Sunday, March 3, 2019

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Sunday Liturgy - March 3, 2013, Presiders: Debra Trees, ARCWP, and Julie Corron, ARCWP


Debra Trees, ARCWP, and Julie Corron, ARCWP, led the Upper Room Liturgy for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. Debra’s homily reflection is below the readings.

This morning we reflect on integrity, integrity in our speech and also in our actions. Do our words reflect the contents of our hearts? Do our actions match our words?

We will begin with our peace meditation. Please join us in singing Loving Kindness by Karen Drucker.
 First Reading: A Reading from the Book of Sirach
(Sirach, 27:4-7)

Sift the grain and the husks come up;
so too the faults of people when they speak up.
Just as the potters work is tested in the kiln,
so too are we tested when we open our mouths.
Trees in the orchard are judged by the quality of their fruit;
our character is tested by the quality of our words.
Don’t praise anyone before you hear them in a discussion
for this is the test of a person.
These are the inspired words from the writings of Sirach, and the community affirms them by saying: AMEN.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Second Reading: A reading from the Gospel of Luke
(Lk 6:39-45)

Jesus told his disciples a parable,
"Can a blind person act as guide to another who is blind?
Won’t they both fall into a ditch?
The student is not above the teacher;
But all student’s will, once they are fully trained,
be on a par with their teacher.
How can you look at the splinter in another person’s eye,
yet miss the plank in your own?
How can you say to another,
Let me remove the splinter from your eye,
But fail to see the board lodged in your own?
Hypocrite, remove the board from your own eye first;
then you will see clearly enough
to remove the splinter from the eye of another.

"A good tree doesn’t bear bad fruit,
any more than a bad tree produces good fruit.
Each tree is known by its yield.
Figs are not taken from thorn bushes,
or grapes from briars.
Good people produce goodness from the good they’ve stored up in their hearts,
evil people produce evil from the evil stored up in their hearts. People speak from the fullness of the hearts.”

These are the inspired words from the writings of Luke, and the community affirms them by saying: AMEN.

Debra Trees’ Homily Reflection

Today, we continue with the readings of Ordinary Time, the 8th Sunday, Year C. They follow Luke’s gospel, and Jesus’s use of parables to teach all of the people who are following him, including the poorest of the poor and the powerful ones.  Jesus’s own disciples, most likely women and men who ate with him, walked with him, and lived with him, all heard these same stories and further explanation when they were in private repose. The genius of Jesus shows us the meaning can change, depending on who is the target audience.

Scholars of the Jesus Seminar place some of these words of Jesus in positive range of being his own sayings; others are familiar teachings to his time. One thing that strikes me is the contemporary feel for what he says.  Is that because Jesus is teaching something full of wisdom then and now, or because we humans have not changed in 2000 years?

Barbara Reid in Abiding Word, Sunday Reflections for Year C, notes that “These readings today prompt us to reflect on the care that is needed in speaking.”  She notes that the “inner disposition is revealed, particularly through adversity.” And Dianne Bergant in Preaching the New Lectionary remarks that “actions flow out of the disposition of one’s heart… Where there is congruity, there is integrity; where it is absent, there is hypocrisy.”

Jesus is all about this concept of “action alignment”. What he knows, what he thinks, what he says and what he does are all from the heart, and that is not always easy to follow. There are consequences. Being fired in the kiln shows our true mettle and strengthens us or breaks us, only to be forged again.

Jesus trains his followers to see themselves in this process, as helpers, as leaders, and as examples of heart-felt creating in their own lives. Looking for fault is not the same as helping to make a better life. Understanding our roots in love, our actions will show forth the light of love in all we do.

What are we offering to our life, our experience and our world? Every present moment, as long as our creations in word and deed come from a good and loving heart, we are offering love. And since God is Love, we are mirroring God. It is our choice.

My friends, What did you hear?  What will you do about it?  What will it cost you?

Communion Reflection: Be Not Afraid  by Bob Dufford and sung by John Michael Talbot

Closing Song: Who Will Speak if You Don’t by Marty Haugen

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