Saturday, August 29, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for 22nd Week in Extraordinary Time - August 29, 2020 - Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP, and Rev. Lee Breyer

22nd Week of Extraordinary Time
August 29, 2020
Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Rev. Lee Breyer
Music Minister- Linda Lee Miller
Theme: Walking With Jesus

Welcome and Gathering

Presider 1: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, where all are welcome.  At these difficult times, it is now more important than ever to gather together to be “companions on this journey” walking with Jesus.  It is a journey of unknown mystery.  We join together because, “wherever two or more of you are gathered in my Name, there is Love.”

Presider 2:  
We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond ALOUD AND MUTED where it says “All.” And during the songs, sing your heart out, while muted.  All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. Our readers today are Michael and Cheryl.  Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.
Let us now sing our opening song: All Belong Here.

Gathering Song: All Belong Here by The Many 

Opening Prayer

Presider 1:  Oh Holy One, we rejoice that our spiritual power to live the Gospel is rooted in the presence of Spirit within each and all of us. We rejoice that our oneness with Christ frees us from rules, projections and expectations that limit our ability to be a radiant reflection of your love and compassion. Like all holy ones before us, our call is to walk with Jesus and to love as Jesus loved  
All: Amen

Communal Reconciliation Rite

Presider 2: We pause now to remember the times we have let false messages about our unworthiness cloud our vision of the infinite depth of love within us.  Now imagine the imperfections, chaos and messes of your life illuminated by a love within you that is healing and transforming you as you evolve and grow in awareness of your divinity and humanity.
(Pause briefly. Then extend arm over your heart)

All: I love you, I forgive you, I am sorry, I thank you.

Liturgy of the Word

(Michael RIdgon) First Reading:  What Does It Look Like to Walk with Jesus in Real Life”- adapted from the writings of Chara Donahue

In the scriptures, we see that God walked in the Garden of Eden, we see many people described as those who walked with God, and we see people who walked in close proximity to Jesus but never knew him. We often hear the term “walk with Jesus” used in the church as a mark of solid faith, but what does that actually look like? In real life walking with Jesus means hills and valleys, times when we will feel energized, weary, challenged, and relieved. 
Walking with Jesus requires us to take steps of faith and that means we can’t always see where our feet will land. It is with trust that we walk into the unknown, and we have that trust because we know that we are loved, we are cared for, and we are a part of the Holy One and the Holy One is a part of us.  When we don’t know these things so deeply that they are alive within every part of us, it can feel impossible to walk by faith. 
Every day of your life you can walk alongside Jesus. Through the suffering, he is there. In the moments of joy, he is there. When you are lonely, he is there. In the moments when doubt presses in and tells you that you are alone, he is there. Every day, he is there, walking with you, holding you.  You are never alone. 

(Cheryl Brandi) Responsorial: Adapted from a reading by Roger Courtney

Our response is: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Jesus, you have called us to expand the realm of love throughout the world.  This love calls us into being – it expands our lives as it flows through us.  You taught us that life with you also requires the courage to be unpopular, to stand up to the wealthy and powerful on behalf of the poor and powerless.

ALL:  Response: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Jesus, you have called us to show selfless compassion for others, regardless of how different they are from us and to help others grow and develop their potential-to facilitate human becoming.

Response: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Jesus, you were not only an example to follow, but a vision of reality and the future that compels us to change and to act.  You call us to walk in the path of wholeness towards a new humanity.  You lead us away from a narrow legalistic, and ritualistic understanding of religion to one based on ideals of the heart-on boundary-shattering self-giving love and compassion.

Response: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.


(Lee Breyer) Gospel: An adapted Reading from the Gospel of Mathew 16:21–26
 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to confront him. “Never, Teacher!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of the Holy One, but merely human concerns.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny their own egos and earthly desires and be willing to bear unavoidable challenges and suffering as a part of the human experience.  They must walk with me, for whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life to be with me, will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 

Homily prelude: Christ You Walked Among the Grain Fields-Andrea de Carlo

Homily Starter: Kathryn

The theme for today’s liturgy came to me about two weeks ago in a dream, where I saw myself walking along a path behind our house, across the common area, toward the lake. I was alone and thinking about a number of things that were troubling me. I started to feel anxious about some of those things and wondering how they would work out, or more truthfully, how I could make them work out. (Yes! I am a control freak!) And then, as I walked, I saw a very vague image of a man standing next to me, to my right, clothed in white. I was startled at first, wondering who invaded my quite moment. And then he spoke, and simply said, “”Just walk with me.” There was an overwhelming sense of peace. And I kept walking toward the lake and the image stayed beside me, until it didn’t. I’ve had dream experiences like this before, especially as a child. But, this one was different. And to this very day, I’m not sure how. I just know, it changed me.

Life is a journey, often a short one, and almost always an uncertain one. There are parts of this journey we plan, like visits with family, trips, retreats, etc. This is the part of the journey I like best. And then there are parts of the journey, the unplanned and uncertain ones that are much more difficult to navigate. If 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us that things happen in life that are out of our control. This is definitely not my comfort zone! We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 since mid-March, racial unrest and injustice in our Nation continues; fueled by racist words and lies from our leaders who incite rage in those looking for a reason to hurt or kill. And then, there’s angry Mother Nature. We’ve seen devastating floods, wildfires burning out of control, and deadly tornadoes and hurricanes. I recently saw a meme on Facebook that said, “2020 is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.”

In our Readings today, we hear that walking with Jesus is not all a bed of roses. There are thorns as well, hills and valleys, tragedies and triumphs, and joy and sorrow. Even though we don’t choose the challenging and sometimes unbearable events in our life, we can choose how we perceive them, how we respond to them, how we integrate them into our spiritual framework. To “take up the cross” then is not an invitation for disciples, then or now, to start going around looking for crosses to bear. Trust me, crosses will be provided. As Martin Luther saw so clearly when he wrote in his Freedom of the Christian that anyone who has a spouse or a family already has built-in crosses enough.

So, go forth and walk in joy with Jesus, engage in conversations with him, listen deeply from within you and be the light in the world you are intended to be.

Community Sharing: What spoke to you in our readings or homily starter today?

Communal Statement of Faith

All: (Presider 2)  We believe in one God, 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 God's Word, bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion, bright star in the firmament of God's prophets, mystics, and saints. 
We believe that we are called to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God's love, a source of God's wisdom and truth, and an instrument of God's peace in the world.
We believe that God's 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 and for the Community

Presider 1: We now remember all those who need our prayers. Our response is:
All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 2: For all those suffering from Covid and all families who have lost a member due to the pandemic. All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 1: For all those suffering the loss of family members due to systemic, institutional racism. All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 2: We pray for our MMOJ community, especially for Bridget Mary and Diane who continue their medical treatments.
For what else should we pray?

Presider 1: We remember these and all unspoken intentions.
All: Amen.

Preparation Of The Gifts

Presider 1:  Blessed are You, Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread, to share, the Bread of Life. 

All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.  

Presider 2:  Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 

All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Presider 1:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence we are as we proclaim the liberating power of your Spirit, in our humanity and divinity, calling us to build the unity in a more compassionate and just world.  All:  Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

Voice 1:  Your Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in all who work for humanity’s healing and well-being especially now during this COVID pandemic and systemic racism. With thankful hearts, in the company of all holy women and men, your liberating Spirit rises up within us, works through us and we sing:

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy (adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)

We are Holy, Holy, Holy…3x 
, You are Holy, Holy, Holy, I am Holy, Holy, Holy, We are Holy, Holy, Holy

Voice 2:   O Heart of Love, Your Spirit moves through each of us and all holy ones before us and who come after us so that we remain in continuous communion with you.  Your Spirit moves through our humanity and our divinity. Your Spirit moves through the love within us, expanding in widening circles to embrace all people and creation in our evolving universe.

Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: (Presider 2) You Pour out Your Spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world.

All: (Presider 1): On the night before he died, Jesus came to the table with his family and the women and men he loved. Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying, Take, eat, this is my body. Remember me and all that I have taught you.”  (pause)

All (Presider 2) : After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying, “This is the cup of the covenant of my love. As often as You drink of it, remember me, and all that I have taught you.”

Voice 3:  Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
All: Christ has died in all those who have passed away from the Coronavirus and from police brutality.
Christ is rising in all those working for the well-being of humanity; searching for a vaccine, treatments and dismantling institutional racism and sexism.
Christ comes each day in our ministry, prayers and actions for a renewed world with justice and equality for all.

Voice 4:  Holy One, we remember and we are grateful for the companions who have gone before us: Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, and all holy women and men who are rising up in loving service to heal our world.  We are grateful for our brother, Jesus, and we walk with him….
(Presiders lift bread and wine)

For it is through learning to live as he lived,
And why he lived,
And for whom he lived,
That we awaken to your Spirit within,
Moving us to worship you truly,
At this time and all time and in all ways.

Sung Amen

The Prayer of Jesus

Presider 2:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us.
All:  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)  

Sign of Peace:

Presider 1:  Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.” 
(Let us place our hands in front of us, palms up, as we sing, Peace Is Flowing Like a River
Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the people free. Love is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free. Healing's flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the people free. Alleluia


Presider 2: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.
Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Presider 1:  This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to this table.  
All:  We are the Body and Blood of Christ for the world.                         

Please receive/share Eucharist now.

Communion Meditation/Reflection: In the Garden (He Walks with Me). Written by C. Austin Miles and sung by Linda Lee Miller


Concluding Rite

Presider 2:   As you go forth to continue our ministries, we pray: Timeless One, Your eternal love wraps courage around us as we enter into your invitation to further our spiritual transformation. Your ageless presence draws us to you as we step forward, ready to embrace our walk with you.  Your sustaining peace rests within our every heartbeat and accompanies us into the unknown future. We go forth with gratitude and confidence. Amen.

Presider 1: Please extend Your hands as we pray our final blessing.

May we open our hearts to Hope,
to new beginnings, the possibilities of change and of dreams not yet lived.
May we open our hearts to Compassion,
The service we can offer, the sharing of our talents and the warmth of our hearts.
May we open our hearts to Wisdom.
The blessedness of divine guidance and the readiness to use our intuition and knowledge.
May we open to Divine Light,
The radiance within each person, the light that guides, consoles, and sustains.
(Adapted from Seven Gates of Transformation in Prayer Seeds by Joyce Rupp)

Closing Song: All You Works of God, by Marty Haugen

Chorus 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 1 Sun and moon: Bless your Maker! Stars of heaven: Chant your praise! Showers and dew: Raise up your joyful song!
Chorus 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 5 Wells and springs: Bless your Maker! Seas and rivers: Chant your praise! Whales in the deep: Raise up your joyful song!
Chorus 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. 

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,
Please send an email to

If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.

Please support our community, send your check to:
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
% St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328

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