Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Twenty Fifth Week in Extra- Ordinary Time September 21, 2019 Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Sally Brochu, ARCWP, Music Minister: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP


Presider:  Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic community where all are welcome to share the Eucharist.  We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers.  You will be invited to gather around the Table to pray the Eucharist 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 the liturgy.   

Centering/Opening Prayer
Presider:  Oh Holy One, we are delighted to gather with you as we share this sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you.  You gave us the most loving of messages when you said, “You are the light of the world.”  We envision the day when our light, and the light of all inhabiting this planet, overcomes the darkness and we more fully experience the kindom of God on Earth.  We live with the comfort of knowing you are with us as we walk each day in conscious awareness of our responsibility to be the light we wish to see in the world.  And to this, we say,
Gathering Hymn:  “City of God” #386 all verses

Community Reconciliation
(Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in love with others and with creation.)

Presider:  Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden.  Our desire is to be continually conscious of this in our own lives and recognize this in all we do with others.
All (with an outstretched arm):  May we reach deep within ourselves to hear Wisdom’s many messages, to faithfully understand them, and to respond to them with compassionate actions to our brothers and sisters.  May we emulate the virtues of pardon and peace that Jesus taught us so that we may- in turn-be more forgiving in our care for ourselves, for one another and for our planet Earth.
May we gather strength through the Divine Presence within us, to extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift – through us – to everyone, everywhere - with whom you share your unending love.  We ask this in the name of all that is.  Amen.

Presider:  Let us give glory to our loving Holy One.
All (Sung):  Glory to God, glory, O praise God, Alleluia.  Glory to God, glory.
O praise the name of our God. (3X)

Liturgy of The Word
First Reading: Amos 8:4-7      
Responsorial:  Those who see light can walk in the dark.  #496
Second Reading: Excerpts from writings by Richard Rohr  
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia! 

Gospel Reading:  A reading from the Gospel according to John 1:9

Homily Starter: Kathryn Shea ARCWP

Today’s theme is an adaptation of Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, but I thought it fitting to change to “light” for this time we are living in.  We are living in a time of deep darkness.  I think most of us can feel it.  At times, it feels all-encompassing and overwhelming.  And, at times, it is hard to find hope that this will ever turn around.
I sincerely believe we, a collective we, have the power to dispel the darkness.  What gives me this belief?  It is the words we heard today in the second Reading and the Gospel, and throughout the Scriptures.  The word “light” is mentioned 272 times in the King James version.    
In the first Reading, which I thought was important to include so we could hear how light confronts dark, we hear the story from Amos of those who live off the needy and oppress the poor of the land to enrich themselves; “tilting the scales” in their favor.  It is about power and greed and deception.  This is darkness.  Does this sound all too familiar?   And YHWH responds with, “I will never forget a single thing that you have done.”  Meaning, you will never get away with this.  And I think we can pretty much hang our hat on those words and know that in the end, all will be well. 
We are even more reassured when Jesus tells us, “You ARE the light of the world.” A light that is not threatened by darkness.  There is no measure of darkness that can swallow up your light.  Darkness cannot quench your light.  In fact, the greater the darkness, the greater the power of a single source of light to show you the way.  Repeat after me, “I am the Light of the world.”  So do not fear the darkness, go conquer it!
Sometimes, it is easier to not assume this responsibility. Sometimes, it is easier to hide our light under a bushel because it takes too much time and energy; or we are too afraid to face the darkness.  It might swallow us up.  Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for good people to do nothing.”  Doing nothing; the deadly sin of omission.   We contribute to the cause of evil by not speaking up against evil. 
We witnessed much light yesterday around the world.  Thousands of children, and some very young children, leading the way with protests to speak out about climate change.  Their light, boldness, and determination warmed my heart and gave me strength.  Even though they were ridiculed, scolded, and threatened, they persevered.  There is nothing the nay-sayers can do to squelch their light, and they are definitely not afraid.  

I would like to ask that we all engage in a “light meditation” for just a moment.  Close your eyes and take several deep breaths.  Clear your mind of all thoughts.  Envision a cloud of darkness moving in from the horizon, much like we see when a storm is rolling in.  Continue to take deep breaths.  And you see the storm clouds getting darker and expanding and coming toward you.  You begin to feel fear and trepidation, as the darkness begins to surround you…..and then you remember the words of Jesus, “You are the light of the world.”  Raise your hands in front of you and begin to push the darkness away; far, far, away, while repeating, “I am the light of the world.  You have no power over me.”  And the more you push back the darkness with great confidence, the darkness begins to dissipate until it is totally gone, and only light shines again.  And all who were in darkness, are now held in the lightness of our God.  Hold this vision in your mind for a moment, and bring it back whenever needed.  When you are ready, slowly open your eyes. 
Your light, our light, must be a beacon for others in order to dispel the darkness of the world and fully bring the light of the kindom of God to our world. 
Questions for consideration:  In what ways did the Readings, homily, or the meditation speak to you?  In what ways can we “Be the light we wish to see in our world?”    

Shared Homily/Community Reflection

Profession 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:  We are people of faith.  We believe in the power of prayer.  We believe that we send blessings to those who are struggling and who need to experience hope; to those who are grieving and need to be comforted in their loss, to those who are facing medical challenges that they be granted hope and healing. We bring the needs of people throughout our world to our community and to our gracious and comforting God.
ALL:  We are filled with joy as we awaken to your call.

Presider: For what else do we pray?

Presider: Joyful God, we know you attend to our prayers and respond with your wisdom and love.  In you, we place our faith.  ALL: Amen.

Offertory Song:  “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light” #600 vs. 1,2
(substituting “our God” for “the Father”)

Preparation of the Gifts
Presider:  Blessed are you, Jesus of Nazareth, through your goodness we have this bread and this wine and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we remember how to live the new story.   
All:  Blessed be God forever.   
Presider:  Divine Presence, we believe that you are always with us, loving in each of us and healing others through us.
All:  Namaste (with a nod…3x)
Presider:  Lift up your hearts.  
All:  We lift them up in tender love, open to serve.
Presider:  Let us give thanks for all that we have.
All: It is our joy to be grateful for our many blessings as we gather at our family table.    (let us “gather at our family table”…      

Eucharistic Prayer
Presider: O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you.  We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

Presider: Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together: (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane)

Voice 1:   O 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, Loving God, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:

All: We are holy, holy, holy (3x), we are whole. You are…I am… We are (Karen Drucker)

Voice 2:  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 names. We pray 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 grow and spread in all time – we pray for peace in their names.
We pray 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.  We pray for peace in their names.
Voice 3:  We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He 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.
(Please extend hands over our gifts as we say together)
All:  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 I have taught you.   (pause a moment, then continue….)

All: In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friend 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 I have taught you. 

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 our faith.

All:  The Anointed One lives in us and through us in the world today. 

Voice 4:  Loving God, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and blessed 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 around 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. 
All:  We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and can do more than we can ask or imagine.    Amen. (sung, x times)

The Prayer of Jesus
Presider:  Let us join hands and raise our voices as we say the Prayer Jesus taught us:
ALL:  (sung)  Our Father and Mother…….

The Sign of Peace
Presider:  God, we know that you give us peace and unity beyond what any words can express.  You are here with us as we join hands in a circle of love and sing our prayer: “Let there be peace on earth.” (#532)

Litany at 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 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. 
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, commit to live your teachings, dear Jesus, and to tell your stories that allow Spirit to rise up within us and empowers us to bring the kin-dom of God to this world.  This is the good news of salvation.  

Presider:  Let us share and spread this good news!  ALL:  Amen.  (As we share this sacred meal, we say to one another with the passing of the bread, “You are the love of God in the world.”  When we share the wine we say, “You are the peace of God in the world.”

Communion Music:  Instrumental  

Post-Communion Meditation and Reflection: Instrumental by Janet Blakeley

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
Presider:  May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion fully fill our beings, that we may heal the numbness that continues because of our society’s injustices. May you know that we are eternally grateful for our many blessings.  ALL:  Amen.


A Non-Traditional Community Blessing
(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.) 
ALL:  May God bless you with discontent with easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you live from deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, abuse, and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equality, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you reach out your hand to comfort them and to change their pain to joy.

May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in this world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done. 
-Sr. Ruth Fox
Presiders:   May we all go in the peace that Jesus gave us, caring for one another.  May we be the Light we wish to see in the world.  Let our service continue!
All:   Thanks be to God; let it be so.

Closing Song:  Lean in Toward the Light – Carrie Newcomer

Theme: “Be the LIGHT you wish to see in the world.”

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