Theme: The “Little Way” for “The “Little Flower”… and us.
Presider: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic community where everyone is welcome to share in the Eucharist celebrations. We use inclusive language in all our scripture readings and prayers. We also welcome your respectful and related comments when the community shares the homily. Everyone is invited to gather around the Table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer itself and the Communion. We warmly welcome our newcomers to our liturgy and will invite you to introduce yourself, if you wish, at the announcement time after Communion. Then, all are invited to join us for supper after the liturgy.
Gathering Hymn: All Are Welcome #304 vs. 2 & 4
Presider: Loving God, may we be consciously mindful of your presence in each one of us as we gather together once again in this sacred space. We come to celebrate this oneness with you, following the example of St. Therese whose path to holiness was simple. It was so simple that it was called the “Little Way”. It was to perform her everyday actions in the awareness of both your presence and your love for her - and your care for each of her Carmelite sisters as well. May we follow that love of self and neighbor as Jesus instructed us to do…without exceptions!
All: May the sacredness of our time here together so inspire us that we will faithfully follow the central message of Jesus, to us through his disciples, that we love one another…love those people in good times and those that are not so good - and might even be labelled “enemies.”
May we be nourished by the simple meal of bread and wine that we will bless as we do what Jesus did with his friends at his Last Supper -- and what he told us to do in remembrance of him through the ages. It was in that evening that Jesus knew he was with friends whom he loved…and the time would be short before he would be with others, much less friendly, whom he would love as well. This is what he taught his disciples to do. Spirit of God, bless us with your strength to follow that example.
We ask this of you, Nourishing God, certain that you always hear our prayers - although we may not always recognize your response. Amen.
Presider: This is the day that our gracious God has made...All: let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Penitential Expression and Community Forgiveness
Presider: Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires are unknown, and no secrets are hidden. We ask you to send your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will. Through your grace, all people, wherever they may be on this earth, are one family …and you have made them all worthy to be called your blessed people.
All: Christ Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in understanding, love, compassion and caring for ourselves, for all others, and for our planet Earth. We also ask that we may be constantly conscious of your forgiveness for our hurtful actions to people of different beliefs, nationalities, races, and social settings.
May we gather both the strength of your Spirit and the grace of your Divine Being within us so that we may extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift - through us - to everyone we meet, everywhere. Amen.
Presider: We ask you, Jesus the Christ, for the insight, direction, and strength of the Spirit that will guide us to deeper commitments to practice peace, justice, equality and nonviolence everywhere. Together, as the family of God - as sisters and brothers of one another - we pray….
All (with an outstretched arm): God, the Father and Mother of compassion, through Jesus’ life, he revealed that nothing can separate us from your unconditional love. He sent the Holy Spirit to give 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, our healer and comforter. Amen.
Glory to God
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: Romans 12: 9-21 All: Amen
This first reading is from Paul’s writing to the church in Rome in the mid-first century.
Paul, a relatively obscure Roman citizen, crafted an extraordinary letter to a small gathering of people in the busy and powerful center of an extensive empire. This letter is considered, by scholars, as a premier document in Christian theology both for its time and its content. Today’s selection is from chapter 12: 9-21.
Your love must be sincere, from your heart. Don’t fake it. Dislike what is evil… and cling to what is good.
Love one another with the affection you have for your sisters and brothers. Try to outdo one another in showing mutual respect.
Do not grow slack, but continually grow evermore fervent in your spirit - the One you serve is Christ!
Rejoice in hope; be patient under your trials; persevere in prayer; then, when feeling too hurt, pray all the harder.
Look on the needs of God’s holy people as your own; be generous in offering them your hospitality.
Bless your enemies, those with whom you disagree; bless them - don’t curse them. Do everything you can so that you may be at peace with one another. Look for and discover the beauty in everyone.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; share tears with those who aren’t as well off as you, those not regarded well in personal or social circles.
Do not repay evil with evil. Do not even try to overcome evil by doing evil in return to someone, but rather overcome evil by doing your good works..
If your enemies are hungry, feed them: if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing so, your generosity will surprise them with your goodness.
Do not be overcome by evil; it is not your job to get even. Overcome evil by doing good -- and then follow that by being even “more good”.
Again, I say: love one another as you are brothers and sisters in the one family of God.
This is the Word of God to us in the 21st century through Paul in the 1st. It is as good advice to us today as it was to his gathering then.
This we accept as our own, by saying “Amen.’
Psalm 89 Responsorial: Forever I will sing the goodness of our God. #782
I will sing the story of Your love, my God; forever will I do that; I will proclaim Your faithfulness to all generations.
Your true love is as firm as the mountains on the ancient earth; Your faithfulness is as fixed as the heavens. Rx
Happy are they who acclaim You,
and those who walk in the light of Your presence!
In Your Name they will rejoice all day long;
Your righteousness will lift them up to the sky. Rx
You are the strength in which they glory, and they will say to you --
You are my God, my solid rock and my safe refuge.”
I will sing my love for You forever
and I will be faithful in my covenant with You. Rx.
Second Reading: 1 John 4: 1-16 All: Thanks be to God
My friends, since God has loved us so, we must have the same love for one another.
If we love one another, God dwells in us, and God’s love is brought to perfection in us.
The way that we know that we remain in God and that God is in us is that we have been given the Spirit.
We have seen for ourselves, and can testify, that God has sent to the Only Begotten One to our world.
When any acknowledge that Jesus is the Only Begotten One, then they recognize that God dwells in them and they have an intimate relationship with God.
We have come to know and to believe in the love that God has for each one of us.
God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God in them.
This is the Word of God, again brought to us by John.
And to that we all say, “thanks be to God.”
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia (Celtic version)
Gospel: John 14: 9-11, 15-22, 26
Today’s reading is a selection from John’s gospel, chapter 14: 9 -11, 15—22, 26
Whoever has seen me has seen Abba God. Don’t you believe that I am in Abba God and that Abba God is in me?
The words I speak are not my own; it is Abba God living in me and accomplishing God’s work through me.
Believe me that I am in God and God is in me, or else believe that because of the works that I do.
If you love me and obey the commandments that I give you, I will ask the One who sent me to give you another Paraclete, another Helper to be with you always – the Spirit Of Truth you can recognize because she remains with you and will be within you. She will instruct you in everything and she will remind you of all that I have told you.
A little while now and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. On that day you will know that I am in God, and you are in me, and I am in God.
Those who obey the commandments are the ones who love me, and those who love me will be loved by Abba God. I, too, will love them and reveal myself to them.
Today we have, once again, heard a central message of John to the first century Christian communities. He has done so in his gospel and three letters. And we are recipients of those messages as well.
And to this, we say: “Thanks be to God!”
Shared Homily/Community Reflection and Response
Profession of Faith
All: We believe in God, the Creator of the ever-expanding universe, whose divinity infuses all that exists in the cosmos, making everything in it sacred. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who leads us to the fullness of humanity. Through his incarnation, we are a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of God who keeps the Christ-vision present to all of us, especially to those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives. She is the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our strengths grow weary in our journeys. We believe that God’s kindom is here with us now, and will be forever, for those with eyes to recognize it, hearts to receive it, minds to understand it and hands to make it known to everyone.
We say “amen” to faith, hope, and love. We say “amen” to the partnership and equality of all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity and beliefs. We say “amen” to a world of peace and justice for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In this, we surely believe.
Prayers of the Community
Presider: We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayers and the effectiveness of blessings. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each one of us. And so, we bring the needs of sick and suffering people to our merciful and comforting God. After each intercession, please respond: Compassionate God, bless our petitions.
Presider: We pray for those who are facing serious challenges of health and home, sickness and storms. Compassionate God….
Presider: And for what else do we pray? ….
Presider: Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our love and concerns for one another, here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that - with our sisters and brothers - we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world. As we always do, we make these prayers to you, O Gracious God, in the names of Jesus, our Brother, and the Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.
Offertory Procession and Song: Here I Am God. #379 all verses
Presider: Blessed are you, God of 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 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 Gifted
Presider: Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his. Everyone is welcome to share in this meal. (Call the community to join at the Table.)
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator of all that exists and ever will.
All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
Presider: Let us show our gratitude to Jesus who has shared with us his life-vision.
All: Open our hearts to your message, taught to us through your words and actions while you lived on this earth.
Presider: Let us recognize the presence of the Spirit among us gathered at this family table.
All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all creation.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up to the One who lives in us and loves others through us.
Presider: God dwells in each one of us.
Presider: This indwelling of the Trinity gives us the blessed happiness that is brought to our community at this time. We recognize this grace and express it now in a song of praise and gratitude:….
All: We are holy, holy, holy (3x), we are whole; you are…I am…we are… (Karen Drucker)
Voice 1: Ever caring and loving God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. Through you we live and move and have our very being. Through Jesus, we have an example of what it means, and may even cost, to live the commandments to “love one another” and even to “love our enemies. And we give you thanks for the gift of the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, giving us a foretaste of the paschal feast of heaven, the home for which you created us to be the end of our time on earth. And for this, we sing with thankful voices….
All: Holy, Holy, Holy God, God of power, God of light. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are those who come in the name of our God. Hosanna in the highest.
Voice 2: We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history - and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, he burned with his vision of his mission. He revealed you to us through his loving and compassionate life well lived. In it, he showed us, not only how we should live, but also for what we might even die.
Voice 3: When his time on earth had come to an end, 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, who raised Jesus from the dead, showed us that life is eternal and that love is immortal. The same Spirit will be resurrected in each one of us. The Jesus of history and faith is with us today - as he will be through the end of time.
All (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, broke it and gave it to 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. (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. 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, who the prophets spoke of in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.
All: Jesus has died. Christ is risen. The cosmic Christ lives through us in the world today.
Voice 4: May all who share this sacred meal be strengthened in their unity by the 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 5: God of blessing and peace, help us to continually grow in love of you and each other. May we always be aware that we are your Body and Blood on earth, reflecting your care and concern for everyone everywhere. Remember your church throughout the world, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and your whole sacred family – especially those who live on the margins of church and society. We pray for the victims of the many shootings and the damaging floods, as well as those many people who are driven from their homelands to live as best they can elsewhere. We remember – today – St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Carmel, and her “Little Way” to sainthood. And we remember, as well, the entire communion of saints, both those living and dead, especially those who touched our lives and left warm footprints on our hearts. We remember (pause)…..
All: Spirit of God, we know that you bless each one of us and grace us with more than we could ever ask for or even imagine. And, in gratitude to you, we hold hands as we sing the prayer that Jesus gave us: (Note: no “amen” here.)
All (holding hands): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…..
Presider: God, we have just prayed that “your kindom may come” among us. We believe that it is with us here and now. We ask that you strengthen in us your grace and love so that we may, by our actions, make your kindom more obvious to everyone as we serve one another.
The Passing 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 your peace. O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace throughout the world, 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.” #526
Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
Presider: Loving God…. All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of nonviolence with 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.
Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. All: We are the Body of Christ.
Presider: Gracious God, as we come to share the richness of your table, we cannot forget the needs, pain and poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters, our families and neighbors.
Men: We cannot eat this bread without thinking of those who are hungry. O God, your world is one world and we are just stewards of its availability for your people everywhere.
Women: We cannot drink this wine without thinking those who are thirsty. O God, this very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice everywhere on the planet.
All: We cannot listen to your words of peace, Loving God, and not grieve for the world at war’s doors.
Communion Song: Instrumental
Post-Communion Song: “There Is Only Love” – Karen Drucker
Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
Presider: Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our
oneness with you and with one another. May the wonder and thanksgiving of this blessed meal fill us with a deeper knowledge, understanding, and experience of your love and compassion for each one of us. And may this be reflected in the love we share with all we come in contact.
All: To this, our prayer, we all say….Amen.
Community Comments of Introductions, Gratitudes, Announcements
Closing Community Commissioning
All: (with arms extended to one another)
May our hearts be glad on our journey as we dream new dreams, see new visions, and create a new heaven and earth.
May we live and work for compassion and peace, justice and non-violence in our hearts and in those of everyone we meet.
May we learn to bless and honor and hold in reverence all creation, the earth, and one another.
Presiders: We are the Face of God in the world; may we reflect God well. So, as we leave here in the peace of Christ, let us be the people that God created us to be. Let our service continue.
All: Thanks be to God. Let it be so! Alleluia!
Closing Community Song: All You Works of God by Marty Haugen
Refrain: All you works of God,
Every Mountain, star and tree,
Bless the One who shapes your beauty,
Who has caused you all to be,
One great song of love and grace,
Ever ancient, ever new.
Raise your voices, all you works of God.
Verse: Sun and Moon, bless your maker!
Stars of heaven: Chant your praise!
Showers and dew: Raise up your joyful song!
All the Earth, bless your maker!
Hills and mountains: Chant your praise!
Green things that grow: Raise up your joyful song! Refrain