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Welcome! (Elena) We warmly welcome you to the inclusive Catholic Community of 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. During the shared homily and prayers of the community, we invite you to unmute yourself to contribute, then mute yourself again. Please have bread and wine or juice with you as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer.
Theme: Understanding and Peace: A stage of consciousness
(Janet): In twelve days we will again be invited to enter into the desert of our hearts on Ash Wednesday. It will be another opportunity to set our hearts and minds on jumpstarting, evaluating and, best of all, of increasing our level of consciousness and spiritual development. May we open our hearts and minds during this liturgy to respond to a call from none-other than Holy Mystery, to integrate our earthly and heavenly DNA by delving deeper into our consciousness and expanding our horizons. All this within a field of infinite possibilities.
Gathering Song: We are Called
(Elena): We begin our liturgy in the name of our Creator, the Source of all being, and of the Son, eternal Word, and of the Holy Spirit, Sofia Wisdom. All: Amen.
(Elena): My sisters and brothers, God is with Us
All: God is with us Indeed!
O Holy One, you are unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, and the Life of all life. Help us to understand that You are the reason why everything that is, is, and why each of us exists, namely, to receive your ineffable,
all transforming, all beautifying Love. We ask for the grace to allow ourselves to be loved, to be there for You, Love , to love us. Help us to seed our consciousness with silent moments of presence with you that will lead to understanding and peace.
Community Reconciliation (Brief Pause for reflection.)
( Janet): Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets are hidden. Cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Holy Wisdom.
All: We take your Word into our minds and hearts. Open them to new understanding.
(Janet): Loving Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in understanding, compassion and caring for ourselves, all of humanity and for our planet earth, and all the while to be You for others and to meet You in others.
All: We accept your love and understanding of the frailty of our human nature.
( Janet) We ask for your forgiveness for our failure to extend compassion, understanding and caring to all your children, our brothers and sisters regardless of beliefs, nationalities, races and actions, for we are all worthy to be called your sacred people.
All: (with an outstretched arm):
Holy Mystery, 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 Holy Spirit Sofia, our healer and comforter. Amen.
The Sign of Peace (Jim B) It is fitting that, having asked for Divine and mutual forgiveness, we now extend an expression of Peace to each other.
(Jim and All): Grant us Your peace O Loving God, that following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, we may be eager to spread that peace to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. Amen
(Jim B): May the peace of our gracious and loving God be always with us. Let us turn to each other and with praying hands offer each other a sign of peace. NAMASTE 3x
Glory to God, glory, O praise God, alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God. (3x)
First Reading ( Andrea) “An Invitation to the Spiritual Journey”
There are many ways to become open to our Divine Source so that we may be healed. There is life itself. Clearly the Divine Mystery can touch us in people, in nature, in music, in art…..Whatever spiritual disciplines we undertake, they are no band aid. The heavy and stubborn patterns which overlay our souls don’t magically go away. Spiritual practice is essential, not for its own sake, but to link us up to God and to God’s health which lives at the center of each of us. There is no way we can get out of God’s love or away from the deep-seated health. We have resources available to us that are mightier than all the powers of the world, even that in us which is resistant to the light and the best interest of our own souls. What is needful is not perfect spiritual practice but our willingness to let God’s gift of deep health come out of its hiding place and become the operative principle of our lives.
These are inspired words shared by John P. Gorsuch and we respond:
All: SO BE IT!
Psalm: 103 (Andrea)
Response: We bless your Holy Name
~Bless the Beloved, O my soul and all that is within me.
~Bless the Beloved, O my soul and remember the goodness of Love.
~Through you come peace and justice for all who are oppressed.
~You make known the pathway of truth, and guide us on the Way.
All: We bless your Holy Name.
~The Beloved’s home is in our hearts, as we discover in the Silence.
~Bless the beloved, O you angels, you faith-filled ones who hear the Word, following the voice of Love!
~Bless the Beloved all you people, those who abandon themselves into Love’s hands!
All: We bless your Holy Name
Second Reading 1Cor.15: 45 (Jim B) We follow this sequence in Scripture: The First Adam received life, the Last Adam is a life-giving Spirit. Physical life comes first, then spiritual—a firm base shaped from the earth, a final completion coming out of heaven. The first man was made out of earth, and people since then are earthy; the Second Man was made out of heaven, and people now can be heavenly. In the same way that we’ve worked from our earthy origins, let’s embrace our heavenly ends. These are the inspired words of St. Paul and we respond: All: Amen
Gospel acclamation: Celtic Alleluia
Gospel Luke 6: 27-38 (Proclaimed by Janet)
“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the supple moves of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more payback. Live generously.
Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way Our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--- unless , of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people, you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back----given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
This are the inspired words found in the gospel of Luke and we as a community respond, All: Glory and praise to our brother Jesus
Homily Starter/ Community Reflections
Profession of Faith (Jim B and All) We believe in a God of extravagant love who dwells with us, rejoices with us in our blessed selves and supports us in our struggles, losses and sufferings.
We believe in that God who is the Creator of an unfinished world in an ever-evolving cosmos and whose divinity infuses all that is in it and makes everything in the universe sacred. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, our peace and our light. Through His incarnation, we are a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Wisdom who keeps the Christ-vision present to all those persons who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives. She heals and energizes us when we grow weary on our journeys; She is our rest on our Walk on the Earth. We believe that God’s kindom is here with us now and will always be there for those who have eyes to recognize it, minds to understand it, and hearts and hands to make it known to their brothers and sisters wherever they may be.
And, in all this, we surely believe in a world of peace and justice for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.
Prayers of the Community
(Andrea): We are a people of faith. We believe in the power of prayer. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each one of us. And so, we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious Creator.
After each intercession please respond: R-All Loving God, hear our prayers.
~O Holy One , we are one in you, and all that we do affects the whole; make us aware of your power to seed the world with good or ill by every thought, word, and deed.
~Our hearts are torn by the realization of the sufferings of others; grant that we may never be a stumbling block to others or a culpable cause of their pain.
~Jesus, you chose laborers, and tax collectors, to be your companions; preserve us from deciding what people are by what they do, and let us see the worth of every person and the value in every kind of work.
R-All Lov …….
Bless those who have lost their life companion through death or divorce; let the people of God be a saving support and comfort to them.
R-All Lov ……
~Holy Mystery, Jesus is Your supreme gift to us. Grant that the words of his gospel be woven into our daily lives, coming easily to mind for our inspiration and your glory.
For what else shall we pray?
(Andrea) God of Mystery, God of Love, send your Spirit into our hearts with gifts of wisdom and peace, fortitude and charity. We long to love and serve you. Faithful God, make us faithful. This we ask through the intercession of all your saints. Amen
(Elena) Let us listen as Joe Wise helps us to bring ourselves, just the way we are, to the celebration of Eucharist.
Song: We offer our gifts. 🎶 “Here is My Life” by Joe Wise
Preparation of the Gifts
(Jim B) Blessed are You, God of all 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
( Jim B): Blessed are you God of all 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 Gifts
All: Loving and caring God, we, your people are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are one with all beings in the community of creation and with all those who share your gift of compassion, especially toward those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. May we strive to live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel of our brother Jesus, supported by the wisdom that directed him and by the Wisdom of the Spirit who supports us. Amen.
(Jim B): Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
(Jim B): Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at the family table.
All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all of creation.
(Jim B): Let us lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up to the Holy One who lives in us and loves others through us.
(Jim B): God dwells in each one of us. All: Namaste!
Preparation of our Communion Gifts
(Janet and All): Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness, each one of us has bread and fruit of the vine to offer at this sacred meal, that which the earth has given and human hands have made. They will become for us our Bread of Life and Spiritual Drink. Blessed be God for all the love that has been given to each one of us.
(Janet and All): Loving God, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness. You are always with us…you live in us and we live in you. May we reflect your compassionate care in everything we do and say with everyone we meet today. And moved by the Spirit, each one of us will sing our shared blessing:
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)
(Elena and All):
We thank you, God, for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. Through him, you breathe life into us. He was moved by his vision of your constant presence in everyone, everywhere he went. He revealed you in everything he did in his life well lived. And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may die.
(Janet ) Epiclesis: Chris Williamson will sing this “Invocation”
**Please extend your hands over the bread and wine as we pray together:
(Janet and All) O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts that we brought from your fields and placed on our table – this simple wheat and wine. May She make them holy so that they will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.
(Elena) 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, in providing an example of his wisdom for all people in every age to come, he opened wide his arms and died on a cross. The Spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise that he made to all of us, too. Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.
** Please stretch out your arm over the bread and cup
(Elena) We remember the gift that Jesus gave us 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 and 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.
(Janet) 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.
(Janet): 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, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.
Let us proclaim this mystery of faith…All: Christ dies, Christ rises, Christ comes again and again and again.
(Elena) Jesus who walks with us on the path to holiness, you are the spark of love in whom we believe; the Wisdom of Sophia in whom we trust; and the desire for justice that consumes us.
(Elena) As we celebrate the memory of Jesus, we remember our prophetic leader. We remember the communion of saints who have inspired and loved us and all who have gone before us leaving their foot prints on our hearts.(Names………..)
All: For it is through living as Jesus lived that we awaken to your Spirit loving through us to promote justice and equality in our service to our sisters and brothers. AMEN
Prayer of Jesus
(Janet & All): Eternal Spirit, Earth maker, Pain bearer, Life giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be. Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven –The hallowing of your name echos through the universe.
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world,
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings.
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come to earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In the times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trial too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen
(A contemplative prayer in the style of Taize from St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Seattle.)
( Jim and All) PRAYER FOR THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD
~O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
~ O God of Compassion, You call us to be your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
~ O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
(Elena and All): What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives. As we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.
(Elena) **Please share Eucharist with the words “You are the Body of Christ”, “You are the Face of God”.
COMMUNION: Song: Live Piano Instrumental Worship/Dappy Keys
Final Prayer. (Janet) : Bountiful God, we are filled with wonder and gratitude as we strive to realize our calling to tell the message of the gospel with our lives. Let the promises of Christ give us the freedom to leave behind all that hinders the coming of your realm on earth. Give us the courage and peace of heart that comes from confidence in your care. Dispel the darkness of our lives with healing truth; make us ready for the new wine of the future. We ask this of You, God of time and eternity. Amen
PRAYERS OF GRATITUDE, INTRODUCTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS
(Elena and All) (Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)
As we go forth from this sacred space, let us purposefully look with new eyes and hearts to recognize our call, to Spiritual growth and evolving consciousness.
All: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!
(Elena) Full of Christ’s peace, may we go out in haste to share the Good news of the Divine Presence dwelling within. Remember, that as the face of Christ to the world we are absolute existence and a field of infinite possibilities. Let our service continue with a Happy song of the soul.
Closing Hymn: Song of the Soul by Chris Williamson
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 34238
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