legends of royalty, long ago and in our times that continue to fascinate us. Millions of people around the world watched live coverage of the glamorous wedding of Prince Harry, a member of the British royal family and Meghan Markle, a divorced biracial American actress on May 19, 2018 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom.  

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is not silent before Pilate. In his exchange with Pilate, scripture scholar Barbara Reid points out that when Pilate asks: Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus deflects the question and explains that his kingdom is not about domination or exploitation of others , but, his disciples are a beloved community of friends who serve one another. Jesus’s message of living our truth transforms all abusive patriarchal power. (Barbara E. Reid, Abiding Word, pp. 124-125)

This is why we prefer the word “kindom” rather than kingdom to illustrate Jesus’ vision of mutuality and connectedness in relationships vs. “kingdom” which reflects a paradigm of domination.  

Today we celebrate our mystical oneness in the Cosmic Christ as a new creation, becoming more loving, more whole, more united in the Holy One.

In her essay, “Evolution toward Personhood”, Sister Ilia Delio OSF explains the difference between the domination paradigm in which the elements are outside one another and  the communion paradigm in which beings as inside one another. "Jesus shares his own life substance and life energy with his friends under the guise of food. Jesus gives himself as nourishment for one another so that life may become more abundant together. This is his love for others and it is a creative love drawing the disciples into a collective consciousness of unity or church… This is what Jesus did by putting himself, under the guise of food, literally into his companions. His substance and energy, his attributes, activities and values were assimilated by them and he lived in them as their own attributes, activities and values. as his many sayings of indwelling indicate:
 “Whoever receives you receives me.” (Matt:10:40);
 “whatever anyone does to my brother or sister is done to me” (Matt 25:20)
 “the works I have done you shall also do ( John 14:12).”
(Ilia Delio, Personal Transformation and the New Creation, pp. 120-121)

Jesus revealed the indwelling of divinity in the community we share with one another and with creation. On this feast day we celebrate our mystical oneness, our communion, in the Cosmic Christ – always new and evolving, forever loving, healing and transforming!

Perhaps, this is the magic that should dazzle us as equal, beautiful and diverse, royal  images of the divine who dwell in communion and who nourish one another each day.

Homily Sharing by Community: 

What are the gifts and challenges of living in a communion paradigm vs. a domination paradigm?

Profession of Faith:  ALL: We believe in the Holy One, the fountain of life, flowing through every being. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who revealed that God is ever new. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God in the cosmos, who moves through us as we lovingly serve others without counting the cost. We believe in our global communion with all in the circle of life.  Amen to loving actions on behalf of justice, healing, compassion and equality for all in our world!

General Intercessions:

Presider: Mindful of your bountiful presence in the universe, we recognize your loving presence in all who hunger, thirst and serve the needs of all

After each prayer, Response is: O Holy One, we are your hands and feet.

Presider: We affirm our planetary oneness on the altar of the world as we celebrate our communion with all creation.
ALL:  Amen

Preparation of the Gifts:
Presider(s) (raise bread and wine):  Ever gentle God, as co-creators of our planet, we bring gifts of bread, wine and our lives. We celebrate our oneness with all creatures great and small in the family of God. All:  Amen

(Please gather around the table.  As all gather, we sing:  refrain Alle, Alle, Alleluia. #565)

Presider: My sisters and brothers we are one in the Cosmic Christ.   

ALL:  We are gathered as a community to celebrate the gift of life pulsating around us in the glories of Nature everywhere.

Eucharistic Prayer:
Presider: Our Birthing God, who stirred the waters of creation, dwells on earth,
ALL: And in every living being.
Presider: Lift up your hearts.
ALL:  We lift them up  with joy.
Presider: Let us give thanks as Co-creators of life and beauty
ALL: We give thanks for the Cosmic Christ present everywhere and in everything.

ALL:  Sung: We are holy, holy, holy (Karen Drucker)

Voice One: We are filled with reverence for divinity enfolding us everywhere in creatures great and small

(All Extend Hands)  ALL: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. Do this in memory of me.”  (Pause)   In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.” 

The Mystery of Faith:  ALL: This bread is you, this bread is me. We are one body, a reflection of the Cosmic Christ, in communion with all creation.

Voice Two: We rejoice that there are 18 galaxies for every person, that our bodies are made of stardust and that every place we turn, we see your face. You call us, “beloved” and invite us to join the dance of creation in a mystical celebration of our oneness with all living things in your divine love. We rejoice that You, who are More than we can imagine or dream of, dwell in Mystery beyond all comprehension everywhere.  

Voice Three: We remember that it was Jesus, who said: “Anything I have done in the name of the Creator, you can do, too…and even more.”  So, we remember all within our world and church who are working for environmental healing, human rights and justice for all.

Voice Four: We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, faithful disciple and St. Francis who sang canticles to brother sun and sister moon.  We remember our beloved family, friends and all in the great cloud of witnesses who have cared for us and for earth’s creatures. (pause/mention names, if you wish).

Great Amen:
ALL: In the Cosmic Christ, through the Cosmic Christ, with the Cosmic Christ we break down walls of hate and build bridges of love each day.
Sing: Amen, Amen, Amen

ALL: Prayer of Jesus (“Our Father and Mother”)

Sign of Peace: (Group joins hands in circle in symbolic  “hug” that goes out to the all creatures and all people as they sing this song of peace. )   “Peace is flowing like a river… Love joy is flowing like a river.”

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:
Presider:  Christ of the Cosmos,
All: We live our oneness with you and all creation. 
Presider: Christ of the Cosmos,
All: We work for healing of the earth. 
Presider: Christ of the Cosmos,
All: We celebrate justice rising up in a global communion of every race and creed throughout the world.

Presider: This is the Cosmic Christ in whom all creation lives and moves and has its being. All are invited to partake in this banquet of love in a Church for all.
ALL: We are the Body of the Cosmic Christ.

Communion Meditation: Instrumental Music

Prayer after Communion:
Presider:   We rejoice that the good news of the revelation of Jesus is that God is ever new and when we are one with God, we are forever evolving, growing more whole and loving. We are filled with awe as we contemplate your extravagant love flowing through all living things in the beauty of nature that surrounds us each day. ALL: Amen

Anointing of the Sick:

Concluding Rite:
Presider:  Christ of the Cosmos lives in us and
ALL: And loves through us, making all things new

(with hands extended in prayer):
ALL: We bless all gathered here in the name of the Creator, in the name of Mary’s child, and in the name of the Spirit as we serve one another and care for the Earth.

Presider: Go in the peace of the Cosmic Christ, let the service continue!   ALL: Thanks be to God.

 “We have the whole world in our hands” to tune of “He has the whole world in his hands.”(3 times)

Liturgy: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

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