Theme: “…and let it begin with me.”
Welcome and Gathering Song: “Canticle of the Sun” #422 (verses 2, 3, 5)
All: God of life, wholeness and holiness, you who direct all creation to its fulfillment in Jesus, the Cosmic Christ – help us to open our hearts to the message of the Gospel so that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice may guide our lives. Loving God, we pray that all world leaders, especially, acknowledge and practice the wisdom that you have given everyone so that we can all live together in the peace of Jesus and that we all can care for and protect our planet Earth.
Loving God, bless all of us gathered here and all those of our community who are not with us today. We ask this of you, our brother Jesus, and our sister Sophia. Amen.
Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness
Presider: Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden.
All: For all of us, our desire is to be continually conscious of your awareness of thoughts and actions in our own lives. For each of us, we ask for forgiveness from one another for our hurtful words and actions, and we do this before bringing our gifts to your altar, following the teaching of Jesus.
Presider: We ask you to send your Spirit to each us so that we may live more fully according to your will and give thanks that you have called us to be your chosen people.
All: (with an outstretched arm): God, our Father and Mother, help us to hear Wisdom’s messages, to faithfully understand them, and to act upon their compassion with all our brothers and sisters everywhere. Merciful God, teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn- learn to forgive our own failures to care for one another and for our planet Earth. We ask this of you in the names of Jesus, our brother and of the Holy Spirit, our healer and comforter. Amen.
Glory to God
All: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all God’s people on earth. Creator God, heart of the universe, we thank you for the breath of the Spirit that sustains everything that exists, everywhere in the cosmos. Through the example and teachings of Jesus, you gave us the grace to know that you are always among us – and that we can experience your presence in our brothers and sisters. We give you glory and praise through Jesus Christ, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First reading Acts: 3: 1-12
One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple area for itrs hour of prayer. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth who, every day, was carried to the temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg for monies from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he begged them for some alms. Peter, with John at his side, looked at him straight in the eye and said, “Look at the two of us.” The poor lame man looked up, expecting to get something from them.
Peter said to him: “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have, I give to you…”In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I tell you to get up and walk!” Then Peter took the man by his right hand and helped him up. Immediately, the man’s feet and ankles became firm and strong; he leaped to his feet and started walking, praising God.
Then the man went into the Temple with Peter and John. Everyone there saw him walking around without any trouble. They recognized him as the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate and they were astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing, and many ran over to see them. The man, crippled from birth, now threw his arms around Peter and John. He was so filled with joy and thanksgiving at what had happened to him.
When Peter saw the people, he addressed them, “Fellow Israelites why are you surprised at this, and why do you look so intently at us? Do you think that it was by our own power or piety that we made this man walk? It was “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth” that he is walking.
The Acts is brought to us as a sequel to the Book of Luke, by the same author, focusing on the Holy Spirit that inspired the life of Jesus in his time on earth and does ours as well. And we express out thanks by sayingAll: Thanks be to God.
Psalm 118: Responsorial: Give thanks to our God who is good, whose love is everlasting.
Second reading: Acts 5: 12-16.
All: Glory and thanks to our God.
The second reading is taken from the Acts of The Apostles, as well
Acts 5: 12 – 16
Through the hands of the apostles, many wonderful things were being performed among the people who gathered together in Solomon’s Portico. More and more than ever, believers, women and men in great numbers, were continually adding to the sizes of the groups– to the extent that people even carried their sick relatives and friends into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, in the hope that when Peter passed by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them. Crowds from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered too, bringing their sick people and those who were troubled by unclean spirits… and they were all cured.
And in this piece we are told more about the work of the Holy Spirit in the first century, here through Peter, and as it will continue through the twenty first century, though us. To this, we say:
Amen, let it be so
All: Glory and thanks to our God.
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia
Gospel: John 20: 19-29.
Later, on the same day that Mary Magdalene had gone to the tomb and saw Jesus, the disciples gathered together, but – fearful of the Temple authorities – they had locked all the doors in the house. Then Jesus came and, standing in their midst, said “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples, seeing Jesus with their own eyes, were filled with joy. Jesus then repeated what he had said: “Peace be with you. As Abba God has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he took a deep breath and breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
It happened that Thomas (nicknamed “Didymus” or “Twin”), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him: “We have seen Jesus!” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
A week later, the disciples were once more together in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came through them again. And as before, he stood in the midst of the disciples and said “Peace be with you.” Then Jesus focused his attention on Thomas and said “Put your finger here and examine my hands. Then take your hand and put it into my side. And do not be unbelieving, but believe!” Then Thomas answered Jesus and said to him: “You, Jesus, are here; my God is here!”
And Jesus said to him: “So, have you come to believe because you have actually seen me with your own eyes? Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without having seen me.”
This is the word of God as recorded for us by the apostle John. And for this inspirational message, we say:
Thanks be to God
Shared Homily/Community Reflection
Profession of Faith
All: We believe in the Sacred Mystery that is beyond all definition and understanding. The creator and heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that will exist in this ever-expanding universe.
We believe in Jesus of Nazareth, the human Jesus, the Divine Presence of God on earth, who carried the message of God’s Word and who, through the example of his life, showed us how we could heal ourselves and others. He is the heart of God’s boundless compassion. It is through him that we have become a new people. We are here in this place and this time to share his message among ourselves and to others…the truth that we are all holy, that we were born holy, and that we shall be holy forevermore.
We believe in the Spirit, the breath of God in the cosmos who inspires our innermost life. She brings the Divine Presence to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives. And She is the one who helps us reach deeply within ourselves so that we can use the graces that will bring us healing and energy when our spirit may grow weary.
And we believe that God’s kin-dom is here and now, stretched out all around us for those with eyes to see it, minds to understand it, hearts to receive it, and hands to make it known to everyone.
We say: Amen to courage, to hope, and to truth. We say: Amen to the partnership and equality of all people of different genders, races, and faiths. We believe in a world of justice and peace for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this, we surely believe.
Prayers of the Community
Presider: We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We are always mindful of God’s unconditional love and care that is embedded in each one of us. And so, we bring the needs of people - throughout the world - to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, respond: Compassionate God, bless our prayers.
Presider: that those bound by neglect and violence will receive care and find peace, we pray. R.
Presider: that those suffering from sickness or hurtful acts may find healing and consolation… R
Presider: and for whom or what else do we pray at this time? Other intentions followed by R.
Presider: We hold these and all our unspoken intention in our hearts, we certainly pray.
Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. We ask you to strengthen us in our caring for one another and in our works for justice, equality, and peace in a world without violence. We also ask you for your grace that we may grow in our concern and guardianship of the environment. As always, we make this prayer in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.
Offertory Procession Song: “Morning has Broken” # 638 (all verses)
Preparation of the Gifts
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, food from the grain that the earth has given and human hands have made. 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, beverage that human hands have made from the fruit of the vine. It will become for us our spiritual drink.
All: Blessed be God forever.
Gathering of the Gifted
Presider: Jesus, who has sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his family table. Everyone is welcome around our family table. (Invite everyone to join around the altar.)
Presider: Gracious God, you have set the banquet table and have invited all of us to a feast of unending delight.
All: Here we all celebrate your divine love beyond what all words could ever describe. Your divine compassion connects us to the young and the old, to those who may be seen to be the least and the last, and to everyone everywhere on our journey into the heart of your mercy.
May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. May we live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel, supported by the vision of Jesus and the wisdom of the Spirit. Amen.
Presider: God dwells in each one of us.
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists for all the gifts of grace that we have been given.
All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
Presider: Holy Spirit, we recognize your presence among us as we gather at our family table.
All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all your creation.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up to the Holy One, living in us and loving through us. Namaste (3x)
Presider: And in joy we proclaim our joy to this gathering….
All: We are holy, holy, holy X3….we are whole
Voice 1. Gracious Wisdom, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness. You are always with us…you living in us and we living in you. In this festive meal, your Spirit is poured out on each of us gathered in the circle of your friends and disciples, we also ask that your Spirit be spread to those of our community who are not with us today.
Voice 2: We thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history -- and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, his life burned with the vision of his mission on earth. Through the example of his life – his teachings and actions - he showed us not only how we should live, but also what was worth even dying for.
Voice 3: When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave us his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death. And then, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died. And the spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise made to all of us too who live the new story. Jesus is with us today and he will be through the end of time.
(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 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. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.
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. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.
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 this mystery of faith.
All: Jesus has died. Christ is risen. The Divine Presence lives in us and through us in the world today.
Voice 4: God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world. We, your people, ask for your grace that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society. They are all our brothers and sisters, members of your Blessed Family. We remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts. We remember especially….(mention names here, if you would like to..)
All: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we could ever ask or imagine. We believe that it is 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.
Holding hands we sing Amen. (x times)
The Prayer of Jesus
All: Our Father and Mother, who re in heaven, blessed is your name... ……..Amen.
All: Lord God, we have prayed that your kindom may come among us. Open our ears to hear it, our hands to serve it, and our hearts to hold it. Amen.
The Sign of Peace
Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “Peace be with you.” My peace I give you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here and ….
All: … grant us your peace. We know, Jesus, that you gave to us, the gift of peace. We now ask for the strength of the Spirit that we might spread that peace throughout the small pieces of our worlds, our social places and churches, our homes and families…all without exceptions. We recognize your presence with us now as we join jour hands in a circle of love and sing our prayer: “Let there be peace on earth.” (#532)
Litany for the Breaking of 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 forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion 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 on our journey.
Presider: This is Jesus, who calls us to open doors that are closed and share our bread and wine on the altar of the world. All are invited to eat and drink at this sacred banquet of love
ALL: When we share in this meal, we- who have always been worthy people – ask Jesus for his grace that we may strengthen our commitments to living the teachings of gospel, and to spreading the good news message of the kin-dom of God to others everywhere we go.
Post- Communion Reflection Song: Mindy Simmons
Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion
Presider: Holy One, may this Eucharist in which we always share Jesus’ healing love deepen our oneness with you and our unity with one another. May we work for peaceful relations among the nations of the world and the healing of our Earth, protecting our planet from devastation. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, our Wisdom. All: Amen.
Community Prayers of Gratitude and Announcements
Closing Community Prayer and Blessing
All: May God who promises peacemakers a place in the kindom of heaven guide us on our different paths through our pilgrimages on earth. May we do so with God’s gifts of Christ-like love for one another – and with a consuming hunger for justice and non-violence in ourselves, our homes, our country, and the world in which we live…with no exception. With the grace of God, the fellowship of Jesus, and the strength of the Spirit, we believe we can do all this.
Thanks be to God. Let it be so! Alleluja!
Concluding Hymn: “City of God” #379 (using “God” for “Lord, him and his”)