|Left to right: Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Sally Brochu ARCWP: Co-Preside on 2nd Anniversary of Ordination as Priests in ARCWP|
Theme: Be not afraid and know that I am God.
Welcome and Gathering Song: “Gather Us In” #302 (verses 1,3,4)
ALL: God of life, wholeness and holiness, you who direct all creation to its fulfillment in Jesus, the Christ – open our hearts to the message of the Gospel so that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice may guide our lives. Loving God, bless all of us gathered here and all those of our community who are not with us today. We ask this of you, our brother Jesus, and our sister Sophia. Amen.
Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness
PENITENTIAL RITE AND COMMUNITY FORGIVENESS
Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in love with others and with creation
General Absolution by Community:
(All raise hands extended in prayer and recite together.)
God, our Mother and Father of compassion, 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.
Glory to God
ALL: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all God’s people on earth. Creator God, heart of the universe, we thank you for the breath of the Spirit sustaining everything that exists, everywhere in the cosmos. Through the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, you gave us the grace to know that you are always among us – and that we can experience you in our brothers and sisters. We give you glory and praise through Jesus Christ, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First reading: Acts 1:12-14 All: Thanks be to God.
Psalm 104: Responsorial: Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth. #806
Second reading: 1 Peter 4:13-16 All: Glory and thanks to our Savior, Jesus the Christ.
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia
Gospel: John 17:1-11
Homily Starter by Kathryn Shea ARCWP
Shared Homily/Community Reflection
Homily Starter for the Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 27. 2017
Kathryn Shea, ARCWP
So, quite honestly, I struggle with homily starters. I do. I’m not sure why. I think it’s because I think I have this ginormous responsibility to “relay” the Word of God. And, I’m not really sure I even fully understand “the Word of God”. So, it’s Friday night at almost 9:00 pm and this is all I have for my “homily starter” tomorrow. I’m so hoping the magnificent white owl of my dreams visits me tonight and gives me inspiration. I believe the white owl is a communicator from the Holy One, from Wisdom Sophia. I will wait for her, patiently. And then I fear she’s been detained in an airport! I only hope she did not fly out from a Muslim country! I try to communicate with her and tell her if she flies out from Russia, she will be just fine. And then she finally comes to me in the very wee hours of the morning and helps me find words I could never find on my own. I’m so very grateful to her. Her words are these:
“Why do you ever doubt? Why do you ever fear? You have no reason to doubt or fear. God has always been with you and gives to you eternal life. Eternal life is now. Not later after you’re dead. Eternal life is now! You chose your theme of “be not afraid and know that I am God.” Why do you not trust in those words? Let all worries go. Trust in these words. God loves and protects you always.”
And so I pondered, in the wee hours of the morning, asking how will we communicate Gods message to the world and what should we most communicate? I read Pope Francis’ for the 51st World Day of Communications. The theme is “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43-5T). Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time. He states, “Hope is the thread with which this sacred history is woven, and its weaver is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. Hope is the humblest of virtues, for it remains hidden in the recesses of life; yet it is like the yeast the leavens all the dough. We nurture it by reading ever anew, the Gospel.” We must also communicate Love to a world bedeviled with hatred, bitterness, and rancor. We must communicate Peace just as Christ communicated it to his disciples. We must communicate Justice to a world with and unprecedented and “scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor.” And we must communicate Eternal Life.
Our Readings today lead the way. In our first Reading the disciples, including several women, gathered together in a room and “with one mind, they devoted themselves to constant prayer.” The phrase “with one mind” seems very important. Calling upon the Spirit to bring them wisdom, bring them the collective words to communicate, bring them the courage to communicate God’s words to the world even though they might be insulted or even worse. And then our Gospel reading, Jesus prayers to Abba God to protect us and says “And it is for them that I pray – not for the world, but for these you have given me…that they may be one, even as we are one.” To know God and the one whom he sent, Jesus, is to have Eternal Life. So we need to cultivate an intimate, personal relationship with God and with Jesus the Messiah whom God has sent to make this Eternal Life known to all humankind.
So my question is, in what ways can we individually and collectively cultivate a more intimate relationship with Jesus and with God, especially during these very dark times,, and how can we than spread the good news of Eternal Life in our world?
Profession of Faith
ALL: We believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, 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 without counting the cost. We believe in our global communion with all in the circle of life. Amen to loving actions on behalf of justice, healing, compassion and equality for all in our world! We believe we are light to the world!
Prayers of the Community
Presider: We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We are always mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for all of us. And so, we bring the needs of people – throughout the world – to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, respond: Compassionate God, hear our prayers.
Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. We ask you to strengthen us in our caring for one another and in our works for justice, equality, and peace in a world without violence. As always, we make this prayer in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.
Offertory Procession: Song: “Be Not Afraid” #430 (all verses)
Preparation of the Gifts
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, this grain that the earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.
All: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, this fruit of the vine that human hands have made. It will become for us our spiritual drink.
All: Blessed be God forever.
Gathering of the Gifted
Presider: Jesus, who has sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his family table. Everyone is welcome around our family table.
ALL: Nurturing God, we are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who proclaims your mercy to all those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. May we live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel, supported by the vision of Jesus and the wisdom of the Spirit. Amen.
Presider: God dwells in each one of us. All: Namaste!
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
ALL: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
Presider: Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at our family table.
ALL: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all your creation.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.
ALL: We lift them up to the Holy One, living in us and loving through us.
Voice 1: Ever present and always caring God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. In you we live and move and have our very being. Your Spirit dwelling in us gives us the hope of unending peace and joy with you. And so, we sing your praise…
ALL: sing: We are holy, holy, holy X3….we are whole
Voice 2: We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, Jesus burned with the vision of his mission and truth. He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well lived. Jesus showed us not only how we should live, but also for what we might die. Through him, you continue to breathe life into us.
Voice 3: (Place your hand on the shoulder of the person to your right) Merciful God, let your Holy Spirit rest upon us, your people, converting us from the patterns of the world, until we conform to the shape of him whose food we now share.
ALL: O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts that we gathered from the fields and placed on our table — this simple wheat and wine. May she have them become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.
(With an outstretched arm as we pray the consecration together. We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on 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. Do this in memory of me. [Pause]
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. Do this in memory of me.
Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.
ALL: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives in us and through us in the world today.
Voice 4: In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this life-giving bread and this saving cup. May all who share this sacred meal be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus move freely in our lives as well.
Voice 5: God, remember your church throughout the world, help us grow in love, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your people everywhere – especially those who live on the margins of church and society. Remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts. We remember especially….(mention names, if you would like to).
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. Amen (sung).
ALL: Our Father and Mother ……..Amen.
ALL: Lord God, we have prayed that your kindom may come among us. Open our ears to hear it, our hands to serve it, and our hearts to hold it. Amen.
The Sign of Peace
Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here and ….
ALL: … grant us your peace. O 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, as we join hands and sing, Peace is flowing like a river….
Litany for the Breaking of Bread
Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for 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 forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.
Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk humbly with you.
Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. All: We are the Body of Christ.
Presider: Lord God, as we come to share the richness of your table, we cannot forget the poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters.
Men: We cannot eat this bread and forget those who are hungry. O God, your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment for your people.
Women: We cannot drink this wine and forget those who are thirsty. O God, the very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice.
ALL: We cannot listen to your words of peace and not grieve for the world at war.
Communion – Instrumental
After Communion Reflection Song: “Love Light” – sung by Seth WInners
Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion
Presider: Eternal God, may this Eucharist in which we always share Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and our unity with one another. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, the Wisdom. All: Amen.
Introductions, Community Prayers of Gratitude, and Announcements
Closing Community Blessing
Presider: Creator God, Jesus showed us how to love one another and heal our hearts. Through the power of your liberating Spirit at work within us, we will give and receive forgiveness, live joyously, and work for healing, justice and equality for our earth and for all your holy people. Jesus asked you to look over us and protect us, and this is our prayer as well. As Jesus gave to us his peace, may we spread his peace to all peoples of the earth. ALL: Amen
ALL: (with an outstretched arm in blessing)
May the blessing of God go before you.
May Her grace and peace abound.
May Her Spirit live within you.
May Her love wrap you ‘round.
May Her blessing remain with you always.
May you walk on holy ground.
May we continue to be the face of God to each other and may our name be a blessing in our time! Amen.
Co-Presiders: As we all go in the peace of Christ, let our service continue in all that we do!
ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so! Alleluia!
Sally Brochu ARCWP, Kathryn Shea ARCWP, and Seth Winners
Concluding Hymn: “We Are Called” #628 (all verses; using God for Lord)