Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, 32 Sunday in Extraordinary Times, Nov. 22, 2017, Co-Presiders Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Lee Breyer

Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Lee Breyer

Theme: Jesus, our partner on our journey,

accompanies us in our travels.


Opening Hymn: “We Are Called” #628, all verses (God for Lord)

Presider: We gather to worship together,

All: Different people, different lives, different histories.

Presider: Yet all children of the same God.

All: Created lovingly by the Source of all life!

Presider: We gather to reconnect with one another.

All: Different people, different lives, different histories.

Presider: Yet all disciples of one Teacher. 

All: Jesus, the Word made flesh, dwells in and with us always.

Presider: We gather with different joys and sorrows, different hopes and fears…

All: Different people, different lives, different histories.

Presider: Yet one people with one God, one faith, one baptism.

All: Let us open ourselves to the presence of God at work in us, among us, and through us. Amen. from “Embrace the Spirit”; The Caribbean Initiative

Glory to God

(Sung) Glory to God, Glory, O praise God, alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God. (3x)

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Wisdom: 6:12-16 ALL: Thanks be to God

Responsorial: Our souls are thirsty for God.

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ALL: Thanks be to God

Gospel Acclamation: ALL: Alleluia (Celtic version)

Gospel: Mathew 25: 1-13 ALL: Thanks be to God

Homily Starter: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP

Today we celebrate Veteran’s Day and we honor those who have served our great country. We honor those who have died to protect our freedom. We honor and pray for those who have fought and come home wounded; mentally and physically. And, we honor and pray for those who are still in war zones, fighting and protecting our nation. And we pray for their families who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice greatly. The 1926 congressional resolution authorizing Armistice Day, as it was originally called, directed the holiday to be observed “with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

I have a humorous personal story about Veterans’ Day I would like to share. My best friend on this Earth was my “Mama”, my maternal grandmother. I am who I am because of her. She was a rebel in her time. She told me every Veteran’s Day the same story. “Your Papa and I married on Armistice Day, and I always said to him, ‘Bill, we started war on Armistice Day’!” And then she would just cackle every year, like she had never told me this story before. Papa was a veteran. But, in the last year of her life, Veteran’s Day was different. She didn’t tell me the story, and I was waiting for it. So, I finally said to her, “Gram, tell me the story about Papa.” And she said, “No. Because the truth is, we started a short life of love on Armistice Day.” And several days later, she said, “I hope Bill will forgive me, but I don’t believe in war. I think war tears families apart and is never the answer to peace. And I think the war took him early from me and our children.” My Papa died when my mom was only nine, and on my aunt’s seventh birthday.

I always knew from a very young age that my grandma was a woman of great wisdom. She was not highly educated. I think she completed 8th grade. But, she had a profound sense of all that was morally right and she held strongly to her beliefs. She was a woman of great faith, although she did not always agree with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, even though she was a devote Irish Catholic. So, I guess I come to where I am now very honestly. When I think of “wisdom”, I think of her. And I am so grateful to have been blessed to have her in my life. Happy Anniversary, Mama and Papa.

And on our Second Reading , which I almost did not use today, and today’s Gospel….I’ll sum it up by saying, these writings were written in a time of great turmoil and confusion. People could not make sense of the crucifixion and Resurrection. It was a time of fear and anxiety. Fear of not joining Jesus in Heaven. Fear that they were abandoned here on Earth. Fear of never seeing Jesus again. Fear was a great motivator then. And for those times, maybe that is what they needed. But fear does not motivate us any longer. It does not drive us to be like Jesus. We have evolved as a spiritual people, and love and compassion motivates us now.

Richard Rohr, often speaks about Jesus as our “Wisdom Teacher”; not Savior, not Prophet, not Messiah, but Wisdom Teacher; an official title in some world religions. Richard Rohr is also a “Wisdom Teacher”. He wrote this about the second coming, “Let’s try to hear this message in a much more exciting and positive way. Jesus is not talking about the second coming of Christ. He’s not talking about you death, either. What he’s talking about here is the forever coming of Christ, the always coming of Christ, the eternal coming Christ… now... now. You see, Christ is always coming; God is always present.”

And, as a Hopi Elder said, “We are the Ones that we have been waiting for.”

Wisdom walks about seeking those who are worthy, and graciously appears in their paths and meets them in every thought.

Shared Homily/Community Reflections

Profession of Faith

ALL: We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery beyond all definition and understanding, the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Word, bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion, bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus as a vehicle of divine love, a source of wisdom and truth, and an instrument of peace in the world.

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One, the Wisdom that is our innermost life, the breath moving in our being, the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine kin-dom is here and now, stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it, and hands to make it happen.

Prayers of the Community

Presider: 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 of us. And so, we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, please respond: Compassionate God, we ask you to bless our petitions. (intentions)

Presider: Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns and care for one another, here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence on our planet. We ask this in your Holy name. Amen.

Offertory Procession and Song: “You Are Mine” #462, all verses

Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer…this grain of the earth that human hands have made for our use. It will become for us the bread of life.

ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Presider: Blessed are you, God of Love, 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 Gifted

Presider: Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his. Everyone is welcome to share in this meal. (The invitation is to everyone to join around God’s family table.)

ALL: Loving and caring God, we – your people – are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who shares your gift of compassion - especially to all 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 live always as prophetic witnesses to the gospel of Jesus. Amen.

Presider: Friends, let us recognize the presence of our God who is with us here now.

ALL: Fill us with reverence for our Creator, for one another, and for all creation.

Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.

ALL: We lift them up to the One who has gifted us with love so that we may be an expression of that love to all others, with no exceptions.

Presider: God dwells in each one of us.

ALL: We experience, practice, and pursue community with one another.

Eucharistic Prayer

Presider: 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 created us and our world. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

(Eucharistic prayer adapted from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane)

Voice 1: 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 community with a common destiny.

United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Loving God, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker

Voice 2: 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 names.

And we pray 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 grow and spread in all time – we pray for peace in their names.

And we pray 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 names.

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 hands over our gifts as we say together)

ALL: You pour out your spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we reflect more deeply the Christ Presence in our 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.

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.


He then raised high the cup of blessing, said 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!


Voice 3: Loving God, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and blessed 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 around 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.

ALL: For it is through our 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, Life-giving God,

at this time, and all time, and in all ways. AMEN

Presider: Gracious God, through us you have set the banquet table and invited all of us to the feast. Here we celebrate your divine love beyond what words can describe. Here your divine compassion connects us to the young and the old, the most and the least, the first and the last…your whole creation.

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever... (and everyone sings)…Amen.

ALL: (holding hands): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…

Presider: God, we have just prayed that “your kindom may come among us.” Strengthen in us your grace and love so that we may open our hearts to make it real - and our hands to serve one another.

ALL: We give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another. .

The Sign of Peace

Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here today and …

ALL: …. grant us that peace. O Loving God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace throughout the world, to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions. Amen.

Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another as we join hands in a circle of love and sing Let there be peace on earth #532 using the following:

 “… with God as creator, family all are we …” and “With every breath I take, let this ...”

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread

Presider: Loving God… All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will live justly.

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

Presider: Loving God… All: you call us to speak truth to power and live equality. We will walk humbly with you.

Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. He calls us, his sacred people to open doors that are closed and share our bread on the altar of the world. All are invited to partake of this banquet of love. ALL: In communion with our sisters and brothers we eat of one bread and drink of one cup. We are all the body of Christ.

Communion: You Are The Face of God – Karen Drucker

After Communion Song/Reflection: “Swords Into Plowshares” – Kelly Rickets

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Presider: Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our

oneness with you and with one another. May we reflect, like Mary, your liberating, mothering

love for all your people everywhere. And may wonder, wisdom, and thanksgiving fill us with knowledge, understanding and experience of your love and compassion in us, your sacred people. We ask this in the name of her Son, Jesus the Christ. ALL: Amen.

Introductions, Gratitudes, and Announcements

Closing Community Blessing

(Let us all extend an arm to one another in mutual blessings)

ALL: Let us go with Jesus, the One who is always with us and whose light guides us on our journeys. May our hope be that the Sun of Justice will rise one morning on all humankind. May the God of Peace, our constant companion, lead us along paths of solidarity and hope, and give us the joy of being united in God’s love. Amen.

Closing Community Hymn and Commissioning: “Nobody Can Stop The River From Flowing” – Kathy Sherman

Nobody Can Stop The River From Flowing

Nobody can stop the river from flowing,

Nobody can stop the river from flowing,

Nobody can stop the river from flowing,

We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river.

Nobody can stop compassion from flowing,

Nobody can stop compassion from flowing,

Nobody can stop compassion from flowing,

We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river.

Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing,

Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing,

Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing,

We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river.

Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing,

Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing,

Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing,

We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river.

We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river.

Closing Community Commissioning

Presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ and the joy of God, let us be the joyful and compassionate people that God created us to be. Let our service continue.

ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!

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