Saturday, December 8, 2018

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Second Sunday of Advent - December 8, 2018 Presiders: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP, Sally Brochu, ARCWP & Community Music Minister: Linda Lee Miller Lectors: Cheryl Brandi and Joan Meehan









Welcome:
 Presider : Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where are all welcome to share Eucharist. We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers. You will be invited to gather around the Table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer. We warmly welcome our newcomers to our liturgy and invite you to introduce yourself at the announcement time after Communion    All are invited to join us for supper after liturgy.
Silence

Opening Song: Spirit of the Living God

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me,
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, move among us all,
make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love:
Humble, caring, selfless, sharing,
Spirit of the living God, fill our lives with love.



Lighting of the Advent Candle:

Presider: Called to live God’s abundant generosity, we dedicate ourselves on this
Second Sunday in Advent to imaging Christ together.  May we live and
act in community, working to achieve justice for all as Jesus did in his
life and works of compassion.

May this Holy Season bring new life to our personal and communal ways of acting, and as we light this candle today, may our message of love and compassion move out to comfort and renew hope in all who are hopeless, abandoned and alone.

May the blessing of God’s abundant love bring light to the dark places of
            our world, calling us to action as Christ’s presence.

ALL:   During this holy time of waiting, renew our hearts to recognize what it is
that blinds us to your presence in others and in the events of our lives. 
Give us the light we need to accept all that you give as tokens of your
loving care.

Opening Prayer:
Presider We give you thanks, most loving and compassionate God,
            for this time of waiting when we search to find you present in our midst. 
            Open our hearts to finding you in new ways during this time of waiting. 
            Plant the seed of your presence deep in us and help us to nourish it into
            new life.
ALL:    Amen.

LITURGY OF THE WORD
           
First Reading:           Baruch 5:1-9
ALL:                           Thanks be to God.

Responsorial:           Psalm 126 (Nan Merrill) (Spoken) – So great is your presence among us

Second Reading:      Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
ALL:                           Thanks be to God.

Gospel Response: #44 Litany of the Word  (Bernadette Farrell)
                                    Word of justice, Alleluia, Come to dwell here, Maranatha!
                                    Word of mercy, Alleluia, Live among us, Maranatha!
Word of power, Alleluia, Live within us, Maranatha!
Word of freedom, Alleluia, Save your people, Maranatha!                         

Gospel:                      Luke 3:1-6 
                            
ALL:                            Praise to you, Jesus, the Christ.
Response:                 (1st two verses of Litany above)




HOMILY for the Second Sunday in Advent, Year C – December 8-9, 2018

Bar 5:1-9 God gives Jerusalem a prophetic name.   Brings Israel home.
Ps 126:1-6 Song of the return of the exiles who went away weeping, come back singing
Phil 1:4-6,8-11 Paul misses and loves the people he taught in Philippi whom he hopes will grow in love and joy and ability to distinguish what is best.  (footnote: “the ability to see what is morally good is one of the consequences of mutual love.”)
Luke 3:1-6 The word of God came to John.  He went through the Jordan Valley proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.   As Isaiah 40:3-5
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Once again we light the Advent candles – each one named for a trait we absorb by living closely with the Spirit of God: Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace.  Last week we lit Hope and today we light Faith.   You’ll notice that every one of today’s readings gives us an example of a person who acted on Faith, a trait that came from their living closely with the Spirit of God.
Baruch supposedly wrote from Jerusalem to exiles in Babylon that “they would return dancing and singing.”   When 9/10ths of Jerusalem’s population had been sent into exile and the city was in bad shape, the voice of the prophet comes through in faith and hope.    In spite of all the writer had seen and experienced, in faith he prophesied.   Actually it took many years for this prophecy to be realized, but people heard God in the words and clung to them in faith. 
Paul wrote to the community in Phillipi about his trust that they would continue to spread the gospel because he had faith in the One who began this good work in the them.   This he wrote while being held in prison with no guarantee that he would live to be released.   But he had formed his life to the risen Jesus and he had unshakable faith in God and in those whom God called.

Luke tells us about John the Baptist who heard the word of God – heard it, and believed it to such a degree that he proclaimed it.  That took faith!   How many of us would stand on a street corner in Sarasota and tell people they needed to repent and re-orient their lives?!?   That conviction can only come to someone who is close to God, because a long-time closeness gives us the ability to recognize the voice of God, the Faith to believe it, and the courage to act on it.

In all of today’s readings we hear the word “faith” defined as an unshakeable trust in God.   That definition has evolved over time, however, as theology evolves with increased experience and understanding.     Today  we can hear its meaning expanded in the words of the great Liberation Theologian of our day, Gustavo Gutierrez, who says “As disciples of Jesus, we are called to live our faith increasingly as love at the heart of the world.”  

The longing we are invited to experience in Advent is not a longing for the baby Jesus or even the man, Jesus.   Rather it is for a fullness of his Spirit.   With this Spirit shining on our faces and expressed in love, we are truly equipped to show the salvation of God to all humankind.

            How do you live your faith?

Shared Homily         
HOMILY for the Second Sunday in Advent, Year C – 
December 8-9, 2018

Bar 5:1-9 God gives Jerusalem a prophetic name.   Brings Israel home.
Ps 126:1-6 Song of the return of the exiles who went away weeping, come back singing
Phil 1:4-6,8-11 Paul misses and loves the people he taught in Philippi whom he hopes will grow in love and joy and ability to distinguish what is best.  (footnote: “the ability to see what is morally good is one of the consequences of mutual love.”)
Luke 3:1-6 The word of God came to John.  He went through the Jordan Valley proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.   As Isaiah 40:3-5
Once again we light the Advent candles – each one named for a trait we absorb by living closely with the Spirit of God: Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace.  Last week we lit Hope and today we light Faith.   You’ll notice that every one of today’s readings gives us an example of a person who acted on Faith, a trait that came from their living closely with the Spirit of God.
Baruch supposedly wrote from Jerusalem to exiles in Babylon that “they would return dancing and singing.”   When 9/10ths of Jerusalem’s population had been sent into exile and the city was in bad shape, the voice of the prophet comes through in faith and hope.    In spite of all the writer had seen and experienced, in faith he prophesied.   Actually it took many years for this prophecy to be realized, but people heard God in the words and clung to them in faith. 
Paul wrote to the community in Phillipi about his trust that they would continue to spread the gospel because he had faith in the One who began this good work in the them.   This he wrote while being held in prison with no guarantee that he would live to be released.   But he had formed his life to the risen Jesus and he had unshakable faith in God and in those whom God called.
Luke tells us about John the Baptist who heard the word of God – heard it, and believed it to such a degree that he proclaimed it.  That took faith!   How many of us would stand on a street corner in Sarasota and tell people they needed to repent and re-orient their lives?!?   That conviction can only come to someone who is close to God, because a long-time closeness gives us the ability to recognize the voice of God, the Faith to believe it, and the courage to act on it.
In all of today’s readings we hear the word “faith” defined as an unshakeable trust in God.   That definition has evolved over time, however, as theology evolves with increased experience and understanding.     Today  we can hear its meaning expanded in the words of the great Liberation Theologian of our day, Gustavo Gutierrez, who says “As disciples of Jesus, we are called to live our faith increasingly as love at the heart of the world.”  
The longing we are invited to experience in Advent is not a longing for the baby Jesus or even the man, Jesus.   Rather it is for a fullness of his Spirit.   With this Spirit shining on our faces and expressed in love, we are truly equipped to show the salvation of God to all humankind.


            How do you live your faith?
Profession of Faith:

O Holy One, Creator of this vast universe,

We believe that you are not far from us,
and that your loving care is shown
in the life, ministry, death, and continued presence
of Jesus the Christ, whom you sent
to show us the way to your loving presence.
We believe that each of us is called
to continue your presence and your work
in this world, by loving
and caring for one another.

We believe that no one is beyond
the reach of your love, and so
no one should be beyond the reach of our caring.

We believe that you call us to be one with you
and with one another.

We believe that we have in our hearts
the grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit
to live fully in your love
when we are open to you.

We believe that you pardon our weaknesses
and use them to teach us how to come to you.

We believe in the resurrection of Jesus in our lives,
and life everlasting in your Divine Presence.

May God, the source of all patience and encouragement,
enable us to live as we believe,
in harmony with one another
so that with our hearts and voices and lives
we may glorify the God who names us
and calls us to live in the fullness of being.  Amen.


Prayer of the Faithful:

Presider: Like Jesus, we seek to respond to the desires deep within us, for our
            hopes for a more just and peaceful world. We bring to the Table these
            desires of blessing, cares and concerns:

ALL:   We awaken to your call.

Presider: For what else shall we pray?

Presider: Compassionate Presence, hear the prayers of your people.  In your
tenderness and love embrace our petitions and hold them and all our
unspoken desires close to your heart.
ALL:   Amen.

Sign of Peace:

Presider: O Life-giving God, we celebrate your fruitful love as we embrace one
            another with joy.  May the peace that our brother, Jesus, offers always
            be with us!
ALL:   Amen.
Presider: Before we prepare the Table and join in prayer with one mind and heart,
            let us extend a sign of communion and charity to one another.
Offertory Hymn:
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  (Tune:  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; words adapted from the original by Diana Newrb)

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel.
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until a Liberator is near.

Refrain:  Rejoice! Rejoice! Our freedom is at hand.
The Dawn of Justice shines upon the land.

Come now, dear friends, for Advent time is here;
It’s time to cast our doubt and crippling fear—
For presently, before our wondering eyes,
This season will bring forth its own surprise.  R

O come, O Wisdom sister of us all,
Prepare our ears to hear a wondrous call.
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in your ways to go.  R

Let us together ponder how we may
Initiate a new and better day.
In numbers we are strong, our faith is great;
No more delay lest justice come too late.  R





Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have this
            bread, this wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer.  Through this
            sacred meal, may we become a new creation.
ALL:   Blessed be the Divine Presence forever.

Presider: Let us pray…  O Holy One, in this bread and this wine you give us food
            for body and spirit.  May our strength be renewed by your generous
            blessings that will bring us health in mind and body.
ALL:   Amen.

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

(Please join us around our Eucharistic Table. All are welcome to receive that which sustains us on our daily journey)
Presider: The Holy One is with you, abounding in love!
ALL:   And also with you!
Presider: Open your hearts in Christ who lives and loves, heals and empowers
            through you!
ALL:   We open them up to the Holy Spirit dwelling everywhere.
Presider: Let us give thanks that we are co-creators in the miracle of life.
ALL:   It is right to proclaim our oneness with All.

Presider: Wide 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.  In
the power of that same Spirit, we lift our voices and hearts in song,
invoking anew the gift of wisdom and enlightenment, that we may
continue to praise and thank you.     
ALL:   (sing)  Holy, Holy, Holy One; Spirit of Love and Peace,
            Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest!
            Blessed are all who come in your Holy Name.
     Hosanna in the highest! 

Voice: Sending among us Jesus, our brother, you birth 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.

Presider: That same Spirit we invoke now upon the gifts of this Eucharistic Table,
            bread of the grain and wine of the grape, as they become for us the
body and blood of Jesus—to nurture afresh in us the discerning gifts of
            wisdom, light and truth.

Voice: Gathering the disciples around the Table of shared wisdom, Jesus took bread; blessed you, God of all good gifts, broke the bread and handed it to those seeking nourishment, with these words:

ALL:   Take and eat; this is my very self.  (pause)

Voice: Then taking the cup of wine, Jesus gave thanks, and shared the cup with those gathered at Table, with these words:

ALL:   Take and drink of my cup of life, through which the covenant is made
new again, for you and for everyone, for liberation from every
oppression.  Whenever you do this, re-member me!  (pause)

Voice: As we celebrate this sacred meal, we recall the wise and gracious gifts bestowed on us down through the ages; and we look forward in hope, knowing that you, our wise and faithful One, will continue to endow us with abundant blessings.

Voice: In the power of this Eucharistic meal, bless us afresh with the gift of Spirit, that our hearts may be open and receptive as you invite us into the fullness of life.

Voice: In union with all peoples living and dead, we unite our thoughts and prayers, asking wisdom and courage to discern more wisely your call to us in the circumstances of our daily lives; to act justly and courageously in confronting the pain and suffering that desecrates the Earth and its peoples; to take risks in being creative and proactive on behalf of the poor and marginalized.

Presider: 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:   (presider raises the bread and wine)
For it is through learning to live as Jesus lived, and why he lived, and for whom he lived,
            that we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to worship you truly, Life-giving God,
            at this time and all time and in all ways.  (sing) Amen!




Presider: Let us pray together the Prayer of Jesus: (Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)

ALL:   O Holy One, who is within, around, and among us,
            We celebrate your many names.
            Your wisdom come,
            Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us.
            Each day you give us all we need;
            You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
            You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
            For you are the dwelling place within us,
            The empowerment around us,
            And the celebration among us, now and forever.
            Amen.

Presider: Please join in our prayer for the breaking of the bread:
ALL:   Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will
live justly.
Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world.  We will love
tenderly.
Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power.  We will walk with
integrity in your presence.

Presider: This is Jesus, the Bread of Life, and this is the Cup of the New Covenant. 
How blessed are we who are called to this Table.

ALL:   What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share
          communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and
Love’s challenge.
Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ.  All are welcome
at this Table!

Communion Meditation:  (song of reflection)


Prayer After Communion:
Presider: We rejoice in your amazing love, O God!
            We rejoice in the life-changing opportunities You open to us.
            Out of that joy, we offer our thanks and praise as we leave this place.
            May we be challenged, encouraged, and empowered
            So that we may continue to live as joyous partners in creating a world
            Filled with love and ruled by justice.
ALL:   Amen.

Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions and Announcements: 

Closing Prayer:
Presider: Gathered together,
ALL:   We wait for the light.

Presider: Standing together,
ALL:   We trust in the light.

Presider: Praying together,
ALL:   We hope for the light.

Presider: Seeking together,
ALL:   We step out with the light.

Presider: Singing together,
ALL:   We are blessed by the light.

Presider: All are invited to extend your hands for our mutual blessing:
ALL:   May vision and truth companion you.
May beauty be in your eyes.
            May peace fill your being,
            Love hold you close.
            Earth give you guidance.
            Stars give you hope.
            Blessings of life to you!  (Jan Novotka)

Presider: Go into this week, held together by the love of God,
            Clothed with the nature of Jesus our Companion
            Reinforced by the strength of the Holy Spirit.
ALL:   Amen.

Presider: Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts the mystery and the wonder
            of this holy season.

ALL:   Thanks be to God!

Closing Song:                            “Come and Find a Quiet Center”

Come and find a quiet center in the crowded life we lead,
Find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed:
Clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes that we can see
all the things that really matter. Be at peace and simply be.

In the Spirit let us travel, open to each other’s pain.
Let our loves and fears unravel, celebrate the space we gain:
There’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care,
in the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare 

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