Monday, February 25, 2019

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community , 7th Sunday in Extraordinary Time February23,2019 Presiders: Elena Garcia ARCWP and Pat McMillan MMOJ Music Ministry: Linda Lee


Theme: Understanding and Peace

Opening Hymn: “We Are Called” #628 all verses, (using God for Lord)

Opening Prayer
Presider:  We begin our liturgy in the name of God, the Source of all being, and of the Son, eternal Word, and of the Holy Spirit, Sofia Wisdom.  ALL: Amen

Presider:  Gracious and Gifting God, may we be aware of your presence with us, as we gather once again in this MMOJ community, much like the first followers of Jesus, after the Resurrection.
May our eyes, ears and hearts be open to your truth in the words and stories we will share this day. May we be nourished by this simple meal of bread and wine to stand tall with conviction and courage to be keys that open the way to all who desire to live in union with You.
May it be so.  ALL: Amen

Community Reconciliation  (Brief Pause for reflection.)
Presider:  Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets are hidden. We ask you to send us your Spirit so that we may live more fully according to your will.

Presider: Christ Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in understanding, compassion and caring for ourselves, all of humanity and for our planet earth. We ask for your forgiveness for our failure to extend compassion, understanding and caring to all your children, our brothers and sisters regardless of beliefs, nationalities, races and actions, for we are all worthy to be called your sacred people.

ALL: (with an outstretched arm):      

God, our Father and Mother of Compassion, through Jesus’ life, he revealed that nothing can separate us from your unconditional love. He sent the Holy Spirit who gives us the understanding, willingness and courage to love one another. We ask you to grant us the grace of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn- forgive each other our failures to care for one another and for our earth. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our brother and of the Holy Spirit Sofia, our healer and comforter.  Amen.

Glory to God, glory, O praise God, alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God. 

Liturgy of the Word
First reading:
A reading from: “An invitation to the Spiritual Journey “

There are many ways to become open to our Divine source so that we may be healed. There is life itself. Clearly the Divine Mystery can touch us in people, in nature, in music, in art…… Whatever spiritual disciplines we undertake, they are no band aid. The heavy and stubborn patterns which overlay our souls don’t magically go away. Spiritual practice is essential, not for its own sake, but to link us up to God and to God’s health which lives at the center of each of us. There is no way we can get away from God’s love or away from the deep-seated health. We have resources available to us that are mightier than all the powers of the world, even that in us which is resistant to the light and the best interest of our own souls. What is needful is not perfect spiritual practice but our willingness to let God’s gift of deep health come out of its hiding place and become the operative principle of our lives.

This reading was taken from “An Invitation to the Spiritual Journey” written by John P. Gorsuch

And we all say:  Thanks be to God
       ALL: Thanks be to God
Psalm 103  ALL: Bless the Beloved O my soul, and all that is within me, Bless God’s Holy Name
Psalm 103 as interpreted by Nan Merrill

Response: Bless the Beloved, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God’s Holy Name   
Through You comes peace and justice for all who are oppressed.
You make known the pathway of truth and guide us on the Way.

Response: Bless………

For You understand us, requiting us not according to our ignorance and error.
As far as the heavens are high above the earth. So great is your loving response toward those who are humble.
Response: Bless………

As parents are concerned for their children, so You come to those who reach out in faith.
For our ways are known, our weaknesses seen with compassion.
Response: Bless………

The Beloved’s home is in our hearts, as we discover in the Silence. Bless the Beloved,
O you angels, you faith-filled ones who hear the Word, following the Voice of Love.
Bless the Beloved all you people, those who abandon themselves into Love’s hands!
Response: Bless……….

2nd Reading: 
A reading from 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

The first Adam, as scripture says, “became a living soul,” but

 the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, the

natural comes first, not the spiritual, after that comes the

spiritual. The first, being from the earth, is earthly by nature;

 the second is from heaven. As this earthly one was, so are we

 of the earth; and as the One from heaven is, so are we in

 heaven. And we, who have been modeled on the earthly,

 likewise will be modeled on the One from heaven.

This is the word of God as written by Paul to the Corinthians.

And we all say: Thanks be to God

Gospel acclamation:                    ALL: Alleluia (Celtic version)

Gospel: Luke 6: 27-38

Homily Starter: 

Pat MacMillan

Today, I’d like to talk about creating the Beloved Community.   

Bless the Beloved, O my soul, and remember the goodness of Love.
Through You comes peace and justice for all who are oppressed.
You make known the pathway of truth and guide us on the Way.

 John 4:7-8 says Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
 Who are the beloved?  We are the Beloved of God.  Through God’s love we are asked to love one another as ourselves and ensure that what God has given us is shared with our brothers and sisters equally and without bias.

As many of you know over the last several weeks, the Venice Interfaith Community Association, of which I am a member, has been sponsoring a series of lectures on American Racism with the goal of creating the Beloved Community, God’s Kin-dom here on earth.

You know when VICA first started discussing and planning this series, I didn’t think racism was an issue for me.  Maybe you’re thinking that right now. I know most of you and don’t believe any of you support racism. But the question isn’t, “are we racist” the question is “what can we do about racism?”

For most of us, activists, especially those who grew up in the 60’s, we went to marches and rallies.  Back then, we looked to the leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, and other black organizations to identify the issues and plan the events.  But times have changed; racism isn’t as overt as it once was.  Racism today is subtle, no more signs over the water fountains or places of employment “For Whites Only, “Colored Need Not Apply.  Systemic racism has been carefully crafted by white people and it affects our education system, judicial system, financial system, healthcare system, housing, hiring practices and on and on.  Let’s just look at a few.
 Public school funding in the United States comes from federal, state, and local sources, nearly half of those funds come from local property taxes, which creates large funding differences between wealthy and impoverished communities. If education resources were allocated according to student needs, a quality and equitable education would be provided to every student.  I cannot stress how fundamental a good education is to the health and success of every human being and every society.  This issue alone affects all of the others. If we could chip away at this issue we could potentially reduce many systemic problems especially those in the judicial system.  Let’s talk about the judicial system; America is home to five percent of the world’s population and nearly 25 percent of all prisoners. In 2015, African Americans and Hispanics made up approximately 32% of the US population and 56% of all incarcerated people. This is morally wrong and not sustainable. The history of discrimination in the financial system goes back to the birth of this nation.  We don’t have time to talk about all of the other areas like the healthcare industry, housing, employment, voting access, but we see and hear about these practices every day.

I’d like to read a piece from the American author and poet, Scott Woods
The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that.  Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not.  Racism is an insidious cultural disease.  It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you.  Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation.  Privilege is another.  Access is another. Ignorance is another.  Apathy is another.  And so on.  So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into.  It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe.  It’s not a cold that you can get over.  There is no anti-racist certification class.  It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world.  It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it.  I know its hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.

Where do we start? Dr. Catherine Meeks, a Distinguished Professor from Wesleyan College and the Diocese of Atlanta chair of the Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism, she tells us, it is the process of listening, discovering, and learning together that helps to mitigate lingering trauma and to empower people to begin creating a new story together.
So my questions are:
How can we learn to see the world through the lens of a person of color?

How can we listen to their voices ?

The Good News attributed to Luke 6

Jesus said to his disciples: Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit does that do you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. If you do good only to those who do good to you, what credit does that do you? Even  ‘sinner’ do as much. If you lend to those you expect to repay you, what credit does that do you Even  ‘sinners’ lend to other  ‘sinners’ expecting to be repaid in full. Love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting repayment, and your reward will be great. You’ll rightly be called children of the Most High, since God is good even to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be compassionate, as your loving God is compassionate. Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Pardon and you’ll be pardoned. Give and it will be given to you a full measure- packed down, shaken together and running over- will be poured into your lap. For the amount you measure out is the amount you’ll be given back. ”

This is the Word of God as found in the Gospel attributed to Mark. 
And we all say: Amen

                  ALL: Glory and praise to our brother Jesus the Christ
Homily Starter/ Community Reflections

Profession of Faith
ALL:  We believe in you O God, Creator of the universe, whose divinity infuses all that exists, making everything sacred.  Jesus, we believe in You, messenger of the Divine Word, the bringer of healing and the heart of Compassion. We believe in you Holy Spirit, the breath of our innermost life, and the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our spirits grow weary in our journeys. We believe that You are here with us today in this gathering, calling us to be a loving and just people. We believe the poor have a priority in your plans and we are called to do our best to serve them in your name. We believe you are offering us freedom and grace to become our true selves, so that we can turn from false, worldly securities and look to You for our true  identity as your children  We believe that as You were anointed by God to do God’s will, through our baptism, we too are called to be a sign of God’s Kingdom on earth where we are all sisters and brothers. Amen

Prayers of the Community
Presider:  We are a people of faith. We believe in the power of prayer. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each one of us. And so we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious Creator. 
Presider: We are one in you and all that we do affects the whole.
All: Make us aware of our power to seed the world with good or ill by every thought, word and deed.                                     Compassionate God hear our prayer.

Presider: Our hearts are torn by the realization of the sufferings of others.
All: Grant that we may never be a stumbling block to others or a culpable cause of their pain.
Compassionate God hear our prayer

Presider: Jesus you chose laborers and tax collectors to be your companions.
All: Preserve us from deciding what people are by what they do, and let us see the worth of every person and the value in every kind of work.
Compassionate God hear our prayer

Presider: Bless those who have lost their life companion through death or divorce.
All: Let the people of God be a saving support and comfort to them.
Compassionate God hear our prayer

Presider: And what other concerns do we bring before God?   (After each intercession please respond) Compassionate God, hear our prayers

Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. We ask You to strengthen us in our concern for one another here and throughout the world. We ask You to support us in our endeavors for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote
cultures of peace without violence in our world. We ask this in the name of Jesus and Holy Spirit Wisdom. All: Amen

Offertory Procession/Song
“Blest Are They” # 631 – all verses

Preparation of the Gifts
Presider: Blessed are You, God of all 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 all 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.

Gathering of the Gifts
Presider: Our brother Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join Him at his family table. Everyone is welcome to share in this meal.
(The whole community is invited to gather around God’s family table)

ALL: Loving and caring God, we, your people are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are one with all beings in the community of creation and with all those who share your gift of compassion, especially toward those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. May we strife to live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel of our brother Jesus, supported by the wisdom that directed him and by the Wisdom of the Spirit who supports us. Amen.

Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
ALL: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.

Presider: Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at the family table.
ALL: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all of creation.

Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.
ALL: We lift them up to the Holy One who lives in us and loves other through us.

Presider: God dwells in each one of us.           ALL: Namaste!

Eucharistic Prayer
Presider: Ever present and always caring God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.  In you we live and move and have our being.  Your Spirit dwelling in us gives us the assurance of unending peace and joy with you. That Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven.  And so we sing in thankful praise:
All (sing): We are Holy, Holy, Holy…(3x)  You are Holy, I am Holy, We are Holy…

Voice: We thank you, God, for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. Through him, you breathe life into us.  He was moved by his vision of your constant presence in everyone, everywhere he went.  He revealed you in everything he did in his life well lived.  And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may die.

Voice: When his time on earth had come, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  And then, providing an example of this insight for the understanding of ages to come, he opened wide his arms and died.  Then the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, showed us that life is eternal and love is immortal.  Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.

All: O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts that we brought from your fields and placed on our table – this simple wheat and wine.  May she make them holy so that they will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.

(With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.)   We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal.  And it was at that supper that Jesus took the bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you and eat it. This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world.  Do this in memory of me. [Pause]

In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this, all of you, and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  Do this in memory of me.

Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread.  The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.
All:  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives in us and through us in the world today.

Voice: In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this living-giving bread and this saving cup.  May all who will share in this sacred meal be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.  And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus move as freely in our lives as She did in that of Jesus.

Voice:  God of blessing and peace, we remember your church throughout the world; help us grow in love, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and your whole family everywhere – especially those who live on the margins of church and society.  We remember the victims of recent floods and earthquakes, and those struggling to reconstruct their homes and lives from these devastating events.  We remember the communion of saints both living and
dead, who touched our lives and left footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially… (pause to mention names).

All:  Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever… and let everyone sing… Great Amen (3X)
All (holding hands): Our Father and Mother, who is in heaven, blessed is your name...

All:  God, we have just prayed that your kingdom may come among us.  Grant that we can open our ears to hear it, our hands to serve it, and our hearts to make it real.  Amen.

The Sign of Peace
 Presider:  Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.”  Look on the faith of those gathered here today and …

All:  …grant us that peace.  O Loving God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.  Amen.

Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another as we join hands in a circle of love and sing:  
“Let there be peace on earth” #532 using the following substitutions…(with God as creator, family all are we...  and “With every breathe I take, let this be…”)

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for peace and justice.  We will live justly.

Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of understanding and compassion, forgiveness and healing everywhere in your name.  We will love tenderly.

Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to speak truth to power.  We will walk humbly with you.

Pre-Communion Prayer
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 the sacred banquet of love.

Presider:  Jesus, 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.  All:  We are the Body of Christ.

All Sing:  God prepare me, to be your Sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary for you. 3x

Distribution of Bread and Wine
“You are the Body of Christ.”   “You are the blood of Christ.”

Communion Song:  Instrumental and moment of silence

After Communion Song
“We Are Many Parts” # 585 - All verses

Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions, Announcements

Final Blessing
(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)

Presiders:  As we go forth from this sacred space, let us purposefully look with new eyes and hearts to recognize Christ within all who we meet.  Let our service continue.
All: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!

Closing Hymn
“Sing a New Church” # 413 – Verses 1,4,5

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