Theme: Death is followed by Life
|Left: Elena Garcia ARCWP and Cheryl Brandi co-preside at MMOJ Liturgy|
Welcome: We, the Inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus, welcome you to today’s liturgy. Our liturgical style is highly inclusive and our language of prayer uses both the male and female metaphors for God. You are invited to partake in the ordinary of the liturgy, and in the Eucharistic Prayer and Consecration. All are welcome to share in our simple Eucharistic meal around this friendship table. We use non-alcoholic wine so all may receive if you wish. You may drink from the cup or dip the bread in the cup. If you are visiting with us for the first time, there will be an opportunity to introduce yourself near the end of the liturgy. So welcome everyone. Now let us take a moment to collect ourselves in mind and spirit as we place ourselves in the presence of God and adore Her Divine majesty.
Opening Song: # 604 “Christ be our Light” verses 1,2,5
Let us begin in the name of God our creator, Jesus our Brother and Holy Spirit Sophia our Wisdom. Amen
Opening Prayer: Grant us we pray O loving God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve you with constancy, the author of all that is good. We ask your blessing on all of us gathered here and all those of our community who are not with us today. We ask this through our brother Jesus and Holy Spirit Wisdom Sophia. Amen
Penitential Expression and Community Forgiveness (All raise hands extended in prayer)
All: Compassionate God, we believe that nothing we do can separate us from your infinite love. And we also know that we have to continually strife to grow in understanding and compassion so that we may be more forgiving of our brothers and sisters. We ask your forgiveness for any of our actions that may be hurtful to people of other beliefs, interests, nationalities and races.
We make this prayer through the intersession of Jesus our brother and of Holy Spirit, our wisdom. Amen
Glory to God: All: “Glory to God, glory, O praise God alleluia, Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God” 2x
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3 All: Thanks be to God
Psalm: 16 Response: “You are my Beloved and in you will I live forever” Adapted by Nan Merrill
Second Reading: 1Thessalonians: 1:1-6 All: Thanks be to God
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia (Sung)
Gospel: Mark 13: 24-32 All: All Glory and praise to Jesus the Christ
Homily Starter/Death Is Followed by Life by Elena Garcia ARCWP
In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds his disciples to learn the lesson of the fig tree, that summer will follow with new leaves. He also asks us to be attentive to the end of things. As we near the close of the church year, we practice being attentive to the ends of things which are manifested in suffering, as well as the darkness of shorter days and longer nights, and nature allowing itself to surrender to the call of the earth and becoming dormant.
Jesus promised that when we see darkness and destruction, suffering and pain, “he is near, at the gates.” Ironically, in the most difficult times of our lives, many of us are more likely to feel alone and distanced from God.
It is easier to see summer coming after the spring and harder to recognize winter as the birthplace of spring. Jesus invites us, his disciples, to remember that he draws near now, right in the chaos of our world.
The central mystery of our faith is that death is certain and certain also followed by life. No matter how messy life becomes, God invites us to be the people who pay attention. God invites us to connect with our true selves who wait for and expect new life, thus preparing for union with the divine.
Year after year throughout our lifetime we celebrate the seasonal changes and the rituals that accompany each season. Does it occur to us that each season change is another teachable moment provided by our Divine Creator to review the divine plan for union with all of creation.? Each season is another opportunity to renew, recommit and allow ourselves to reach AHA moments of awareness of our true selves in our journey towards Union with God, aware of who we are and embracing the circle of life without fear - as was illustrated so well in the “The Lion King”.
While meditating on these scripture readings, which present us with the challenge to ponder and in some sense to fear end times, I experienced instead, a loving call to trust, hope and follow a path to self-realization in preparation for total Union with our Loving God. God loves me totally, unconditionally and just the way I am, for my true self is The Risen Christ in me, hence it is not afraid of death, for it has already been to hell and back!
I stop here with quotes from Thich Nhat Hanhs and Stephen Levine:
“Enlightenment for an ocean wave is the moment the wave realizes that it is water. At that moment all fear of death disappears”
“But water is water no matter what It’s shape of form. The solidity of ice imagines itself to be its edges and density. When melting it remembers; evaporating, it ascends.”
So do not be afraid. Death to false self and the end of human life is simply a return to our Ground of Being, to God, to Love. Life doesn’t truly end; it simply changes form and continues evolving into ever new shapes and beauty.
Question: Share an AHA moment regarding self- awareness in relation to God on your life’s journey.
Profession of Faith:
All: We believe in God, the Creator-the source of everything that exists in the universe. We believe that God’s divinity infuses all life, in all forms and everywhere, with holiness. We believe in Jesus the Christ through whom we have become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of life in the cosmos and the One who keeps the Christ vision present in everyone searching for meaning and wholeness. We believe that you energize those people whose spirit may grow weary in the process. We say Amen to courage, to hope, to the spirit of truth. We say Amen to the partnership and equality of all persons, genders, and colors. We believe in justice and peace for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this O God, we surely believe.
Prayers of the Community
Presider: Aware of God’s unconditional love for us as a people of faith we lift up our needs to our gracious God. After each petition respond: Compassionate God bless our petition.
Presider: Healing God we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns for one another here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts as we strive for peace, justice and equality, so that with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world. As always, we make theses prayer to you, O God our Creator, to Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit our Wisdom. All: Amen
Offertory Song: # 492 Those Who See Light” All verses
Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, this grain of the earth that human hands have prepared for our use, It will become for us the bread of life. All: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, this fruit of the vine that human hands have prepared for our use. It will become for us our spiritual drink. All: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Jesus who has often sat at our table, now invites all of us to join him at his. Everyone is welcome to share in this meal. Please join us around our family table.
Presider: Let give thanks to the Creator of all that exists.
All: With hearts full of love we give God thanks and praise.
Presider: Let us acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit among us gathered at the family table
All: We will develop our respect and reverence for you, for one another, and for all creation.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up to the One who lives in us- - and loves others through us.
Presider: Christ dwells in each one of us. All: Namaste!
Eucharistic Prayer – (Michael Morwood)
Presider: Wise and faithful God, you have birthed us in goodness, gifted us with life, and cherished us in love. In the heart of our being, your Spirit dwells: A Spirit of courage and vision, a Spirit of wisdom and truth.
Presider: In the power of that same Spirit, we lift up our hearts in prayer, invoking anew the gift of wisdom and enlightenment, that we may continue to praise and thank you, in union with all who sing this hymn of praise:
All: “We are Holy, Holy, Holy” (You, I, We) (Karen Drucker)
Presider: Sending among us Jesus, our brother, you birthed afresh in our world the power of Sophia-Wisdom, and in the gift of the Spirit, your creative goodness blooms anew, amid the variety and wonder of life.
All: That same Spirit we invoke upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become the body and blood of Jesus- to nurture afresh in us the discerning gifts of wisdom, light and truth.
Invoking the memory of tradition:
Presider: Gathering the disciples around the table of shared wisdom, Jesus took bread; blessed You God of all gifts, broke the bread and handed it to those seeking nourishment, with these words:
All: Take this all of you and eat: This is my body which will be given up for you.
Presider: After the meal, Jesus took the cup, poured out in a spirit of solidarity and empowerment. Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with his friends saying:
All: Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of my life-blood, the life of a new and everlasting covenant. In prophetic solidarity, it is poured out for you and for all. Sustain one another in the power of sacred memory.
All: In faith and hope we are sustained, in grace and dignity reclaimed, in praise, we thank our God.
All: In the power of this Eucharistic meal, bless us afresh with the gifts of the Spirit, that our hearts may be open and receptive as you invite us into the fullness of life.
Voice: And may we ever be aware and alert to the new things the Spirit makes possible, as our world unfolds amid pain and beauty, into the fullness of life to which all are called, participating in the wise and wonderful work of co-creation.
All: In the wisdom of our Triune God, Creator, Liberator, and Holy Spirit, we are blessed with the gifts of this Eucharistic table, and with all the good things bestowed upon our world, now and forever. Amen (sung) # 936 “Amen, Amen, A----men”
All: (sung) Our Father and Mother……….
Sign of Peace
Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I give you, my peace I leave you.”
Look on the faith of those gathered here today and…
All: grant us your peace O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace through our words and actions to everyone, everywhere with no exceptions. Amen
Presider: May the peace of God be always with us. Let us hands and express that desire in song. “Let There Be Peace On Earth” #532
Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
Presider: Loving God: All: You call us to live the Gospel of Peace and justice. We will live justly.
Presider: Loving God: All: You call us to be your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
Presider: Loving God: All: You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
Sharing of the Meal:
Presider: This is Jesus, who called women and men to be partners and equals, and who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.
Presider: You invite us to receive you and become you for others. We are the Body of Christ. May the Source of Life whose power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, be given glory through all generations. Amen
Sharing of the sacred body and blood: You are the Body of Christ. You are the Blood of Christ.
Communion Song: Instrumental. After Communion Song: #331 “Taste and See” verses 1 and 3
Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
Presider: Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and with on another. May wonder and Thanksgiving fill us with knowledge, understanding and experience of your love and compassion for us, your sacred people. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen
Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions, Announcements
Final Blessing: (All extend hands) Presider: As we go forth from this sacred space, let us purposefully look with new eyes and hearts, always with the purpose of enhancing life, as we recognize the Christ within all whom we meet. All: Amen
Closing Song: #385 “Take Christ to the world”