Sunday, November 17, 2019

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy - November 17, 2019 - Presider: Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP

Afire with Divine Presence Liturgy for Sunday, November 17

Welcome: Today’s theme is all about patience and perseverance as foundational to keeping and living our faith in challenging times. It is worth remembering that Jesus is present to those who doubt and the gospel for today offers wisdom to those in need.

A word about the gospel before we begin; there is little proof that it was Jesus who said these words attributed to him by Luke more than fifty years after Jesus died. Writing after the temple was destroyed, Luke may have used known history and may have wanted to show Jesus as omniscient about what was to come. Or, maybe the truth is less calculated and far more inspiring than that. There was plenty of apocalyptic thinking around the time of Jesus predicting that the Jews were on a collision course with the Roman occupation. It might not be rocket science or require a crystal ball to see that the beloved temple was on the frontline of trouble to come.

Whether we are hearing Jesus or his intermediaries, there remains a potent message of living a faith that is at once subversive and hopeful, dangerous and promising, elusive and true. It is our ancient heritage and a revelation as close to Jesus as we have.

Opening Prayer adapted from Joyce Rupp

A Prayer to be Freed from Tizzies


Dear God, You who did not invent tizzies,
be with me when I get caught
in the wild worrying of my mind
and the needless scurrying around
in my fearful heart.

Let me fall headfirst into the truth
of your never-ending presence,
wrap your kind arms around me
and calm my doubts and fears.

Dear God, You did not invent tizzies,
I did,
and only I can send them on their way,
and I will,
if you strengthen me
to let go of my anxious hold
on what is nonessential.
Amen.

Opening Song: Come be in my Heart by Sara Thomsen



First Reading is from Nilus of Ankara with notes added by Edith Barnecut 

In time of great trial it is of great profit to us patiently to endure for God’s sake, for it is said, “By patient endurance you will win life for yourselves.” The Holy One did not say by your fasting or your solitude and silence, or your singing of psalms, although all of these are helpful in saving your soul. Bu by “patient endurance” in every trial that overtakes you, and in every affliction, or any kind of disgrace, either small or great; whether it be bodily weakness or any trial whatsoever caused either by other people or by evil spirits.

The apostle writes:” With patient endurance we run the race of faith set before us,” For what has more power than virtue? What has more firmness or strength than patient endurance? It is the Queen of virtues, the foundation of virtue, a haven of tranquility. It is peace in time of war, calm in rough waters, safety amidst treachery and danger. It makes those who practice it stronger than steel. No weapons or brandished bows, no turbulent troops or advancing siege engines, no flying spears or arrows can shake it.

Not even the host of evil spirits, not the dark array of hostile powers, nor the devil himself stand by with all his armies will have power to injure the man or woman who has acquired this virtue through Christ.

These are the inspired words of Nilus and the inspired notes of Edith Barnecut. Amen. 


Gospel from the disciple known as Luke:

Some disciples were speaking of how the temple was adorned with precious stones and votive offerings. Jesus said, “You see all this? The day will come when one stone won’t be left on top of another—everything will be torn down. They asked, “When will this happen Rabbi?”

Then he said to them “Nation will rise against nation. There will be great earthquakes, plagues and famines. But before any of this, they’ll arrest you and persecute you, sending you to prison and bringing you to trial. And it will all be because of my name. This will be your opportunity to give your testimony.

Do not worry about your defense beforehand for I’ll give you the words and a wisdom that none of your adversaries can take exception to. You’ll be betrayed by parents, brothers, sisters and friends and some will be put to death. Yet not a hair on your head will be harmed. By patient endurance you’ll save your lives.”

These are the inspired words of the disciple known as Luke and we affirm them by saying, Amen.


Starter Homily by Lynn Kinlan ARCWP: 
They will know we are Christians by our resolve. Usually, it is said they will know we are Christians by our love. But what kind of love? Heartfelt love sustains and nourishes. True love grows and ripens with time. Love that has heft, breadth and depth — that requires a firm determination to hang in there, which is the definition of resolve. In preparing for today, we realized that the hallmark of faith, of members in our community in particular is resolve determination and hopeful perseverance.

Faith like ours is not for the faint of heart. Jesus lived and preached and died for a faith in radical love that depends on what Nilus, a monk from the 5th century, calls the Queen of virtues – patient endurance. As Edith Barnecut, a Benedictine sister explains, patience gives us the strength of steel and makes for calm in rough waters.

Neither Nilus nor Edith is talking about assuming the patience of a doormat or the endurance of a fanatic. It isn’t about pious acts or following rules. Rather, patient endurance is all about the ability to seek balance and the visionary’s skill of taking the long view. These are the skills that save us from the tizzies and allow us to approach holiness with the hope that all manner of things shall be well. Hopefulness is the child of patience.

The gospel from Luke similarly suggests that our worry will turn to wisdom, that betrayal and loss and disaster cannot harm a hair on your head if you persevere. Luke doesn’t mean perseverance that is plodding nor keeping the faith by adhering to rules. The resolve of the gospel is more hopeful than that, more promising; it provides the opportunity to stand up for what we believe, to claim the joy of exceptional wisdom and the grace of saving each other and blessing our very lives.

And so the days of Roman occupation, of persecution for being Christian. Of violence that destroyed the holy temple – these were frightening days but they were also the time during which faith in Jesus blossomed and scripture was revealed and inspired. It may be that the most challenging of times are the times when our faith comes to fruition and we are lit afire with Divine Presence. There is blessing in our every challenge, love in every path toward faith. For we are children of God and we are resolved. 



Communion Meditation: There is a Season by Kathy Sherman
https://youtu.be/ppgNBLOYjYk
Blessing

May we be blessed with Your wisdom to seek middle ground in the midst of division and to find peace. May we sustain ourselves and each other with patient endurance that will nurture and grow our faith in easy times and challenging times. Amen.

Closing Song: Sing Out Earth and Skies by Marty Haugen

https://youtu.be/bTYOglt9ab0

Liturgy at The Wellness Connection Retreat Center - Presiders: Santa Orlando and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP

Santa Orlando and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP, led a Eucharistic liturgy of Thanksgiving at The Wellness Connection Retreat Center in Waterford, NY. The theme of the liturgy was "Gratitude Amidst Chaos." Mary Theresa's homily starter is below the readings.

Opening Reflection:
Written by Santa Orlando

Give thanks...
Perhaps for family and friends? For all Loving relationships?
For good health and economic stability?
For safety? For security? 
For Nature which provides food for body and soul?

So much to be thankful for.

Disturbing times require more Thanksgiving-
More compassion, less ego,
More empathy , less dualism,
More tolerance, less anger.

Amidst the struggle is HOPE.
And what is it we hope for?
Is it for courage to bear witness to the pain and struggle?
Is it for awareness that prompts us to change our ways?

Or, is it for openness to love more deeply and unconditionally?

Who is the recipient of our Thanks and What is the source of our Hope?
So many questions…..

Turn to the essence of love.
Perhaps together we will find the answers.
Opening Song: We Come to Your Feast by Michael Joncas
https://youtu.be/He1viPvFXzc




LITURGY OF THE WORD 

First Reading: Gratitude by Joyce Rupp 

To be grateful for what is,
Instead of underscoring what is not.

To find good amid the unwanted aspects of life,
Without denying the presence of the unwanted.

To focus on beauty in the little things in life,
As well as being deliberate about the great beauties
Of art, literature, music, and nature.

To be present to one’s own small space of life,
While stretching to the wide world beyond it.

To find something to laugh about in every day,
Even when there seems nothing to laugh about.

To search for and to see the good in others,
Rather than remembering their faults and weaknesses.

To taste life to the fullest,
And not take any part of it for granted. 

To find ways to reach out and help the disenfranchised,
While also preserving their dignity and self-worth.

To be as loving and caring as possible,
In a culture that consistently challenges these virtues.

To be at peace
With what cannot be changed.

These are the inspired words of Joyce Rupp and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Response: Psalm 139 sung by Kathryn Christian
https://youtu.be/yLYPeRJfpFM 

Alleluia – Eightfold Alleluia sung by Jan Phillips
https://youtu.be/APtNt5iG1oY 

Gospel: LK 21:5-19 

While some were speaking about the temple,
how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God,
Jesus said, “As for the things you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another, all will be torn down.” 

They asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"

Jesus answered, "Beware that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.'
Do not follow them! 

When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified;
for such things must happen first, but the end will not follow immediately."
Nation will rise against nation, and empire against empire.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will bring you before rulers and governors
because of my name.
This will be your opportunity to give testimony.

Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I will give you words and a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.

You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

These are the inspired words of Luke and we affirm them by saying, Amen.


Homily Starter by Mary Theresa

The theme for today’s liturgy is “Gratitude Amidst Chaos.” We just heard a beautiful reading by Joyce Rupp on gratitude and then we heard a disturbing Gospel by Luke that foretells a time of chaos in the Jewish community. Jesus warned his followers that their revered temple, a place that symbolized their connection to the Divine and their connection to each other, would be destroyed. It seems that they were not surprised by Jesus’ words but instead wanted to know how soon all of this was going to happen. They were accurately reading the signs of the times.

The Gospel sure sounds like the chaos we are experiencing right now in our world community. Countries are rising against each other and revered religious institutions are losing their credibility. The political and religious institutions are in chaos.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds his followers, then and now, to stay true to what he has taught them – take care of one another – especially the poor and marginalized. Confront the systems of oppression with non-violent prophetic witness even if it puts you at odds with revered political and religious institutions.

So how do we prepare ourselves for this type of conflict? Jesus tells his followers to keep their focus on him and they will be fearless. How do we do that? What practice(s) help to keep your heart steadfast on the Gospel message? Meditation? Prayer? Reflecting on a good book? A beautiful poem? What feeds you and leads your feet to prophetic non-violent witness of the Gospel?

In the first reading, Joyce Rupp provides meaningful, prayerful practices in one brief passage. Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude is good for you; it creates a biochemical shift in the body. The brain responds to positive input and sends life-enhancing messages to every cell.”


Emerging scientific theories are confirming what mystics have known – we are one – not just all human beings, but all creation, the entire universe. So when we send out those grateful prayers, or any prayers, we are affecting not only ourselves but others as well. We are creating a less chaotic world.

What are your thoughts about the readings?


EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future.

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.

May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. 

United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise: 
Holy Holy Holy... sung by Karen Drucker
https://youtu.be/J3r-3TFB6wI

We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world, we pray for peace in their name.

And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on - this great blossoming that is meant to go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name.

And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this,
For the animals that have no voice in this,
For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this,
For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their name.


We thank you for our brother, Jesus who showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.

We invoke Your Spirit upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.

When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat, this is my very self. 

Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. 


Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love. We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation. 


We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

For it is through learning to live as he lived, and why he lived, and for whom he lived, moving us to worship you truly, at this time and all time and in all ways. AMEN!

Let us pray as Jesus taught us:

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 (Miriam Therese Winter) 

May the Peace of the Holy One be with each of you. 

Peace Song: Blessing Song byJan Phillips 
https://youtu.be/RTVrbEbjqZ8


Communion

This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.


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.

Communion Song: Song of Thanksgiving by the Dameans
https://youtu.be/gUw2YkYiCko



BLESSING

May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion penetrate us, that we may penetrate the numbness that continues our society’s injustices. May we know that we are loved.
May we continue to be the face of the Holy One to each other and may we be a blessing in our time! Amen.

Closing Song: May the Longtime Sun by Sara Thomsen
https://youtu.be/cgZ4fUyxF8U 


SOA Watch Liturgy Led by Women Priests Katy Zatsick ARCWP and Diane Dougherty ARCWP, Music by Charlie King, 30th Anniversary of Efforts to Close School of Americas at Ft. Benning, GA.

"Father Roy Bourgeois started the first protest in 1989 after a massacre at The University of Central America in El Salvador. Bourgeois says the massacre was lead by officers trained at the former school of the Americas.After the school closed, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC was born.
Father Bourgeois does not distinguish from WHINSEC. He says it was an issue then and it continues to be an issue now and they are protesting to get the school closed down.
Father Bourgeois visited El Salvador to see how the people live first hand.
“When we were there we knew if we were living like the people here with our children. If we stay we die. So they’re seeking life as we would. They want to survive and that’s why so many of them are forced out of there countries in Latin America with a connection to what’s going on here,” Bourgeois said."
https://www.wrbl.com/news/soa-watch-protest-returns-to-fort-benning-gate-columbus-police-unsure-how-many-will-show-up/
SOA Vigil Liturgy Led by Katy Zatsick ARCWP, Diane Dougherty ARCWP and Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP (not in photo)


Charlie King - provided music 








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SOA Watch Sunday Liturgy, Saturday, November 16, 2019 - Columbus, GA: Called to be Justice-Makers (Liturgy written by Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP)

Opening Song

(Now we’ll read Sunday’s Gospel and the Writings of Salvadoran martyr Ignacio Ellacuria twice.  After the first time, we’ll go around and share a word or phrase from either that touches our heart. Then, the second time around, each person shares why the word or phrase was important.
This is the way of the communities in El Salvador, where the prayer never ends until everyone speaks because of belief that God is speaking through each person to the community.

Gospel: Luke 21: 5-19  (Inclusive Bible)
Some disciples were speaking of how the temple was adorned with precious stones and votive offerings. Jesus said, “You see all these things?  The day will come when one stone won’t be left on top of another-everything will be torn down.”
They asked. “When will this happen Rabbi? And what will be the sign that it’s about to happen?”
Jesus said, “Take care not to be misled. Many will come in my name saying, “I am the One,” and “The time is at hand.” Don’t follow them. And don’t be perturbed when you hear of wars and insurrections. These things must happen first, but the end doesn’t follow immediately.”
Then he said to them: “Nation shall rise against nation, and empire against empire. There will be great earthquakes, plagues, and famines in various places-and, in the sky there will be frightening omens and great signs. But before any of this, they’ll arrest you and persecute you, bringing you to trial before rulers and governors.  And it will all be because of my name-this will be your opportunity to give your testimony. So make up your minds not to worry about your defense beforehand, for I’ll give you the words, and a wisdom that none of your adversaries can take exception to or contradict.
Even your parents will betray you, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends, and some will be put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, yet not a hair on your head will be harmed. By patient endurance, you’ll save your lives.

Reading:
Ignacio Ellacuria, philosopher and rector of the University of Central America in San Salvador, was one of the key intellectual authors of  liberation theology.  On November 16, 1989, he and other members of the Jesuit community of the University were massacred by Salvadoran army troops. Here are three of his quotes.

The Writings of Ignacio Ellacuria:

Do everything possible so that liberty is victorious over oppression, justice over injustice, love over hate…

Every human being is called to solidarity in a world battling between life and death…

Always remember that there is no conversion to God if there is no conversion to the oppressed.

Prayers of the Faithful: What do we pray for? We pray…

Celebration of Eucharist
On the night before he died, Jesus met with his friends, broke bread and giving thanks, blessed it. Then he shared it with them saying, This bread is me. This bread is you. Serve justice.
In the same way, he took the cup, poured the wine and giving thanks, blessed it. Then he shared it with them saying, This is the wine of new life. Drink! I am with you always.

Communion Song – Closing Song














Saturday, November 16, 2019

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, 33rd Sunday in Extraordinary Time, Presiders Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Patricia MacMillan, Music Minister: Linda Lee Miska, Lectors: Cheryl Brandi and Mary Al Gagnon



Theme: Be fearless in testifying to the Gospel, trust Christ to speak and act through you in disruptive times.

Welcome and Greeting

Presider 2: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome to share Eucharist at the Banquet Table. We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers. We invite sharing at the homily that is related to our readings and respectful, as well as the prayers of the community Everyone prays the words of Consecration in the Eucharistic Prayer. We welcome our newcomers at the announcement time after Communion.  All are invited to join us for supper after liturgy.

Opening Song: We Are Called by David Haas #617, vs. 2-3

Communal Reconciliation Rite

Presider1: We pause now to remember the times we have not born fruit in our fearless testimony and actions to the Gospel. Recall one missed opportunity, one imperfection, one challenging moment when things have gone wrong. Now imagine this situation in the light of the Christ Presence creating new possibilities where forgiveness and healing can occur. (Instrumental music plays softly in this time of reflection.)
Presider1: Please extend arm over community)
All:  We open ourselves to the power of the Christ Presence enabling us to forgive ourselves and others  with a largeness of soul that frees and empowers us to be loving and without fear no matter what is happening in our world.

Gloria: Glory to God glory, o praise God alleluia, glory to God, glory, o praise the name of our God.

Opening Prayer
Presider 2: Holy One, you reveal your presence as the One who gives us courage in times of turmoil. We embrace the imperfections and the holy messes in our lives. We trust that you will speak and act through us as we live the Gospel without fear in the chaos of our Church and world today.  

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading: Malachi 3:19-20
Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven when all the proud and all evil doers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
Leaving them neither root or branch, says the Holy One.
But for you, will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.
These are the inspired words of the prophet Malachi, and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Responsorial Psalm: 98 Adapted from Nan Merrill
Response: Sing to God a brand new song.

By the strength of Your Indwelling Presence,
We, too, are called to do great things.
We are set free through Love’s forgiveness and truth.
All the ends of the earth have seen the glory of Love’s eternal flame.
Refrain: Sing to God a brand new song.

Make a joyful noise to the Beloved,
all the earth.
Break forth into grateful song,
And sing praise.
Yes, sing songs of praise, extolling Love’s way;
Lift up your hearts with gratitude and joy.
Refrain: Sing to God a brand new song.

Let the waters clap their hands;
let the hills ring out with joy.
Before the beloved who radiates love to all the earth;
For love reigns over the world with truth and justice
Bringing order and balance to all creation.
Refrain: Sing to God a brand new song.


Second Reading:  A Reading from Abiding Word by Barbara Reid
The reverie of the onlookers in today’s gospel is broken suddenly by Jesus’ declaration that not one stone would be left upon another. As a Jewish reformer, Jesus frequently spoke and acted in ways that called into question religious structures, both external and internal, that impeded right relationship with God and one another. But for any Jew, the destruction of the temple by Roman imperial forces would provoke a severe crisis. Everything would have to be resignified. The temple symbolized their connection with God and with their fellow believers. Luke’s gospel, of course, was written some fifteen years after the temple had been razed. We can imagine the struggles of the Jewish Christian members of the Lukan community who had to redefine their Jewishness, not only in the absence of their temple, but also as members of a mixed community of Gentile and Jewish followers of Jesus…In today’s gospel there is a progression as the discussion moves from the destruction of the temple to cataclysmic happenings that wreck destruction on the earth and among peoples, and finally to threats against one’s life. Jesus’ audience does not ask if such will happen. Rather they ask when it will come about and if they will have advance warning. Jesus never answers those questions. Instead directs his listeners how to respond to these crises. If they are following him then they too will say and do things that threaten some of the political and religious structures of their day. Any who claim his name will surely experience the same kind of fury that was directed at him for doing such things.
These are the inspired words of scripture scholar, Barbara Reid, and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Gospel Acclamation: Spirit of the Living God by Michael Crawford

Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us
Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us.
Melt us, mold us
Fill us, use us
Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us.



Gospel: Luke 21:5-19
One day people were standing around talking about the that theTemple, remarking how beautiful it was, the splendor of its stonework and memorial gifts. Jesus said, “ All this you’re admiring so much- the time is coming when every stone in the building will end up in a heap of rubble.”

They asked him, “Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it’s about to take place?”

He said. “watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, “I’m the One,’ or, “the end is near.” Don’t fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.”

He went on, “Nation will fight nation and ruler fight rule, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You’s think at times that the very sky is falling.
“But before any of this happens, they’ll arrest you, hunt you down and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse., dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’ll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.

“You’ll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives and friends. Some of you will be killed. There’s no telling who hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul- even the hairs of your Head!- is in my care, nothing of you will be lost. Staying with it- that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, you’ll be saved.”

These are the inspired words of Luke, disciple of Jesus, and we affirm them by saying, Amen. (Translation from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson)

Gospel Acclamation: Spirit of the Living God by Michael Crawford (repeat)



Homily Starter: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Disruptive events can be divine encounters. When we face shocking headline news, financial crisis, tragic loss, family disagreements, unpleasant conflicts,  we can discover something new about God and ourselves. When these unexpected challenges occur, they can be invitations to grow in trust in God and in love with one another.

This is the situation in today’s Gospel. The author of Luke writes for a community in turmoil. The temple had been destroyed in 70AD. The ground beneath their feet is shaking as they face upheaval and persecution for following the Way of Jesus. Scripture scholar Dominic Crossan describes this time of upheaval as one of great uncertainty. The future of Christianity is changing from Jewish Christianity to Roman Christianity. The Gospel of Luke portrays the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus and his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. In Acts, Luke describes the outpouring of the Spirit upon the followers of Jesus as the  headquarters of Christianity moves from Jerusalem to Rome.

During this disruptive time of turmoil, the disciples are seized and persecuted because of their witness to the Way of Jesus. In the Gospel, Jesus assures his followers not to be afraid because they will be given the words and wisdom they need. He affirms that God’s power will speak through the disciples and guide them to courageous action on behalf of the kindom.

So, my sisters and brothers, Jesus’ words encourage us that disruptive times can be grace-laden times of divine encounter.  We have divine power within us that enlightens our minds, softens our hearts and strengthens our determination to serve others. Each of us and all of us together are the Christ Presence in our world.  The love and wisdom of the Holy One leads us on the path to healing, hope and renewal - no matter what turmoil or holy messes we face in our communities, church or world. 

Homily sharing:
Jesus encouraged his listeners to trust that God will give us the wisdom and courage to live the Gospels in turbulent times. Share one example of divine power at work in our community, church or world. 

Statement of Faith

Presider 2: Let us pray together our Statement of Faith
All:We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding,
the heart of all that has ever existed,
that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Word,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of divine love,
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace in the world.

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine kin-dom is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.

Prayers of The Community

Presider 1: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. 
Our response is: Holy One, You hear us.

At the end of prayers:
Presider 2: We pray for these and all unspoken concerns. Amen.


Procession of Gifts and Song

Blest are They by David Haas #631

(Presiders lift up the bread and wine)
Presider 1: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we respond to your call to use our gifts in loving service to our sisters and brothers.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Presider 2: All are welcome to join us around the table.

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Presider 1: God is within you, blessing the world through you.
All: And also within you. 
Presider: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up in the Holy One. 

Presider2: O Holy One, we trust in your power to speak and act through us in times of crisis that shake our world. We will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in all holy messes and our hands reaching out in loving service to our sisters and brothers. With  all believers who have gone before us, we lift up our hearts and sing:

All: We are holy, holy, holy by Karen Drucker 

Voice 1: Holy One, we celebrate the life of your son and our brother, Jesus. He lived his life and walked forward to his death knowing that you were loving him. We testify to the power of God who speaks and acts through us in times of crisis.

Voice 2: We pray for compassion for all human beings, to feel empathy and love for everyone, especially the stranger and all those who are on the margins and who need our tender care. We pray  for courage to be like Jesus who challenged religious  and civic authorities by his manner of living and loving all who came to him.

Voice 3: . Opening ourselves up to your Spirit, we are confident in your power speaking and acting through us in promoting  the coming of the kindom of truth and love in our world. We arise trusting you to help us overcome fear and rejection in times of upheaval as we work tirelessly for justice and equality in our world.  

All: On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the people closest to him. Like the least of household servants, he washed their feet, so that they would re-member him.

Presider 1: (lifts bread as community prays the following:)

All: When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying: 
Take and eat of the Bread of Life 
Given to strengthen you  
Whenever you remember me like this  
I am among you. (pause) 

Presider 2: (lifts the cup as community prays the following:)
All: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace saying: 
Take and drink of the covenant 
Made new again through my life in you. 
Whenever you remember me like this, 
I am among you.  (pause)

All: Let us share this bread and cup, 
Christ dies, Christ rises and Christ comes again and again.

Voice 4: We are called to do everything Jesus did, to be the living presence of a love that does justice, of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates laughter, of a light that illumines right choices and confronts the darkness of every injustice and inequity.

All: So, we trust you, O Holy One, to continue to share with us your Spirit, the Spirit that filled Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, his loving and healing all honor and glory is yours forever and ever. 

All sing: Amen.

Presider 1: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
All: Our Father and Mother ….
Sign of Peace

Presider 2: Let us hold hands and sing “Peace is flowing like a River” as we pray for peace and justice to spread through our world.

Prayer for the Breaking of Bread
Presider 1:  Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread:
(Presiders break the bread)
All: O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.  We will live justly.
O God of Compassion, You call us to be Your presence in the world.  We will love tenderly.
O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power.  We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Presider 2: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other. All are welcome to the Feast.

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.

Communion Song: Instrumental and
Community Song: Be Not Afraid by Bob Dufford # 432

Presider 1: Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions and Announcements
Blessing
Presider 2:  Let us raise our hands and bless each other.
All: May you be blessed with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.
May you seek truth boldly and love deeply within your heart.
May you continue to be the face of the Holy One to all you meet. 
May your name be a blessing in our time.

Closing Song: #414 Sing a New Church by Michelle Sherliza and Delores Dufner
 (Adapted by Bridget Mary from Liturgy written by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck.)