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Meeting ID: 862 4086 8327
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
How We Are Transformed in Christ
Teresa MacEachern & Michael Rigdon Presiding
Judy & Kevin Connelly Reading
Linda Lee & Rick Miller, Music
September 19, 2020
(We begin with a moment of silence)
Welcome! (Teresa) We warmly welcome you to our inclusive Catholic community, Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota, Florida. All are welcome here. We invite you to pray the liturgy where it says, All. And please sing your heart out! Everyone will be muted during the service. This is the community’s liturgy, so many of you will mic on to read one of the parts marked Voice#, then mic off again. Also during our shared homily and prayers of the community, we invite you to mic on to contribute, then mic off again. Please have bread and wine or juice with you as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer.
Theme (Michael): How we are transformed in Christ. Janet was leading a us in a discussion of Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ when Covid-19 put a stop to our weekly gatherings. I continued to read the book off-and-on, finally arriving at chapter 16, Transformation and Contemplation. It was one of those chapters that I read over and over...and over again. Today’s liturgy presented an opportunity to share Rohr’s revelation with you: How we are transformed in Christ.
Voice1 & All: We celebrate together ✝️ in the name of God our creator, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit our wisdom within. Amen. Let us welcome one another with a sign of Christ’s peace! ☮️ The peace of Christ be with us all!
🎶 Peace is flowing like a river. https://youtu.be/FrLnCPq1GJk
Gathering 🎶 Here I am, God. https://youtu.be/-Nha2wwhAEs
Reconciliation Rite. Voice2 & All: We pause now to remember times when false messages of our unworthiness have clouded our vision of the infinite love within us. Let us imagine our imperfections, the chaos and messes of our lives all brightly lit by a love that heals and transforms us as we evolve and grow in awareness of our divinity and our humanity. (Pause briefly. Then extend arm over your heart.) I love you. Thank you. I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.
Opening Prayer. Voice3 & All: Spirit of the Holy One, we gratefully acknowledge your presence within and among us. You have transformed us into the one Body of Christ, making us the face of Christ’s love in the world. Guide us to be present to those who suffer from the two pandemics afflicting our country—the Covid-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racism. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen
Liturgy of the Word
(Teresa) A few moments of silence as we await God’s word to us.
A reading from the Good News according to John.
Jesus said, “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.” These are the inspired words from John’s Good News, and we respond, Reader & All: Thanks be to God.
Excerpt From The Message by Eugene H Peterson
🎶 Response: Unless a Grain of Wheat https://youtu.be/9FzMQnCM3hA
(Kevin) The second reading is excerpts from Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ, chapter 16, Transformation and Contemplation.
Authentic Christianity is not so much a belief system as a life-and-death system that shows you how to give away your life, how to give away your love, and eventually how to give away your death. Basically, how to give away—and in doing so, to connect with the world, with all other creatures, and with God. ....
If Christ represents the resurrected state, then Jesus represents the crucified/resurrecting path of getting there. If Christ is the source and goal, then Jesus is the path from that source toward the goal of divine unity with all things.
It is not insignificant that Christians chose the cross or crucifix as their central symbol. At least unconsciously, we recognized that Jesus talked a lot about losing your life.” Perhaps Ken Wilber’s distinction between climbing religions” and descending religions” is helpful here. He and I both trust the descending form of religion much more, and I think Jesus did too. Here the primary language is unlearning, letting go, surrendering, serving others, and not the language of self development—which often lurks behind our popular notions of salvation.” ....
But in the Buddhist frame, suffering is seen as the practical and real price for letting go of illusion, false desire, superiority, and separateness. Suffering is also pointed out as the price we pay for not letting go, which might be an even better way to teach about suffering.
Any time you surrender a negative, accusatory, compulsive, or self-serving thought, word, or behavior, the Buddhists describe this as dying”! ...
Both Christianity and Buddhism are saying that the pattern of transformation, the pattern that connects, the life that Reality offers us is not death avoided, but always death transformed. In other words, the only trustworthy pattern of spiritual transformation is death and resurrection. ...
Both groups are saying that death and life are two sides of the same coin, and you cannot have one without the other. Each time you offer the surrender, each time you trust the dying, your faith is led to a deeper level and you discover a Larger Self underneath. You decide not to push yourself to the front of the line, and something much better happens in the back of the line. You let go of your narcissistic anger, and you find that you start feeling much happier. You surrender your need to control your partner, and finally the relationship blossoms. Yet each time it is a choice—and each time it is a kind of dying. ...
The mystics and great saints were those who had learned to trust and allow this pattern, and often said in effect, What did I ever lose by dying?” ...
Things change and grow by dying to their present state, but each time it is a risk. Will it work this time?” is always our question. So many academic disciplines are coming together, each in its own way, to say that there’s a constant movement of loss and renewal at work in this world at every level. It seems to be the pattern of all growth and evolution. To be alive means to surrender to this inevitable flow. It’s the same pattern in every atom, in every human relationship, and in every galaxy. Native peoples, Hindu scripture, Buddha, Moses, Muhammad, and Jesus all saw it early in human history and named it as a kind of necessary dying.”
If this pattern is true, it has been true all the time and everywhere. ...
All of us travelers, each in our own way, have to eventually learn about letting go of something smaller so something bigger can happen. But that’s not a religion—it’s highly visible truth. It is the Way Reality Works.
Yes, I am saying:
That the way things work and Christ are one and the same.
This is not a religion to be either fervently joined or angrily rejected.
It is a train ride already in motion.
The tracks are visible everywhere.
You can be a willing and happy traveler,
Or not. These are the inspired words of Richard Rohr, and we respond,
Reader & All: Thanks be to God!
(Judy) The third reading is from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
The fourth reading is from Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine.”
These are the inspired words of Paul, and we respond,
Reader & All: Thanks be to God.
Excerpts From The Message by Eugene H Peterson
🎶 Repeat Alleluia. https://youtu.be/IC4nbwmQDVw
Shared homily. (Michael) For my homily starter I want to repeat three of Richard Rohr’s statements: 1.“Things change and grow by dying to their present state, but each time it is a risk. ‘Will it work this time?’ is always our question.”
2.“There’s a constant movement of loss and renewal at work in this world at every level. It seems to be the pattern of all growth and evolution. To be alive means to surrender to this inevitable flow.”
3.“(This) is the Way Reality Works.”
As the Spirit moves you, now is your opportunity to share about the readings, the liturgy, or anything else. Please mic on to share, then mic off.
Profession of Faith. Voice4 & All:
We believe in the creator of all whose divinity infuses life with the sacred.
We believe in Jesus the Christ who leads us to the fullness of humanity.
We believe in the Spirit of wisdom, the divine breath on earth, who enlightens those living in darkness.
Amen to courage, to hope, to the spirit of truth, to wholeness, to the partnership of all persons in the divine plan.
We believe in justice and peace for all. We surely believe in all this!
Prayers of the Community (Teresa) A few moments of silence before we bring our community prayers and offerings to the table.
We bring to the table prayers for our community and the world. (Response: Christ, you graciously hear us!)
We bring to the table our MMOJ members who aren’t with us today. In this time of physical distancing may we find ways to remain close and connected to our family, our friends, and our community. We pray. R
The covid-19 pandemic continues to rage across the country. We bring to the table public health professionals and government leaders responsible for public health. May they collaborate to make wise decisions to protect our physical, emotional, and economic health. We pray. R
We bring to the table our fellow citizens who continue to protest the pandemic of racism. May we support their efforts to promote justice for those who suffer the effects of systemic racism. We pray. R
Who and what else shall we bring to the table today?
(Please turn your mic on to offer a prayer, then mic off.)
(Teresa): Christ, we will be your presence in the world today and every day of our lives. All: Amen
We offer our gifts.
🎶 All Sing: Seed Scattered and Sown, https://youtu.be/r7CWT7q5ybQ
Eucharistic Prayer. (Adapted from communion services in A Wee Worship Book by Wild Goose Worship Group. The wild goose is a Celtic symbol of the Spirit.)
🎶 We are Holy, https://youtu.be/orKBBIj5LZA
Voice5 & All: Jesus was always the guest.
In the homes of Peter and Jairus,
Martha and Mary, Joanna and Susanna,
he was always the guest.
At the meal tables of the wealthy
where he pled the case of the poor,
he was always the guest.
Upsetting polite company,
Befriending isolated people,
welcoming the stranger,
he was always the guest.
Voice6 & All: But here
at this table,
Jesus is the host.
Those who wish to serve him
must first be served by him,
Those who want to follow him
must first be fed by him,
Those who would wash his feet
must first let him make them clean.
Voice7 & All: For this is the table
where God intends to nourish us;
this is the time when Christ can make us new.
So come, you who hunger and thirst
for a deeper faith,
for a better life,
for a fairer world.
who has sat at our table,
now invites us to be guests at his.
Voice8 & All: For us you were born,
for us you healed,
and showed your way.
You died and rose
to show us the path of transformation.
Jesus Christ, present with us now,
for all that you have done
and all that you have promised,
what have we to offer?
Voice9 & All: Our hands are empty,
our hearts are sometimes full of doubt and fear.
But with you is mercy
and the power to change.
Voice10 & All: So as we do in this place
what you did in an upstairs room,
send down your Spirit
and on these gifts of bread and wine
that they may become for us your body,
and making us whole;
and that we may become,
loving and caring in the world
until your kindom comes. Amen
(Taking and breaking the bread)
Voice11 & All: Among friends, gathered around the table,
Jesus took bread, broke it and said,
“This is my body,
It is broken for you.”
(Taking the cup of wine)
Voice12 & All: Later, after they had eaten,
Jesus took a cup of wine and said,
“This is the new relationship with God,
made possible because of my life and death.
Drink this, all of you, to remember me.”
Prayer of Jesus
Voice13 & All: Let us pray as Jesus taught his companions to pray:
O Holy One, you are 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 your 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
(Adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)
Communion. Voice14 & All:
Look: here is Christ coming to us
in bread and wine.
These are the gifts of God
for the people of God.
We are the Body of Christ.
(All receive Communion)
🎶 We Are Called, https://youtu.be/8eqC-ESoNWw
(Please sing along)
V1. Come! Live in the light!
Shine your joy and the love of our God
We are called to be light for the kindom,
To live in the freedom of the city of God!
Refrain. We are called to act with justice,
We are called to love tenderly,
We are called to serve one another;
To walk humbly with God.
V3. Sing, Sing a new song!
Sing of that great day when all will be one!
God will reign, and we’ll walk with each other
As sisters and brothers united in love! Refrain
Final prayer. (Teresa) (A moment of silence after communion) May we go out from here full of Christ’s peace, to love and serve one another, in our community and in our wider world. And let us be thankful. All: Amen
Thanksgiving. Introductions. Announcements. (Michael)
Mutual blessing (Michael) Please raise your hand in blessing and sing with me: All sing: Rejoice and be glad! Blessed are we, holy are we! Rejoice and be glad! Ours is the kindom of God! x2
Voice15 & All: Let us go in peace. May we be transformed into the love of Christ to all those we meet. Alleluia!
🎶 Concluding song: Everyday God,
If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to invite someone to attend our liturgy, please refer them to the day’s liturgy at MaryMotherofJesus.org
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34328