Saturday, January 31, 2015

"The Trial of Judas Iscariot" by Roberta Meehan, D. Min.

Spread the Word!!  The book is officially available both from Create Space and from Amazon.

The Trial of Judas Iscariot  Authored by Roberta M. Meehan, D.Min. 

Looking for a new and exciting way to present a tough scriptural dilemma to your group?

Put Judas Iscariot on trial for whatever crimes he may have committed!

This reading theater, scripturally based presentation with every event carefully cited
and cross-referenced is suitable for any denomination and any group --
 from high schoolers through senior citizens.

The Trial of Judas Iscariot will have everyone thinking about what else is behind the Judas story.

Publication Date:
Jan 9 2015
1496093283 / 9781496093288
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5" x 8"
Black and White
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Homily Starter and Liturgy: Feb. 1st 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time B and Feast of St. Brigit of Kildare, plus photos of MMOJ Celebration/ Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Liturgy on Feb. 1,  2015
 Mark 1:21-28

{21} They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. {22} They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. {23} Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, {24} and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." {25} But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" {26} And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.{27} They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching--with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." {28} At on
ce his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee."

·        A Meditation with background music"
  Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and taught with authority. His words have a powerful effect, but Mark does not share what he actually said. However,  the story within the story, Mark tells us, is  that Jesus liberated a man suffering from demonic possession.

By the power of God working through him, Jesus brought the afflicted man back into wholeness; harmony with God, with self and with others.

Jesus' ministry reveals the triumph of God's powerful presence over the forces that bind people who are marginalized. ...

So too, in each of us the power of God is at work, healing, empowering and transforming us....

In A Passion for Life, (pp. 129-130)
·         Sister Joan Chittister provides the following examples where we need liberation from bondage today:

·          “ We cannot teach the sanctity of life  without teaching the immorality of war. …we cannot teach the glories of man without teaching the equality of women.
We cannot …make church a place rather than a people, nor can we use the idea of “authority to justify oppression.
We need a new image of God.
We need a new respect for the poor and exploited.
We need a new model of women.
We need a new kind of man.

We need new models of holy madness and wisdom and justice and fire.
We need new models of holiness.

We need a new kind of conscience and a new sense of God’s righteous anger.
We need a commitment to non-force and a sense of gentle strength.
We need to stand up together to link arms with the Great Ones of the past in order to find within ourselves the Great Heart it will take to shape the future…”

According to the Irish life of Brigit Bishop Mel ordained Brigit a bishop. She presided with Bishop Conleth over a double monastery of women and men, married and celibate in Kildare. As we heard in our second reading today, there are many legends about her compassion for those in need and her sense of restorative justice. I really like the anecdote about giving away the bishop’s vestments to the poor! Now that is thought that Pope Francis might consider with some bishops who are into silk liturgical attire!

 Brigit reminds us that all of us are called to live the spirit of Jesus who dined with the lowly and challenged the powers that dominate and oppress wherever they are, church or state
Let us close our reflection with the following prayer, perhaps, you might want to substitute your name for Brigit’s as you meditate on God’s call to live as a woman/man of peace.

St. Brigit, you were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace
Cover those who are troubled and anxious
And may peace be firmly rooted
In our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigit you were a voice for the wounded.
What is weak within us
Calm us into a quiet inner listening that heals.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Solas Bhride, Kildare,1997)

Dialogue Questions:
How are we being called to teach with authority?
How are we called to be ministers of liberation and healing today in response to the contemporary demons of our times?

Liturgy Celebrating St. Brigit of Ireland, Feast Day, Feb. 1st, by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

The Irish are a people who live warm hospitality and who love to sing and dance.
 So in this spirit we welcome all to a liturgy in honor of St. Brigit of Kildare.  bishop and abbess, whose gracious hospitality to all especially those on the margins, continues to inspire people today.

Left; St. Brigit of Kildare is depicted standing next to apostles on a ancient stone altar at Rock of Cashel in CountyTipperary, Ireland
Gathering Song: “We are marching in the light of God” (substitute singing, loving, healing, African chant adapted)
Presider: In the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom     ALL:  Amen.
Presider:  God, our joy and delight, You are with us. ALL:  And with all.

Penitential Rite:
(Be seated. Allow a few minutes to become centered. Breathe in deeply the tenderness of God... Breathe out compassion for all living things...) 

General Absolution by Community: (All raise hands extended in prayer and recite together.)
God, the Father and Mother of mercies, through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from the infinite love of God.  May God give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and for our earth in the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom. Amen.

ALL:  Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. Creator God, we give you thanks. We praise you for your glory. O Jesus Christ, Holy Child of our God, you reveal the love of God that permeates our universe. You, who are one in spirit with our God, receive our prayer. For you are the Cosmic Christ, one with the Holy Spirit, forever .Amen.

Opening Prayer:
Presider: O God of compassion and healing. You gave holy Brigit to us as a sign of your love. You caress us with the warmth of the sun.  You encircle us in love’s embrace. You are behind us and before us. You are above us and beneath us. We consecrate all that we are to you. ALL:  Amen

Liturgy of the Word:
A Reading Dt:18: 15-20
Response: “We let the love wash over us. We let, we let, it be “ All sing as chant led by Mindy Simmons
Second Reading: St. Brigit of Kildare (A Reading from the Life of St. Brigit from Praying with Celtic Holy Women by Bridget Mary Meehan)
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia (sung)
A Reading from the Gospel of Mark1:21-28
Response: Alleluia (sung)
Profession of Faith:  ALL: We believe in God, the Fountain of Life, flowing through every being. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who reflects the face of God and the fullness of humanity. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God in the cosmos, who calls us to love and serve. We believe in our global oneness with all in the circle of life. 

General Intercessions
Presider: God of Abundance, we share these prayers as a community united in compassion.
Our response to each prayer is Yes!
That we may give as gift, the gifts we have received
That we, like St. Brigit, may be reflections of compassion and abundance.
That we may care for earth’s creatures.
That we may, like St. Brigit, serve those in need. (Additional spontaneous petitions)
Presider: God of healing, may be reflections of your liberating, healing compassionate love as we live our lives in love with you and with others. United in the power of your Spirit, we pray. Amen.

Preparation of the Gifts:
Collection and procession with gifts: instrumental music
Presiders (raise bread and wine):  Ever gentle God, as co-creators of our planet, we offer you the gifts of bread, wine and our lives.  We celebrate our oneness in the family of God.  In Christ Sophia, the Wisdom of God, we pray.  Amen

All are welcome to join us around the altar and pray the Eucharistic Prayer
Eucharistic Prayer:
Presider: Holy One, You dwell in us.
ALL: And in every living being.
Presider: Lift up your hearts.
ALL:  We lift them up to our Creator in whom all are one.
Presider: Let us give thanks for the gift of life.
ALL: It is right to give the God of Glory present everywhere and in everything, thanks and praise.

ALL sing: We are holy (x3), You are holy (x3), I am holy (x3), we are holy (x3) (Karen Drucker)

Voice One: Holy One, we bring you these gifts that they may become the Christ Presence as we share this sacred banquet.
(All Extend Hands) 
All: We celebrate the outpouring of your Spirit on these gifts as we remember.
 On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat.This is my Body. Do this in memory of me.”  (Pause)  

All: In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. This is my Blood. Do this in memory of me.” 

Presider: The Mystery of Faith: 

ALL: This bread is you, this bread is me. We are one body in Christ.

Voice Two: Holy One, You fill our lives with your Spirit as we celebrate our oneness with all in the Heart of Love.

Voice Three: Holy One, we remember all who are working for equality, human rights and justice. (pause as community remembers and names specific people)

Voice Four : Holy One, we remember Mary, mother of Jesus, faithful disciple, St. Brigit, and all the holy women and men who have passed into Your eternal embrace. May we praise you in union with them and live your compassion and justice each day.

Great Amen:
ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, all glory, honor and praise to you, loving God forever and ever.
Sing: Amen, Amen, Amen
ALL sing: Prayer of Jesus (“Our Father and Mother”)

Sign of Peace: (Peace, is flowing like a river)

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:
All:  God of love in you, with you and through you, we will love. God of service, in you, with you, and through you, we will serve. God of justice, in you, with you and through you, we will do justice.

Presider: Adapted from St. Brigit’s Table Blessing in Praying with Celtic Holy Women
“We welcome the poor to the feast, for they are God’s children, We welcome the sick to the feast for they are God’s joy. Let the poor sit with Jesus at the highest place and the sick dance with the angels.”
ALL: We are the Body of Christ. All are welcome at this feast.

Communion Song: “You are the face of God. I hold you in my heart. You are my family, You are the face of God.” (Chant by Karen Drucker
 Meditation: One World by Mindy Simmons
                Concluding Rite:
Presider:  God of Compassion, you are with us
ALL: And You love through us.

Blessing: Ancient St. Brigit Blessing (with hands extended in prayer)

ALL: May St. Brigit bless the house wherein you dwell. Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof. Bless ever hand that toils to bring it joy. Bless every foot that walks its portals through. May St. Brigit bless the house that shelters you.

Recessional: “We are marching in light of God”
ALL sing &; dance: “We are marching in the light of God” (Substitute: We are dancing, we are living, we are serving in the light of God: South African chant adapted)

Liturgy by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

"Sexism: the Church's Original Sin"/ Huffington Post

"Pontifical Council to Consider Challenges Women Face In Society and Church"/Bridget Mary's Response

Council members are not proposing a discussion of ordaining women priests, the document said and, in fact, statistics show ordination “is not something that women want.” However, it said, “if, as Pope Francis says, women have a central role in Christianity, this role must find a counterpart also in the ordinary life of the Church.
Bridget Mary's Response to Pontifical Council: 
Unless women are ordained deacons, priests and  bishops, they will not have equality in decision making in the church according to Canon Law. Ordaining women is a justice and pastoral issue. Women need to be liturgical leaders at the altar and the gospels must be interpreted from the experiences and lives of women who are spiritual equals created in God's image. Women priests offer healing to centuries old misogyny of the institutional church! 
The vast majority of Catholic women today do not want a bishop’s “purple biretta,” it said, but would like to see Church doors open “to women so that they can offer their contribution in terms of skills and also sensitivity, intuition, passion, dedication, in full collaboration and integration” with men in the Church.
Bridget Mary's Response to Pontifical Council:
I agree that women do not want a bishop's purple biretta,forget the clerical clothing,  but women bishops need to be present at the decision making table at the Vatican on all issues especially those that apply to women's lives  such as contraception. 
The preparatory document looked at how much pressure women face regarding their body image and the way women’s bodies are exploited in the media, even to the point of provoking eating disorders or recourse to unnecessary surgery.
“Plastic surgery that is not medico-therapeutic can be aggressive toward the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body in as much as it is a refusal of the ‘season’ that is being lived out,” it said.
“‘Plastic surgery is like a burqa made of flesh.’ One woman gave us this harsh and incisive description,” the document said. “Having been given freedom of choice for all, are we not under a new cultural yoke of a singular feminine model?” 
Bridget Mary's Response to Pontifical Council: How many women did the Pontifical Council consult on women's bodies and the dangers of plastic surgery to feminine identity? An all-male celibate clergy is ill-advised to plunge into the waters of the feminine identity? There is too steep a learning curve here, guys!
 document also denounced violence inflicted on women: “Selective abortion, infanticide, genital mutilation, crimes of honor, forced marriages, trafficking of women, sexual molestation, rape — which in some parts of the world are inflicted on a massive level and along ethnic lines — are some of the deepest injuries inflicted daily on the soul of the world, on the bodies of women and of girls, who become silent and invisible victims.” Bridget Mary's Response to Pontifical Council: Violence against women is an important area and patriarchy needs to acknowledge it complicity. One needed area of improvement is prevention of abortions through education and family planning including contraception.   By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service. 

"Big Jesus" , A new book about Jesus for Christian adults with a sense of humor, by Jimmy Watson

This may be the most honest book ever written about Jesus. As a veteran pastor in the United Church of Christ, Dr. Watson shares his thoughts on the timeless topic of Christology—the doctrine of Christ—with new and creative insights, informative and accessible theology, personal anecdotes, and lively wit. Nothing is off-limits in this no-holds-barred contribution to the Jesus genre. Big Jesus is not another theological “spin” on the identity and nature of Jesus of Nazareth, nor is it a sentimental fairytale for those who prefer their Christology to be served up on Sunday mornings with fluffy sheep, little children, and footprints in the sand. This book is for Christian adults with a sense of humor.

Links to Articles on Women's Ordination/ Altar Girls Will Be Future Priests/Bridget Mary Meehan

The barring of altar girls by a priest in San Francisco California is another example of blatent sexism in the Catholic Church. I believe that  altar Girls today will  become vibrant future priests! The God who calls is calling women to be priests today! Contrary to Ft. Illo, the catholic priesthood is not a male charism as there are over 200 women in the global Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement.  Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

The first, he said, is that "boys usually end up losing interest [in altar service] because girls generally do a better job."
The second and more important reason, Illo said, is that "altar service is intrinsically tied to the priesthood and serve as feeder programs for the seminary."
"If the Catholic Church ordained women, altar girls would make sense, but the Catholic priesthood is a male charism," he said. "Nothing awakens a desire for the priesthood like service at the altar among the brotherhood of young men. At the risk of generalizing, I suspect young men serving with young women might just distract them from the sacrifice of the Mass, and perhaps even from a priestly vocation."
women priests
Daily update January 31, 2015
Toledo Blade
Many forms of excommunication
I reported that she was ordained by a dissident organization, Roman Catholic WomenPriests, which is not recognized by Rome, but I put three words ... Flag as irrelevant
U.S. News & World Report

Understanding the Apocalyptic Vision of Pope Francis
They were disappointed when he said clearly that the door to women's ordination was closed. How could a Pope who was so progressive turn out to ... Flag as irrelevant
Ecumenical News

Ordination of first Church of England female bishop is 'historic moment' says Catholic archbishop
The Catholic archbishop of Birmingham has called the ordination of the ... Longley noted that the conversation about women's ministry continues in ...
women priests
Daily update January 29, 2015
CBS Local

The first, he said, is that "boys usually end up losing interest [in altar service] because girls generally do a better job."
The second and more important reason, Illo said, is that "altar service is intrinsically tied to the priesthood and serve as feeder programs for the seminary."
"If the Catholic Church ordained women, altar girls would make sense, but the Catholic priesthood is a male charism," he said. "Nothing awakens a desire for the priesthood like service at the altar among the brotherhood of young men. At the risk of generalizing, I suspect young men serving with young women might just distract them from the sacrifice of the Mass, and perhaps even from a priestly vocation."