Sunday, March 12, 2017

Upper Room Liturgy - March 12, 2017

Upper Room Liturgy - Transfiguration / Transformation

Dave DeBonis and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP led the Upper Room Liturgy using the theme: Transformation. Mary Theresa's homily starter is printed below the opening prayer written by Dave and the first reading written by Joyce Rupp.

Opening Prayer

As we begin our liturgy today and focus on the tools we have to bring about an inner peace in each of our lives, let us first take a moment, through song, to offer one another a sign of peace. Not the kind of peace that ignores the challenges that face the world today but rather an inner peace that brings us back to our true selves and allows us to access the wisdom of the divine and the strength to continue to bring light to the world. Today, we will use as our vehicle for this peace offering to each other, the song Prayer for Peace by David Haas, and we ask everyone to please stand.

The Home of Transformation 
by Joyce Rupp from her new book: Prayer Seeds

When the heart slowly sinks
into the mire of unhappiness,
when the mind insistently whispers
about could, must, should and ought,
when the voice of the less-than-whole self
grows irritable and impatient
with the way people are, or are not,
and with the way I am, or am not,
let it all be. Move away. Step aside.
Go into the inner dwelling place
where the Christ-light flames endlessly.
Stand in the center of that love,
untouched by ego demands, societal failures,
shattered hopes and unfulfilled yearnings.

Walk past all that hinders kind heartedness
from glowing steadily in my daily routines.
Move into the home of transformation,
into that grace-filled, spacious vessel.
Be restored, repaired, renewed, regenerated.
Come forth with germinating hope, start again
with less control, fewer anticipations,
and more peaceful receptivity

--> in the container of mind and heart.

Homily Starter by Mary Theresa Streck:
Transfiguration / Transformation
In today’s Gospel, Peter, James and John,
disciples of Jesus,
experience a transformation and
their eyes are opened
to a deeper understanding of Jesus.
They realize that he is on equal ground
with Moses and Elijah –
Moses who represents the law,
and Elijah who represents the prophets.
And they see Jesus in a new light -  
as a beloved of the Holy One.
And In their hearts they hear the call
to listen to Jesus and follow him.

What caused their transformation?
I like to think that while they were on the mountain,
they had time to think and ponder and
go deeper within themselves
to listen to the Spirit
who inspires and animates receptive hearts.
Maybe, as they withdrew from the busyness of the day,
they were able to see more clearly
what was always there before them.
And they were transformed.

In Joyce Rupp’s reading,
she offers good advice for those who seek  
a deeper union with the Divine.  
Go within
into the inner dwelling place
where the Christ-light flames endlessly.
Go within and listen to Wisdom
remind you that you, too, are the beloved.

In this season of lent,
Consider adding a daily spiritual practice
that will call you to a greater awareness of
of the divine presence within and around you.

There are many transforming spiritual practices
that lead to mindfulness.
In our liturgy today
we are using a few simple chants
that can become a vehicle for transformation.  
As you listen to them,
let go of all other thoughts
and let the chants wash over you,
restore, renew and regenerate your spirit.


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