Friday, September 11, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for the 24th Week in Extra-Ordinary Time - September 12, 2020

photo by Alice Donovan-Rouse on Unsplash
Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Lee Breyer

Readers: Cheryl Brandi and Joan Meehan
Theme: Love, peace and forgiveness in troubled times.

To connect to Zoom, please follow the instructions below:
 You can join the meeting between 3:30-4:00PM 

To connect via the internet 
Dial 1-929-436-2866 
Meeting ID: 862 4086 8327
Password: 1066
You will be able to hear the Liturgy and we will be able to hear you during our shared homily

Remember before the liturgy starts, in preparation for the blessing of the Eucharist, set aside a piece of bread or cracker and a glass of wine.  Be sure to have a copy of the liturgy either in paper form or via the internet ready (see below).

Welcome and Gathering

Presider 1: Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, where everyone is welcome in our Eucharistic celebrations. We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers.  Everyone will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. However, at appropriate times – the shared homily and the prayers of the community -- we invite your respectful and related comments to the community, and then you can unmute yourselves for the time of your message. When you are finished speaking, please mute yourselves again so others have their opportunities.  And also, please have your bread and wine/juice nearby yourselves as we pray our Eucharistic Prayer near the end of the liturgy.

Presider 2:  Let us start today’s service with an opening song:  Be Still 

Gathering Song: Be Still    (Carmel Boyle)

                                            Opening Prayer

All:  Holy One, you have created everything that exists in our ever-expanding universe. You have done so out of the kindness of your very being …your pure love, your unconditional and unending love. At the dawn of creation, our being on the new earth should have led us to our love and peace for one another in your image. But, through time and human behavior, we wandered from our very origins as described in Genesis and shortly were told the story of the cruelty of Cain who killed his brother Abel over a simple gift that Abel gave to you, their creator. That kind of action, that violence and hatred, has taken place so many times throughout the many years since the beginning of creation that it oftentimes is not considered as a very rare and unthinkable behavior.  That, and similar careless and hurtful actions towards our brother and sisters, are far from the type of loving lives that we were called to share with them.

All:  By your creation, we – your people –were called to lives of love and peace…to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with all that you have created. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression that exists in our world today.  You call us to warmly welcome everyone with whom we come in contact as your presence among us.  And so, in communion with Jesus, our model and brother, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we will live your love poured out to us each day.  Amen.

Communal Reconciliation, Healing and Transformation

Presider 1:  Compassionate God, we know that to you all hearts are open, no desires are unknown, and no secrets are hidden.  Our desire is to be continually conscious of this in shaping how we live, and to be aware of this in everything that we do with our sisters and brothers, whoever and wherever they may be.

All:  Our loving Creator, we ask you for your grace that we may realize our continual need to grow in a better understanding, sense of compassion and efforts of caring for all our brothers and sisters … and even the very planet you have created for us. We also ask for a greater awareness of your forgiveness of our sometimes love-less and hurtful actions to people of other genders, beliefs, nationalities, races and actions.

May we be more open to the strength of your Divine Presence within each one of us so that we will be lead to extend your merciful and forgiving love that is your gift – through us – to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.  Amen.

Presider 2:   And please place a hand over your heart as you say to one another…:

All:   My friends, I love all of you.  I am sorry for whatever hurt my actions may have caused to anyone at any time, and I thank you for your understanding and compassion.

Liturgy of the Word

This first reading of scripture, from the Book of Sirach, is presented to us by Cheryl Brandi. It is a part of a historical collection called “the “Books of Wisdom” and was found among many very old - hard to find - texts. It was estimated to have been written about 3 centuries before Christ.  The current title name “Sirach” may be known as “Ecclesiasticus” to some of our liturgy participants today. Today’s selection of the Book of Sirach is from the end of the 27th chapter and the beginning of the 28th

Passionate rage and anger are hateful things,
            yet some people hug them tight to themselves.
Those people will suffer Our God’s distaste over time,
            for God remembers them and their actions in detail.

Forgive your neighbors’ injustices;
            so then, when you pray, your own faults will be forgiven.
If you refuse to show mercy to your neighbors,
            how can you seek understanding and pardon for your own mistakes?

Remember the commandments, hate not your neighbor.   Also remember the covenant of the Most High who overlooks our faults.

So ends today’s short and meaningful reading from the Old Testament that was written for the people centuries ago.  It has the same message for us so many centuries later. 

To this, we all say: thanks be to God.

Psalm and Responsorial

Today’s psalm is number 103 and is presented to us by Joan Meehan.  To the phrases that we to listen to together, we give our response:   And that is:

Our God is tender and compassionate, slow to anger and is most loving.

Bless Our God, O my soul … bless God’s holy name – and do so with all that is in me!
Bless Our God, O my soul … and remember all God’s kindnesses to me.

Our God is tender and compassionate, slow to anger and is most loving.

In forgiving all our offenses, and in curing all our diseases,
In redeeming our lives from the pit,
You crown us with love and tenderness.

Our God is tender and compassionate, slow to anger and is most loving.

Our God’s indignation does not last forever,
And God’s judgement lasts for a short time only;
Our God never treats us as our guilt and our wrongdoings deserve.

Our God is tender and compassionate, slow to anger and is most loving.

No less than the height of heaven over the earth
Is the greatness of Our God’s love for those who are in the family.
The Most High takes our faults farther away than the east is from the west.

Our God is tender and compassionate, slow to anger and is most loving.

The second reading is presented to us by Cheryl; it is from a letter of Paul to the community in Rome.  This is a selection from chapter 14, verses 7-9.  Paul wrote:

We do not live for ourselves, nor do we die for ourselves.
While we live, we live for Christ Jesus; and when we die, we died for Christ Jesus.
Both in life and in death we belong to Christ.
That is why Christ died….and came to life again.
It was to reign supreme above both the living and the dead.

To this clear and inspired message of Paul, we all say:  Thanks be to God.

And now, in joy, we sing “Alleluia”   (a shortened version, Jan Phillips)

Having sung Alleluia, we continue with the good news that is related to us in Gospel of Matthew. Kathryn will present this short, but easy to understand, story that is  the author’s 8th chapter.

At some point, Peter got up the nerve to ask Jesus: “Master, how many times do I have to forgive a brother or sister - or anyone else - who confronts me?  Do I have to do that as many as seven times?”  And Jesus replied: “Seven!  Hardly!!.  Try seventy times seven!!!!  And Jesus continued his teaching: Peter, my friend, God in heaven will treat you exactly the same way that you forgive your sisters and brothers from your heart.

And this is the good news of Jesus to Peter, his followers at the time, and to us who heard his message so very often.

To this we all say: Thanks be to God.

“Alleluia”      (Jan Phillips,   shortened version)

Homily Starter:  Lee Breyer

Communal Statements of Faith 

Presider 1:   We believe in God, a Divine Mystery that is beyond any of our understanding now and that will be so into eternity.  We believe that God is the Creator of an unfinished world in an ever-evolving cosmos. God is the Holy One who invites us to join with one another in developing a world of true justice, a new world of love and peace on this, our planet Earth.

Presider 2:  We believe in God who calls all the many world’s peoples to harmony and unity so that they, together, will heal the hurts and sufferings that have been caused over time and replace them with meaningful and lasting celebrations of peace, love and enduring partnership.

Presider 1:  We believe in God who has not divided the people of the world into the divided categories of the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, the wise and the unwitting, the advantaged and the disadvantaged.  We believe that God created all of us to be brothers and sisters of one another, living in a single Blessed Family.

Presider 2:  We believe in Jesus, the Word of God who became human like us.  He befriended both the well-place persons and those who were poorest -- regardless of their positions in society.  He spoke truth to everyone with whom he came in contact and practiced among them the love, peace and justice that he taught.

All:  And for all this, he was put to death for doing what was his blessed mission on this earth.  Then he was raised to new life, the Christ who would be with - and in - all of God’s creation forever.

Prayers of the Community

Presider 1:  We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer.

Presider 2.  We believe that we send blessings to all those who are struggling in their physical and mental health conditions as a result of Coronavirus - and to those suffering with Covid-19.
                             Our response is: We remember them and we pray.

Presider 1:  We pray for those many broken families, torn apart and suffering in their separations, especially those on our national borders.
                           Our response is:  We remember them and we pray.

Presider 2:   And for whom or what else do we pray at this time?
                           Our response to those mentioned is: We remember and we pray.

(Community intentions at this time with the response above)

Unmute your microphone and, speak your concern when there is an opportunity. When you are finished, please re-mute your microphone for others’ offerings.

Presider 1:  We hold these… and all the unspoken intentions… in our hearts.

The Gathering of the Gifted

Presider 1:  Let us all lift up our hearts in our oneness with our Creator.

All:  We lift them up in tender love and openness to serve all God’s people everywhere.

Presider 2:  Let us give thanks for our many blessings and gifts of worthiness to celebrate this gathering today.

Presider 1:  And let us sing of that:  We are holy…You are holy…I am holy (3x)

All:   We Are Holy, Holy, Holy      (MMOJ Shortened version)

Eucharistic Prayer

Please set up your bread and wine for the following blessings

All:  Blessed are you, our God.  Through your goodness, we have this bread and wine to offer to you … as you bless each one of us with your presence.  Whatever the challenges and difficulties are that we may experience, we know that your gifts of peace and love will support us during these trials.  Whatever the errors of judgements that we may make along our ways, we know that your gift of forgiveness is ours “for the asking.” Merciful God, pour out your Spirit on our bread and wine as we once again celebrate the Passover Meal that Jesus shared with his friends on the night before he died… and will does so with us today. And it it was at that supper that Jesus took bread and said a blessing before he 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.  (Pause briefly)

And then, in the same way, Jesus took the wine, said the same blessing, and then shared it with his friends.  And he said: take this all of you and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me. We are one body, the presence of God in the world. When you do this, remember me and all that have taught you.  This is also the new and everlasting covenant.

Presider 2:  Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.

Presider 1:  Christ is dying in our times, in all those who are suffering from sickness with Coronavirus and, especially, those who have died with Covid-19.

Presider 2:  Christ is rising in all those peoples who are working for love, peace and forgiveness among those who are struggling with the hateful and separating events of our times.
All:  May God bless and - through the Holy Spirit - strengthen all those who work to be the true Face of Christ in our day.

And to all these blessed prayers, we sing a great AMEN!

The Prayer of Jesus

Presider 1:  Let us say together the prayer that Jesus taught us.

All:   Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed are your names……..   

Presider 2:  And let us continue to pray together for his gift of peace among us.

All:  Peace is flowing like a river....(short version; “people” instead of “captives”)


Presider 1:  And now in that prayerful spirit, we are blessed to share together the sacred meal of the Eucharist. (please hold up your bread and wine)  
This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.  Blessed are we who are called to this sacred meal.

(If you are alone, this is for yourself; If accompanied, say this is to one another.
…..with the passing of the bread: “you are the love of God in the world,  and
…..with the passing of the wine: “you are the peace of God in the world.”

Post-communion Meditation

Presider 2:  In our silence, let us listen to - and learn from - the Prayer of St. Francis.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Comments of Introductions and Announcements

Closing Blessing

May God bless us with a restless discomfort…
            about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships….
so that we can seek truth boldly and love deeply within our hearts.

May God bless us with holy anger…
            at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people….
so that we may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all peoples.

May God bless us with the gift of tears …
            to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation or the loss of all that   they cherish….
so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless us with enough foolishness ,,,
            to believe that we can really make a difference in this world….
so that we may be able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

Closing Song : You’ll Never Walk Alone     Josh Groban

If you would like to add any intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer 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.

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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