Sunday, June 17, 2018

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Father's Day Liturgy

Debra Trees, ARCWP, and Dennis McDonald, ARCWP led the Upper Room Liturgy for Father’s Day.

Welcome and Theme: The Concept of Fatherhood has been hijacked by those who think it means allegiance, perfectionism, judgement and punishment. Our theme today on this Fathers Day is Jesus’ Personal Relationship with his Abba. Jesus models many things for the Crowd, and one of the things he models is an intimate, loving relationship with the Great Spirit and Creator of all. Life, as it happens all around us, is an expression of an Infinite Creator who loves each one of us. May we model Jesus’ relationship of love with everything and everyone in our gifted connections.

Opening Song: Choose Life by Colleen Fullmer

Choose Life that we might live.
Choose peace that we might see a tomorrow.
Let justice roll, roll like a river,
Flow like a river down.

It’s a powerful love that’s movin’ a mountain
A powerful love that casts out fear,
A powerful love disarmin’ the nations,
The power is now, that love is here.

It's a livin’ hope seekin’ for tomorrow
A livin’ hope knowin’ promise in pain,
A livin’ hope that's fightin’ oppression,
Givin’ the poor their rights again.

It’s a growin’ faith giving birth to freedom,
Growin’ in faith standin’ hand-in-hand
a growin’ in faith movin’ us to action
singin’ o’ plenty, the fruit of the land.

It's a movin’ spirit meets the struggle,
Leadin’ the dance that stirrin’ the flame,
and movin’ the hearts inside o’ the people
bringin’ the dead to life again.

First reading, From 365 Days of Walking The Red Road.

My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love.
Love is something you and I must have.   We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it.
We must have it because without it we become weak and faint.
Without love our self-esteem weakens.
Without it our courage fails.
Without love we can no longer look out confidently at the world.
We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little, we destroy ourselves.
With it we are creative.
With it we march tirelessly.
With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.
These are the words of Chief Dan George of the Coast Salish tribe, and we affirm them by saying: AMEN

A reading from the Gospel of Mark.
Jesus said: “The reign of God is like this: A sower scatters seed on the ground, then goes to bed at night and gets up day after day. Through it all of the seed sprouts and grows without the sower knowing how it happens. The soil produces a crop by itself, first blade, then the ear, and finally the ripe wheat in the ear. When the crop is ready, the sower wields the sickle, for the time is ripe for harvest.”
Jesus went on to say, “What comparison can we use for the reign of God? What image will help to present it? It is like a mustard seed which people plant in the soil: it is the smallest of all the earth’s seeds, yet once it is sown, it springs up to become the largest of shrubs, with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in the shade.”

Using many parables like these, Jesus spoke the message to them, as much as they could understand. Everything was spoken in parables. But Jesus explained everything to the disciples later when they were alone.

These are the words of Mark, and we affirm these words by saying: AMEN.

Deb’s Reflection:

The parable of the sower and the parable of the mustard seed are both considered by the scholars of the Jesus Seminar to be words and stories that Jesus used during his time here on earth. As he spoke in parable, Jesus was trying to startle the crowd into thinking and into seeing with new eyes. His effort has helped to produce what we have today, a crowd of humans, struggling at times to understand his words and work, but continuing to struggle non-the-less.

Opening our eyes, hearts and minds again for this present day, Anita Moorjani has a new book out that questions: “What If This Is Heaven?” She talks about our myths that we buy into, keeping us from seeing that heaven is not out there or up there, or anywhere else, but here and now. Similar to words of Jesus, “The kingdom of Heaven is like…” Without our knowing it, it happens all around us. While we are “sleeping”, the seed grows.

Today is Father’s Day, a tradition of just a little over a hundred years. Father’s Day, created as a National Holiday finally in the 1970’s, was resisted at times by men who thought it made them look weak. People considered it to be a Hallmark ploy. Finally, fathers today are being honored around the world. We know, our close relationships, steeped in Love, are the only way that we thrive.

Seeing with eyes of Love, may we acknowledge the Heaven on earth that each of us helps to create.

What did you hear? What does it Mean to you? What will you do about it?

Dennis’ Reflection

I have been thinking quite a bit about love lately as I prepare to witness two people joining their lives together in marriage next weekend.One of the readings they have chosen in entitled, “Love is Not to Possess”, and a portion of it states,

“They are openly free to be
Who they really are--and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

As I reflected on this and today’s readings, I thought of being a mother or father and planting the seed of love in a child and watching it grow as it is nourished by a constant supply of loving words and actions, reminding us of that special place in which the child is held in our hearts. And the child grows before our eyes and absorbs that love into their innermost heart, where it awakens in small ways at first, like recognizing the love they have for their parents or their siblings. The wonder of hearing for the first time those precious words, I love you, from your child, and realizing that they understand and mean what they are saying. It is a joy-filled experience for both child and parent.

It is in the very core of our being, where love abides, and this is the love that comes from the Source of all love. It is the love that permeates the entirety of creation. It is a true and lasting love that is meant to be shared. For only when shared, like the seeds of a plant, once it has lived it’s life and re-seeds the earth, that the love we share enriches those it touches, who in turn enrich other lives. This constant renewal and regenerating of love is what we as followers of Jesus are called to live. It is helping others to recognize the true and lasting love that abides in them. It is reaching out in love to those who are oppressed, hurting, disenfranchised and planting within them the seed that they are a child of the Divine imbued with everlasting love.

I end with the words with which Debbie ended, “Seeing with eyes of Love, may we acknowledge the Heaven on earth that each of us helps to create.”

Communion Reflection: Cause We Live for Love by Miriam Makeba

Cause we live for love
Miriam Makeba

The morning sun shines full of laughter
Waking up, all walks of life
Shining on love he says
It's a brand new day
Give all the warmth you can away

And!! Open your hearts
For our children and the universe
To love and hold
Embracing the good
In those who feel they must give of
'Cause we live for love
And love lives through all

The evening star (shines on) each
With a sparkle of light and a smile
Touching the hearts for all to feel
The presence of love, for it's real!

So!! Open your hearts
For our children and the universe
To love and hold
Embracing the good
In those who feel they must give of
'Cause we live for love
And love lives through all

Let the rainbow rain showers on you
Raining down, all colors for all
Sowing seeds and dreams of the future
A though of love and peace forever

Open your hearts
For our children and the universe
To love and hold
Embracing the good
In those who feel they must give of
'Cause we live for love
And love lives through all

'Cause we live for love through love


May we continue to be the face of God to each other. May we call each other to extravagant generosity! May we walk with an awareness of our Call as companions on the journey, knowing we are not alone. May we, like Jesus, be a shining light and a blessing in our time!

Closing Song: Love Is Flowing, by Marty Haugen

Love is Flowing
by Marty Haugen

Love is flowing from the fountain of life. (repeat)
Peace is pouring from the fountain of life.
Praise is flooding from the fountain of life.
Hope is spring from the fountain of life.
Love is flowing from the fountain of life.

Remember our Fathers with love and gratitude

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