Theme: Holy Spirit Then and Forever
Mary Mother of Jesus is an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome to share Eucharist. As you hear the Word, you will be invited to share your insights. As an inclusive Catholic Community, we encourage all to read the prayers with us and to listen and/or join us in song. Be sure you are muted unless you are a reader or prayer leader. Unmute if you wish to share in the reflections after the shared homily and re-mute when you finish. Please have bread and wine or juice with you as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer.
Gathering Song: Send Us Your Spirit
(Elena) Alleluia! We Are A Pentecost People! Alleluia!
All: Come, Holy Spirit, and make us Pentecost people.
Let your wisdom and right judgement guide our decisions and temper our impulses.
Let knowledge and understanding increase our capacities for empathy and compassion.
Let reverence and awe fill us with gratitude and respect for all your creation.
And strengthen us with courage to witness boldly to our faith in our words and deeds.
It is through our brother Jesus and our sister Spirit that we make these prayers. Amen.
(Janet) As we gather together from our homes, made sacred by our presence, to share in this banquet of love, let us pray in the name of God, our Creator, of Christ, our liberator, and of Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier. All: Amen.
(Elena): My sisters and brothers, The Spirit of God dwells within us!
(Elena and All): Holy Spirit Sofia Wisdom dwells within us indeed!
(Elena and 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 love - your unconditional and unending love - that leads us to our love and peace for one another. Help us to recognize the roles of your Spirit in our lives, the One who is ever present in all our places, at all times. You call us to lives of love and peace…to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with all of creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to welcome everyone with whom we come in contact …they are your presence among us. With the strength of your Wisdom, help us open the horizons of our minds and hearts that we may, through our actions, spread your gospel messages. This we ask in communion with Jesus, our brother, and with the power of Holy Spirit Amen.
Communal Reconciliation, Healing and Transformation
(Janet) Creator God to whom all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and from whom no secrets can be hidden, cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Holy Wisdom. We pause now to remember the times we have let anxieties sap our energy to live our mission to be the Christ Presence in the world. (Pause)
Let us place our concerns and issues in the loving hands of the Holy One, and open ourselves to recognize God’s unconditional everlasting love.
(Janet and All) : We take your Word into our minds and hearts. We ask that through your Spirit, we may respond to your grace to realize our continual need to grow in an ever better understanding, compassion and caring for ourselves, for our brothers and sisters, and for our planet Earth. May we gather both the strength of your Spirit and the grace of your Divine Presence within us so that we may extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift – through us – to everyone we meet, everywhere. May we be open to a deeper understanding of your unconditional forgiveness and everlasting love.
(Pause briefly. Then extend your arm over your heart)
Come Holy Spirit, Come, Alleluia!
Glory to God by Marty Haugen and video by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck
Refrain: Glory to God in the highest,
Glory to God in the highest,
Glory to God In the highest,
And peace to God’s people on earth!
We sing praises to you,
God of life, God of wonder,
Hearts filled with joy,
let our voices be thunder. Ref
Sing to Jesus, the Christ,
Word of life to the nations,
Raised up in glory
As our hope of salvation. Ref
In the Spirit we come
For the feast and the stories,
Speaking of God
In the pain and the glory. Ref (2x)
LITURGY OF THE WORD
(Elena)The first scriptural reading for today is a passage from Acts, chapter 2, verses 1 to 14. The event that leads us to this passage is the Feast of the Ascension, which we celebrated last week. Jesus reminded them , again, that they were to receive the Holy Spirit and not to leave Jerusalem until they would receive the strength to be His witnesses “in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world” Let us now listen to the transformative power of Holy Spirit as read by Maryal.
When the Feast of Pentecost came they were all in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force---no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongue being spoken, they were blown away. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we are hearing them talk in our own mother tongues? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs!
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!” Their heads were spinning, they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?” others joked, “They’re drunk on cheap wine.”
These are the inspired word found in the Acts of the apostles and believed to have been authored by Luke. All: Thanks be to God.
(Ann) RESPONSORIAL PSALM: 29
Response: Bless the Radiant One, O My Soul!
O Heart of my heart, you are so very great! You are clothed with justice and mercy, arrayed in light as your fine attire.
You stretch over the heavens like a tent, your Radiance covering the waters.
Response: Bless the Radiant One, O My Soul!
O You who know all hearts, how manifold are your works! In wisdom You have created them all; the earth is filled with your creatures. O that we might receive your gifts, taking only what is needed with grateful hearts.
Response: Bless the Radiant One, O My Soul
The glory of the Radiant one endures forever, for the works of love are sure. You are ever present to us even as the earth trembles.
I will abandon myself into your hands as long as I live; I will sing praise to you while I have breath.
Response: Bless the Radiant ONE, O My Soul!
(Maryal) Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7
God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere: but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various expression of power are in action everywhere; but God is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is. Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the Spirit of God who decides who gets what, and when.
These are the inspired words of Paul, disciple of Jesus. All: Thanks be to God.
(Translation from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson)
Alleluia – by Jan Phillips shortened
(Ann ) Gospel:
A reading from the Gospel of John: 20:19-22
On the evening of that first day of the week, the doors were locked in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Temple Authorities. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them the marks of crucifixion. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw Jesus, who said to them again, “Peace be with you.” As Abba God sent me, so I am sending you.” After saying this Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
These are the inspired words of John, disciple of Jesus. All: Glory to you, O God.
Alleluia –by Jan Phillips shortened
Homily: Janet Blakeley
Ask just about anyone what the big Christian celebrations are and the response will be “Christmas and Easter.” These are two very significant events in the church, but our generation may come to see Pentecost as equally important or even more so.
Simultaneously, Elena and I zeroed in on one issue: i.e., What was really happening at that mysterious gathering? Or better yet – What was God wanting to accomplish with all those unusual happenings? The people gathered there seem to have recognized signs - wind, fire and speaking in other languages - as announcing the presence of God’s spirit. Christianity has explained all that inspired activity as being a means to attract more people to the forming church than had ever before been seen. St. Augustine called that day the birthday of the church. That alone gives Pentecost significance. But it doesn’t seem like the main event.
Like everyone else, Elena has been shocked and distressed by the war in Ukraine. Reading back in the Gospel of John, she reflected on Jesus’ final prayer before his passion – a prayer for oneness among people – and she seized upon that saying “If we had listened and loved one another and been as one life with each other and with God, this wouldn’t have happened!” That certainly is true. But we look at the attempts of the early church at being “one.” They were sincere and effective, but they lasted only a short time. Other attempts were made, some successful, but all short lived, and by the time the church became recognized by the Roman Empire, other values soon took over. If we think that oneness was God’s objective in manifesting Pentecost, we must acknowledge that it didn’t work very well.
We want to suggest looking at Pentecost from a slightly different angle. Begin by acknowledging that when God created people, they were something entirely earthly, of the earth and intended to remain part of the earth. As earthly beings, they certainly did not have divine characteristics such as the capacity to forgive, or the capacity to commit to loving others above self. You wonder just what it was about this creation called “people” that tickled God, that made God long for companionship and even union with people. That longing posed a dilemma, however, because earthly creatures were lacking divine characteristics that would make them compatible with the nature of God. From where we stand, God’s sharing the divine spirit with men and women would bridge that gap.
Can we say that by receiving the Spirit at Pentecost, a small part of humanity “evolved?” when it became, in part, spiritual beings? Evolution, as we understand it in the biological world, is slow and gradual in the changes it brings about. Is our development of loving characteristics slow and gradual? Is that why we feel we have not succeeded at being what Jesus longed for us to be – when, in fact, many are working at it in small ways, in hidden places, seen by God and occasionally by us. (That’s when we hear ourselves note that someone had a change of heart,}
We have become aware that evolution is not determined by the creature but the creator. Nor is it forced but rather invited. Can we hear our call to be loving creatures as God’s shared spirit whispers to us within our very being?
If this perspective feels right to you, you can say that God did accomplish God’s purpose at Pentecost by gifting the human being with a sharing of the divine spirit. It is working - slowly but surely. Let us be wary of bemoaning what is not happening fast enough or intensely enough. What IS we experience every day and, we hope, we turn to offer it to others. Time is not our concern. Attention to the Spirit is.
Shared Homily and Community Reflections (Mute to share and re-mute when finished.)
Statement of Faith:
(Mayal and All) We believe in God, the Divine Mystery that is beyond our understanding… the Creator of an unfinished world in an ever-evolving cosmos. God is the Holy One who invites us to join with our brothers and sisters in creating and building a world of justice, a new world of love and peace on our planet Earth.
We believe in God who calls all of the world’s wide-spread populations to harmony and unity so that, in settings of peace and understanding, they may heal the hurts and the sufferings that have been caused over time and replace them with a celebration of love and enduring partnerships.
We believe in God who has not divided the people into the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, the wise and the unwitting, the advantaged and the disadvantaged. We believe in a God who created all of us to be brothers and sisters of one another in a Blessed Family.
We believe in Jesus, the Word of God who became human like us. He befriended the well-placed and the poorest persons regardless of their positions in society. He spoke truth to every man and woman with whom he came in contact, and he spread to everyone, the love, peace and justice that he always preached. And for all this, he was put to death for doing what was his blessed mission.
We believe in Jesus who, then, was raised to life.
We believe in the Spirit of God, the Breath of our innermost life and the Sustainer of everything that exists in this world. She is the one who brings order out of chaos, peace out of strife, love out of hatred, and life out of death. We truly believe in Her. Amen.
Prayers of the Community
(Ann): This day has God poured out the Spirit of Jesus on those gathered in Christ’s name. The Holy spirit inflamed the hearts of the believers who then boldly went forth to proclaim God’s word.
We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We believe that we send blessings to those who are struggling and need help if they are to experience hope; and to those, as well, who may be in physical or emotional pain. As the Holy Spirit descended with gifts of wisdom, fortitude, piety and reverence for God, so today with longing hearts we pray.
SPIRIT OF GOD, RAIN DOWN YOUR GIFTS ON OUR PARCHED SPIRITS, HEAL US AS WE AWAKEN TO YOUR CALL.
~O God, you create and recreate with the power of love. Open our hearts to your indwelling Spirit that we may be one with you in all that we do.
Response: Spirit of God…………..
~ You send your Spirit to banish fears and to bring us peace. Let our lives mirror your mercy and goodness and reveal your love.
Response: Spirit of God………….
~Holy spirit, Father and Mother of the poor, bring to birth in us the desire and means to deliver the poor from want.
Response: Spirit of God………
~Holy Spirit, strong and gentle comforter, we pray for the devastated families of all those recently killed in senseless acts of violence in our country.
Response: Spirit of God…………
~Holy Spirit, free spirit, we pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia that they may live in peace without fear and that goodness and sanity will fill the hearts and minds of those that would cause them harm.
Response: Spirit of God……….
~We pray that our government puts children above guns, power, and greed.
Response: Spirit of God……….
~We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Joan M shares)
Response: Spirit of God……
~For what else should we pray?
Response: Spirit of God…………..
~Come Holy Spirit , breathe new life into your people. Show us the true meaning of the Gospel, and enkindle our hearts with a love that will transform our lives. Grant us the unity for which Jesus prayed, now and forever. AMEN
Offertory Song: Spirit of the Living God by Michael Crawford
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.
Melt me mold me
Fill me use me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me. (1x)
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
(Janet): O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you. We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence.
(Elena): Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together: (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane, adapted)
(Maryal and All): O Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future.
As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.
May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth and world community with a common destiny.
United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)
(Ann and All): We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world. We pray for peace in their name.
And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on - this great blossoming that is meant to go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name.
And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this,
For the animals that have no voice in this,
For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this,
For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their name.
We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.
(Please extend your hands in blessing)
(Janet and All): Your Spirit is upon the gifts we bring to this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, and they are gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.
On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.
All lift bread and pray the following:
When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat; this is my very self.
All lift the cup and pray the following:
(Elena and All): He then raised high the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine saying:
Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life,
for you and for everyone, for liberation from every oppression.
Whenever you do this, Re-member me and all that I have taught you!
The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead showed us, by Her action, that life is eternal and that love is immortal. Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love. We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation.
We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
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, O Holy One, at this time and all time and in all ways.
And we say yes to You!
Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller
(Janet and All) The Abba Prayer
Gracious Spirit, who loves us like a mother,
Whose realm is blooming among us now, and within.
We pray that your compassion guide us in every action.
Give us what we need for each day, and help us to be satisfied with the miracle of that alone.
Forgiver, whose embrace brings us to wholeness without our asking, may we reconcile ourselves to one another in humility.
And may we cancel the crushing debts that imprison our neighbors, so that communities of joy and health may flourish.
May we neither profit from nor ignore evil,
But ever work to thwart it with non-violence, as we co-create the realm of peace in this world, now and each day.
Amen. (Bret Hesla/wsj)
Sign of Peace:
(Maryal) Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave you. My peace I give you.” We send peace and love to the families of all those taken from their loved ones. Let us now extend a sign of peace to one another and to our world as we bow and say, “Namaste, Namaste, Namaste”.
(Ann 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: Spirit Moves, by Jan Novotka
Thanksgiving Introductions Announcements
CLOSING RITE: (Janet)
O God, give us your Spirit that we may reverence you and all things that draw us to you. You know that we love you. Increase our desires that we may grow in this love and reverence, through Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you, Source of all life, and with the Holy Spirit. Amen
(Elena) May we all go in the peace of Christ, and let our services to our sisters and brothers be those of the loving people that each one of us were created to be… and may we do so following in the footsteps of Jesus and with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
(All) Amen, Thanks be to God, Alleluia!
Canticle of the Sun - By Marty Haugen