Saturday, March 5, 2022

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, First Sunday of Lent, International Women's Month, March 5, 2022, Presiders: Kathryn Shea and Lee Breyer, Readers: Pat and Bob Ferkenhoff, Music Ministers: Linda and Rick Miller , IT Supporter: Peg Bowen

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Theme:  Lent - Food for the Journey

A Warm Welcome at our Gathering

Lee:  Again, as always, we welcome you to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida.   We invite you to pray the entire liturgy with us in the privacy of your zoom room or space; the names of specific persons are mentioned in this text so that some particular prayer will be heard by everyone. These actions are taken to minimize background noises that could distract or even interrupt your prayers.

Everyone will be muted (silenced) during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers.  However, during the “shared homily” and “community prayers, we ask you to unmute yourself so you can be heard if you would like to contribute a comment at that time…and then re-mute yourself when you are finished so another person can speak openly.

And please have your bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer so that you can consecrate them into the Body and Blood of Christ at that time.  And now, let us focus our minds and hearts on our prayers as we start the opening of Lent and its season and as we prepare our “food for the journey.” 

Opening Song:  Imagine by John Lennon (UNICEF: World Version)

Opening Prayer

Kathryn:   God of Compassion, God of peace and justice, you guide all of Creation in wisdom and goodness by giving us the many examples of them in the life of Jesus, our teacher and brother. Open our hearts to the many messages of the Gospel so that they may rule in our hearts and guide our lives in our daily behavior. And now, during this season of Lent, you call all of us to renew the spirituality of our bodies, our minds and our spirits.  So now is a time when it is appropriate that we should ask you to grant us the strength that we will need to renew our personal lifestyles so that we may imitate, more closely, that of Jesus.  

God of Love, we know that you are with us, and in us, each and every day - yesterday, today, and every future day - as we make our efforts to progress in our conscious awareness of our responsibility to bring forth your kin-dom on Earth.  We need your blessing and spiritual energy so that we are able to live justly, love tenderly and work for justice in our world  

We ask these blessings in the names of Mary, our mother, and of our brother Jesus; and we do so   through the power of your Spirit.  Amen.

Lee:  As we pray, at this first week of the Lent, we feast in your love.  Creator God, may we be your voice in the world, enabled by living the Gospels of compassion and justice. 

Jesus, your death reminds us that we must be willing to deal with the consequences of our living truth to power.  You walk with us, as essential support, in our strained acts of courage.  Jesus, may we find the grace to identify and cooperate with others, models in their challenges against systemic injustice in our communities, our nation, and in the entire world.

Lee and ALL:  Jesus, may we live your models of love, peace and justice and be at peace with people everywhere… so that we may live to serve the needs of all of creation.

Pat F:  (Please extend an arm toward one another)  God, Mother and Father of mercies, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, you have sent the Holy Spirit among us so that we might live as Jesus did… and bring and spread your kin-dom of creation to those living on the planet Earth. God, you grant us pardon and peace always…may we share that with all others with whom we come in contact.  To do so; we need to be open to your grace… and that of Jesus… to accept it ourselves and then share it with one another. This requires our understanding of your love for us and, – in turn, our peace with everyone we meet and interact..  Where that might not be currently descriptive of my friendship with someone, may my position be … …

Pat F and ALL:  I love you.  I am sorry for ever having hurt you in any way.  Please forgive me.


Liturgy of the Word

Lee:  The scriptural presentation for today is a passage from Mathew, chapter 4, verses 1 to 11.  “Food for the Day” doesn’t focus on only edibles for the 

24 hour period but also can relate to “do you have what it takes to get the job done”.  With that in mind, you will better understand the piece that Kathryn is proclaiming to us today about Jesus and His “food for the day.” . 

Kathryn:  The day after Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, he was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the test. Did Jesus have what it takes to perform the mission that He aspired to do? Jesus prepared for the test by fasting forty days and forty nights.  That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test:  “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”  Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive.  It takes a steady stream of words for God’s mouth.”

For the second test, the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said “Since you are God’s Son, jump.”  The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91:  “He has placed you in the care of angels.  They will catch you so that you won’t so much as even stub your toe on a stone.” Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.”

For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain.  He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were.  Then he said: “They are yours – lock, stock and barrel.  Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.  Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it Satan!”  He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy:  “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single heartedness.”

The series of tests were over.  The Devil left.  And in its place were angels!  Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.

This is the story of Jesus, as described by the Gospel-writer Matthew, and presented by Eugene Patterson in The Message. 

And to this, we all say:  Thank God.

Homily Starter

Lee Breyer

Profession of Faith

Bob F and ALL  We believe in God who calls us to be the compassion of the Creator in the universe.   We believe in Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection demonstrates that God’s liberating love overcomes all oppression.  We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and strengthens us to live Gospel equality everywhere in our nation and throughout the entire world.  We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who have welcomed our MMOJ Community members and friends – including, most recently, Mindy Lou Simmons.  And among the heavenly choir, we remember many others who walked on hearts while on earth including..(name those persons who come to your mind now.)

Prayers of the Community

Bob F:  We are a family of friends who have a variety of needs for our journeys. Since “we are a people of faith”, as we regularly proclaim, we bring a variety of needs to “the table of concerns and care” of God, Jesus, Spirit, and one another.  

To our statements, we will respond; “O God, strengthen us on our journeys.”

Pat F: That those people bound by hatred, hostility and violence may be freed from their painful restraints. , R

That those who are sick and hurting may be brought back to health.  R

That those who have gone on home ahead, especially those who suffered from the coronavirus and its variants.  R

That Mindy Simmons’ family and caretakers may find comfort, healing, and peace at this time of their great loss...R

That those whose intentions are identified in our community prayer list… R

And for what else do we pray?    R

Kathryn:   O Holy One, we walk in faith that the strength of Jesus and the support of the Spirit will bring us, one day, to the end of the journeys for which we have longed while on this earth.  May it be so! R

Offertory: The Preparation of Our Gifts for the Journey

Pat F:  Blessed are you, Jesus of Nazareth; it is through your goodness that we have the grain of the field and the fruit of the vine that we have with us today. It is with your blessing that we will become a new creation.  This Sacred Meal is our food for the journey with you on this earth until we arrive at our blessed home in heaven.

Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)

Eucharistic Prayer

Bob F:  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 to all those we meet today and on our journeys home.  

Kathryn: Creator God, we thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history, and the gift of Jesus, the Christ, in faith. You brought him from among all your people to baptize us in your Spirit.  His life was moved by his consuming vision of your presence both in himself and in his earthly mission.  He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well lived.  And he showed us, through his teachings and examples, not only how we should live, but also for what we will suffer…and maybe even die…as he did.  Through him and your Spirit, you breathe life into us so that we may be witnesses to his gospel messages.  Then, 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 for, and taught…his conviction that “love is stronger than death.”  And then, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in every age to come, Jesus opened wide his arms and died…and did so on a cross.  But then, the Spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise that She has made to each one of us as well when our journeys on earth end.  Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.

Lee:  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…it is your food for your journey. 

(Take a short pause here, then continue….)

Then, 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…it is your food for your journey.

Jesus, who was with God in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth is with us now in our bread.  The Spirit of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in our cup.

Let us proclaim this mystery of faith…Jesus has died…Christ is risen …the Cosmic Christ lives in each one of us… and through us …He lives in the world today.

Kathryn:  Heavenly God, we know that you bless your places of faith and your families throughout the world.  We, your people, ask for your grace so that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis our Pope, Bridget Mary our Bishop and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those persons who live on the margins of churches and society.  They are all our brothers and sisters and they are members of your Blessed Family and our Communion of Saints.  We remember all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially … (silently mention names here if you wish)

Kathryn:  We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and can do more than we can surmise or even imagine.  And to this, we say.  

Song: The Great Amen

The Prayer of Jesus

Lee: Oh God who is in heaven and in all of us here on earth - the rich and the poor, the well-satisfied and the hungry, the free and the oppressed, the leadership class and the marginalized, and everyone included in circles of community and those who are excluded from friendships.   Blessed is Your name Oh Holy One, our Comforter and Sustainer.

May your kin-dom come.

Bob F:   May your kin-dom come and your will be done in our actions as we struggle with the complexities of the world.

May your kin-dom come.

Pat F:  Give us this day our daily bread; bread that we are called to share fairly, nourishing the health and welfare of all your holy family, with no exceptions.

May your kin-dom come.

Bob F:  Forgive us our trespasses, for those times that we may have turned away from the stories and struggles of other peoples and countries, and for those times we have thought primarily about ourselves and our settings.

May your kin-dom come.

Pat F:  Strengthen us in times of temptation…the temptation to close our minds, our ears and our eyes to the unfair global systems that create ever-larger and long-lasting gaps between the rich and the poor.

May your kin-dom come.

Bob F:  Deliver us from evil, even where violence happens even in Your name, where gates and other barriers between groups of peoples are so very hard to bring down to work for peace.

And to this, we say “Amen” and “let it be so.”

Passing the Sign of Peace

Kathryn:  God, we know that you give us peace and unity beyond what any words can express.  It is up to us to take advantage of your gifts to us.  We know that the peace you give us is in excess of what any words can express. Bless us as we share that peace with one another.

(Let us pass our peace to one another by bowing with our closed-hands) 

Litany at the Breaking of the Bread and Communion

Lee:  Loving God, you call us to Spirit -filled service and to live the Gospel of Nonviolence for peace and justice.  We will live justly.

Loving God, you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.

Loving God, you call us to speak truth to power.  We will walk humbly with you.

And this is when we will receive the bread and wine (or juice) that we have consecrated into the Body and Blood of Jesus. 

Communion Song: Sanctuary by Carrie Newcomer

(dedicated to the people of Ukraine)

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Kathryn:  Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we shared Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and with one another, our brothers and sisters.  May your grace fill us all with the spiritual strength and personal supplies of food that that we will need for our journeys.  And may we live and work for mercy, peace and justice, in our hearts -- for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters, whoever they are and wherever they are.

Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions and, Announcements

Closing Community Blessing

Lee:  May our hearts be glad on our journey as we dream new dreams, see new visions, and create a new heaven and earth.

May we live and work for understanding and compassion, justice and non-violence in our hearts and in those of everyone we meet.

May we learn to bless, honor and hold in reverence all creation, the earth and one another.

May our loving and liberating God fill us with radiant joy and deep peace…and bless us always with the strength to serve those in need, especially the sick and the stranger.

And may we be the light of the world that Jesus, by his example, was in His time, and that He calls us to be always.

And to this, we all say…Amen, let it be so.

Closing Song: Woman’s Spirit by Karen Drucker (She dedicates this to all the women of the Earth)

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

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