|Co-Presiders; Sally Brochu ARCWP and Janet Blakeley ARCWP|
|Lector: Mary Al Gagnon|
|Lector: Elena Garcia ARCWP|
|Sally Brochu ARCWP, Proclaimer of Gospel|
Presider : Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where are all welcome to share Eucharist. We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers. You will be invited to gather around the Table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer. We warmly welcome our newcomers to our liturgy and invite you to introduce yourself at the announcement time after Communion All are invited to join us for supper after liturgy.
Opening Song: #82 “Angels We Have Heard on High”, verses 1,2,3
Presider: We give you thanks, most Loving, Creator God, for this time of our liturgical year to celebrate the Holy Family and what we and our families can learn to follow their example. They were human like us and they grew in wholeness with their commitment and deep desire to love one other each day. Plant the seed of your presence deep in us and help us to nourish it into new life as we choose each day to love one another.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: First Book of Samuel 1:1-28 abbrev.
ALL: Thanks be to God.
Responsorial: Psalm 84 (Nan Merrill) – “We dwell within your heart”
Second Reading: First Letter of John 3:1-2, 23-24
ALL: Thanks be to God.
Gospel Response: #91 Christmas Season Gospel Acclamation “Alleleuia…”
Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
ALL: Praise to you, Jesus, the Christ.
HOMILY-Holy Family-2018 Janet Blakeley ARCWP
We call Mary, Joseph and Jesus the Holy Family because of what tradition has told us about them. But are not all families intended to be holy? The Church has taught that marriage is a sacrament- a place where we meet God – so surely what develops from the marriage must carry a sacramental aspect to it. When the family that proceeds from the father and mother is not good, it may be because the married couple is not prepared to offer the sacrament of love to each other in an ongoing way. For marriage is a sacrament offered day after day, year after year. It requires the intentional giving of love, even when a strong ego needs to be bypassed and love can only be reached deep within. That is the garden in which a holy family grows, and holy families are what the kin-dom of God is made of.
We may be “off” in defining a family unit as father, mother and child. Once I was part of a conversation with several first- and second-grade teachers who were struggling with their Social Studies curriculum. The curriculum itself was well designed. It started simply in the first grade and expanded through the eighth. It called for the development of the idea of community by starting with the family unit. As children moved through the grades, the curriculum progressed through extended families, neighborhoods, cities, states, and nations and by the 8th grade it studied the global community. The first and second grade teachers’ problem was that the family unit of mother, father, and child didn’t fit the children they were teaching. Many of the children had no father, or they had two mothers, or they had many people living in their houses who seemed like family but didn’t fit the diagram. Finally one of the teachers said “We need a better definition of family!”
Indeed we do. In fact, what we really need is a more inclusive definition. The three-person Holy Family isn’t necessarily a helpful role model for today. We have families with mothers but no fathers, fathers but no mothers, divorced and remarried parents, unmarried parents. We have childless couples and parentless children. We have adopted children of unknown parentage. We have gangs of kids who call themselves families. We have military men and women who think of themselves as family. We have homeless people sharing what little they have with other homeless people because “they’re family.” Latest to surface in our awareness is the people experiencing a variety of gender identifications and sexual orientations who also desire to form families and to be recognized as such.
If you look back over history, you can see that society has always been this way. The need to keep some kind of order was accomplished with definitions and laws. People who didn’t fit those were either accommodated or excluded in one way or another. Now it seems that everyone wants to be included in the definitions and laws, but with the unequivocal understanding that they fit, that they have moral as well as legal rights to exist as families, and that civil law must protect them.
Let’s take a few minutes to reflect on these questions:
What makes a group of people a family?
Whose responsibility is it to define a family?
What makes a family a holy family?
What would Jesus say about this issue?
Profession of Faith:
O Holy One, Creator of this vast universe,
We believe that you are not far from us,
and that your loving care is shown
in the life, ministry, death, and continued presence
of Jesus the Christ, whom you sent
to show us the way to your loving presence.
We believe that each of us is called
to continue your presence and your work
in this world, by loving
and caring for one another.
We believe that no one is beyond
the reach of your love, and so
no one should be beyond the reach of our caring.
We believe that you call us to be one with you
and with one another.
We believe that we have in our hearts
the grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit
to live fully in your love
when we are open to you.
We believe that you pardon our weaknesses
and use them to teach us how to come to you.
We believe in the resurrection of Jesus in our lives,
and life everlasting in your Divine Presence.
May God, the source of all patience and encouragement,
enable us to live as we believe,
in harmony with one another
so that with our hearts and voices and lives
we may glorify the God who names us
and calls us to live in the fullness of being. Amen.
Prayer of the Faithful:
Presider: Like Jesus, we seek to respond to the desires deep within us, for our
hopes for a more just and peaceful world. We bring to the Table these
desires of blessing, cares and concerns:
ALL: We awaken to your call.
Presider: We lift up all our families everywhere. We ask you bless them with your unconditional love and the blessing of peace in our hearts, we pray.
Presider: For what else shall we pray?
Presider: Compassionate Presence, hear the prayers of your people. In your
tenderness and love embrace our petitions and hold them and all our
unspoken desires close to your heart.
Sign of Peace: (Instrumental)
Presider: O Life-giving God, we celebrate your fruitful love as we embrace one
another with joy. May the peace that our brother, Jesus, offers always
be with us!
Presider: Before we prepare the Table and join in prayer with one mind and heart,
let us extend a sign of communion and charity to one another.
Offertory Hymn: #84 - “Away in a Manger” – verses 1,2,3
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have this
bread, this wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this
sacred meal, may we become a new creation.
ALL: Blessed be the Divine Presence forever.
Presider: Let us pray, O Holy One, in this bread and this wine you give us food
for body and spirit. May our strength be renewed by your generous
blessings that will bring us health in mind and body as we choose each day to love fully.
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
(Please join us around our Eucharistic Table. All are welcome to receive that which sustains us on our daily journey)
Presider: The Holy One is with you, abounding in love!
ALL: And also with you!
Presider: Open your hearts in Christ who lives and loves, heals and empowers
ALL: We open them up to the Holy Spirit dwelling everywhere.
Presider: Let us give thanks that we are co-creators in the miracle of life.
ALL: It is right to proclaim our oneness with All.
Presider: Wide and faithful God, you have birthed us in goodness, gifted us with
life, and cherished us in love. In the heart of our being, your Spirit
dwells; a Spirit of courage and vision, a Spirit of wisdom and truth. In
the power of that same Spirit, we lift our voices and hearts in song,
invoking anew the gift of wisdom and enlightenment, that we may
continue to praise and thank you.
ALL: (sing) Holy, Holy, Holy One; Spirit of Love and Peace,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are all who come in your Holy Name.
Hosanna in the highest!
Voice: Sending among us Jesus, our brother, you birth afresh in our world the power of Sophia-Wisdom, and in the gift of the Spirit, your creative goodness blooms anew, amid the variety and wonder of life.
Presider: That same Spirit we invoke now upon the gifts of this Eucharistic Table,
bread of the grain and wine of the grape, as they become for us the
body and blood of Jesus—to nurture afresh in us the discerning gifts of
wisdom, light and truth.
Voice: Gathering the disciples around the Table of shared wisdom, Jesus took bread; blessed you, God of all good gifts, broke the bread and handed it to those seeking nourishment, with these words:
ALL: Take and eat; this is my very self. (pause)
Voice: Then taking the cup of wine, Jesus gave thanks, and shared the cup with those gathered at Table, with these words:
ALL: Take and drink of my cup of life, through which the covenant is made
new again, for you and for everyone, for liberation from every
oppression. Whenever you do this, re-member me! (pause)
Voice: As we celebrate this sacred meal, we recall the wise and gracious gifts bestowed on us down through the ages; and we look forward in hope, knowing that you, our wise and faithful One, will continue to endow us with abundant blessings.
Voice: In the power of this Eucharistic meal, bless us afresh with the gift of Spirit, that our hearts may be open and receptive as you invite us into the fullness of life.
Voice: In union with all peoples living and dead, we unite our thoughts and prayers, asking wisdom and courage to discern more wisely your call to us in the circumstances of our daily lives; to act justly and courageously in confronting the pain and suffering that desecrates the Earth and its peoples; to take risks in being creative and proactive on behalf of the poor and marginalized.
Presider: And may we ever be aware and alert to the new things the Spirit makes
possible, as our world unfolds amid pain and beauty, into the fullness of
life to which all are called, participating in the wise and wonderful work
ALL: (presider raises the bread and wine)
For it is through learning to live as Jesus 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. (sing) Amen!
Presider: Let us sing together the Prayer of Jesus
Presider: Please join in our prayer for the breaking of the bread:
ALL: Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will
Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love
Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with
integrity in your presence.
Presider: This is Jesus, the Bread of Life, and this is the Cup of the New Covenant.
How blessed are we who are called to this Table.
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
Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ. All are welcome
at this Table!
Communion Meditation: Instrumental - #94“ - Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”
Prayer After Communion:
Presider: We rejoice in your amazing love, O God!
We rejoice in the life-changing opportunities You open to us.
Out of that joy, we offer our thanks and praise as we leave this place.
May we be challenged, encouraged, and empowered
So that we may continue to live as joyous partners in creating a world
Filled with love and ruled by justice. Bless our families everywhere.
Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions and Announcements:
Presider: All are invited to extend your hands for our mutual blessing:
ALL: May vision and truth companion you.
May beauty be in your eyes.
May peace fill your being,
Love hold you close.
Earth give you guidance.
Stars give you hope.
Blessings of life to you! (Jan Novotka)
Presider: Go into this week, held together by the love of God,
Clothed with the nature of Jesus our Companion
Reinforced by the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Presider: Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts the mystery and the wonder
of this holy season.
ALL: Thanks be to God!
Closing Song: #99 - “Go Tell It On The Mountain” – verses 1,2,3