Sunday, June 14, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for Feast of Corpus Christi - Presiders: Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP, and Bernie Kinlan

Sunday, June 14th Feast of Corpus Christi or
the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Liturgy: We Are One
Presider 1:  Theme- Today we look at the meaning of Eucharist and celebrate the gift of nourishment and challenge that it presents in our lives. Living in a time of pandemic and cries for criminal justice reform makes it ever plain that our reliance on our God, the visible presence of the Spirit in our worship and the modeling of Jesus which come together in the Eucharistic liturgy enable us to remain hopeful and instrumental in bringing forward the fullness of the fruits of Creation.

Presider 2: Opening Prayer  -- We live in pandemic time, in protest time, in times of consternation and division and we seek the Holy Source of Light to guide us through distress into comfort, beyond worry into hope and above chaos into justice. Let us breathe deeply of the Infinite One and the Love alive in our midst. We know so well that from pain, children are delivered, miracles surprise, wounds heal and change a-long-time-in-coming erupts on the scene. We pray for the husk of old ways to be thrown off, for our sense of loss and lonesomeness to be absorbed, enlarged and transformed into gratitude and Holy blessing. Amen.

Opening Song: Turn, Turn, Turn – Judy Collins & Pete Seeger

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep


A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together


A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing


A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

First Reading from Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
            Remember how Yahweh led you on a wandering path through the desert for forty years, humbling and testing you, to learn what was in your heart; whether you would keep God’s commands or not. God humbled you with hunger and then fed you manna, which was unknown to you and your ancestors, to teach you that you cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that flows from the mouth of Yahweh.
            Do not forget that it was Yahweh who brought you out of the land of Egypt, a land of slavery. Yahweh led you through the vast and desolate wilderness, a thirsty and waterless land, filled with poisonous snakes and scorpions. God make water spring forth for you out of solid rock and fed you in the wilderness with manna.
These are inspired words from the Torah, and we affirm them by saying, Amen.
Second Reading: “If God Invited You to a Party”
If God
 invited you to a party and
“Everyone in the ballroom tonight will
be my special
how would you then treat them when you arrived?
Indeed, Indeed!
And Hafiz knows that there is no one in
the world who is not standing upon
His jeweled dance

This are the inspired words of the poet Hafiz and we affirm them by saying, Amen.


A Gospel reading according to John: 6: 51-54, 59-60, 63-64
      Jesus spoke these words when teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum:
“I am the living bread come down from heaven.
If any eat of it, they will live forever;
the bread I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
     The Temple authorities began arguing and grumbling. “How can he give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus replied, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood
Have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.
Everyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me, and I live in them.”
      Many of his disciples remarked afterward, “We can’t put up with this kind of talk! How can anyone take it seriously?”
       Jesus replied, “It is the Spirit that gives life.
The flesh in itself is useless.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
 Yet among you are some who don’t believe.”

These are the inspired words of the disciple known as John and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

(Pause for prayerful meditation on the readings) 
Homily reflection by Lynn Kinlan

Today is Corpus Christi Sunday or, as it is also known, The Feast of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Our first reading presents an analogy between the desert feeding of the Exodus and the flesh and blood of the gospel. Yahweh nourishes and comforts with food. Communities become companions in the sharing. In fact, the word companion literally means the sharing of bread. Can we even imagine what liturgy would be without sharing of bread and wine? Even now, though we eat and drink from different loaves and our own cups, we enact the ritual of feeding and being fed, of coming together to comfort and nourish and yes, cherish the life-giving sustenance of food that represents for us the promise of life, of the fullness of eternal life, of Spirit Life.

The gospel of John shows the unease of Temple authorities and disciples at the prospect of eating and drinking human flesh and blood. There are at least two items to consider in coming to terms with this gospel.

First, the act of sharing is what makes Eucharist holy. The action of giving and of receiving, of coming together, of recognizing our mutuality and our need of each other is at the core of Eucharist. Eating together is a means by which relationships grow and love is made present. What we eat and drink and what we call it is secondary; whether manna and water from stones or actual body and blood broken and blessed or bread and wine reminiscent and symbolic of brokenness and blessedness— all this is an intellectual conundrum of which Vatican debates are made and bishopric crooks and miters earned. We look to the gospel phrase about “Spirit and life” to see what really matters in Eucharist.           
Secondly, the temple officials and the disciples (and we) know Jesus as a man of parables and paradoxes, of metaphors and nuance. Jesus did give up his tortured flesh and blood for beliefs that were considered radical in Roman occupied Palestine, that we might live by those beliefs more fully. Words like flesh and blood are useful metaphors for the bread and wine of life that promise eternal sustenance, forever nourishment, accessible and everlasting love. The flesh is “in itself useless” until it represents and promises something more.

We honor the Eucharist today and the promise it brings to our lives but we also recall that we are called to be Eucharist beyond our community, to share the comfort and nourishment and love that we celebrate in liturgy in every way we can and every place we go. Whether that is by activism or prayer, by feeding the sick or visiting the infirm, we are both love’s promise and love’s challenge. The poem by 10th century Persian poet Hafiz says it all—we have been invited to a Divine party of special guests. We dance upon a jeweled dance floor. How do we treat the other guests when they arrive?

         What did you hear in these readings?   What will it cost you to live it out?

Presider 2: Please join in praying our statement 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.


Presider 2:  These are the prayer intentions received from the community:

Presider 2: We pray for these and all unspoken concerns of our hearts. Amen.

Presider 1:  Let us join with open hands to pray our Eucharistic prayer together:

All: Source of Love and Light, we join in unity of Spirit, love and purpose with Your people everywhere, living and crossed over. With all of creation across billions of galaxies, we open our hearts and souls to become One.
In your loving embrace we are liberated from division, fear, conflict, pride and injustice. We are transformed into wholeness which we resolve to bring to all whose lives we touch. With gratitude, we meld ourselves Your Divine Presence which knows all, shelters all and transforms all into love, abundant and eternal.

In one voice, we praise Your loving, healing ways and the glory of all You have Created:

Blessed be our God! 
Blessed be our God!  
Joy of our hearts, source of all life and love!  
God of Heaven and Earth! 
God of Heaven and Earth! 
Dwelling within, calling us all by name!  
Alleluia, sing! Alleluia, sing! 

Gift of love and peace!
Gift of love and peace!
Jesus Christ, Jesus our hope and light!
A flame of faith in our hearts!
A flame of faith in our hearts!
Proclaiming the day, shining throughout the night!
Alleluia, sing!
Alleluia, sing!

(Alleluia Sing by David Haas)

We thank you, Holy One, for Jesus, a man of courage whose exquisite balance of human and Divine points our way and who strives with us in our time of need. We yearn with passion to live as Jesus, one with you and your Spirit, in peace and justice.

May our desire to be one with You join us to all living things. We seek to heal the differences that isolate us so that we may live in healthful unity with all people, of every ethnicity, skin color, gender orientation or class. May we have the imaginative sympathy and love of Your Spirit to move with courage beyond the confines of bias, miscommunication, ignorance and hurt and into the healing place where Divine light and love abide.
Presider 1:  Please extend your hands in blessing of bread and wine.
All:  Together, we call on Your Spirit, present in these gifts - bread that satisfies our hunger and wine that quenches our thirst – to make us more deeply One, living in the fullness of holy compassion and Sophia wisdom.

Anticipating the likelihood of betrayal, arrest and pain, Jesus wanted more than anything to be with his friends, to share a meal, exchange stories and create fond memories. To strengthen the bonds of friendship that evening, Jesus washed the feet of his friends in an act of love and humility.

                        All lift the bread.

All: Back at the table, he took the bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread and offered it to them saying, Take and eat, this is my very self.

All lift their cups.

Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life in you.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you. (pause)

All consume their bread and cup

As we celebrate and recognize you in this bread and wine, we recognize you in each other. Sharing the bread of life and wine transforms us and opens us to your Spirit. Knowing that Jesus spent his time with the lowly and hurting, the needy and shunned, we seek to remain open to how we can bring love, healing and unity to whomever is in need. We ask for the grace to see with the eyes of Jesus, touch with the hands of Jesus and heal with the heart of Jesus. Amen.

Presider 2: Let us join with disciples of all ages to pray together:

     O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come.
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,
Each day you give us all we need;
You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
            For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen (Miriam Therese Winter)

Presider 2:  Our Communion Meditation is Shelter Me by Rev. Michael Joncas (c. 2020)
Shepherd and sheep, my God and I:
to fresh green fields you led my steps in days gone by.
You gave me rest by quiet springs
and filled my soul with peace your loving presence brings.
O shelter me, O shelter me:
the way ahead is dark and difficult to see.
O shelter me, O shelter me:
all will be well if only you will shelter me.
Yet now I tread a diff’rent way;
death dogs my path with stealthy steps from day to day.
I cannot find your peaceful place
but dwell in dreary darkness, longing for your face.

I will look back in days to come
and realize your faithfulness has led me home.
Within your house I’ll find my peace,
trusting that in your mercy you have sheltered me.
© 2020, The Jan Michael Joncas Trust

Closing Blessing: Presider 1:  Please raise your hands in blessing and join together in our closing prayer:
We pray for harmony in the midst of divisiveness and for hope in the middle of hurt. We bless our civic leaders and ourselves and all peoples with a call for harmony and deep peace: May Deep peace be a blessing onto you. May we know the deep peace of the running wave. May we know the deep peace of the flowing air. May we know the deep peace of the quiet earth. May the moon and stars pour their healing light upon us all. Amen.

Closing SongMay the Longtime Sun by Sara Thomsen

May the long time sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
Within you
Guide your way on
Guide your way on

May the long time sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
Within you
Guide your way on
Guide your way on

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