Saturday, February 9, 2019

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 9, 2019 Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP, Music Minister: Mindy Simmons

From left to right: Kathryn Shea ARCWP, Son Seth, Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP , Co-Presiders at MMOJ

Theme:  There is Only Love

Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic community where all are welcome to share the 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.   

Gathering Hymn:  Namaste by Mark Hayes

Centering/Opening Prayer

O Holy One, we are delighted to gather with you as we share this sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you.  You gave us the most sacred of commands, “Do onto others, as you would have them do unto you.”  We envision the  day when everyone practices your desire.  We know that you are with us as we walk each day in conscious awareness of our responsibility to love one another and to bring forth your kin-dom on Earth. And to this, we say, AMEN.

Community Reconciliation

Loving God of Mercy, You understand the failures of our human nature. You grant us – despite our weaknesses – forgiveness for our failures. We thank you, Holy One, for your Spirit within us, calling us to compassionately love one another.  Teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to forgive one another for our failures to others and our planet Earth.  We ask this of you, our healer and comforter.  Amen.

Presider:  Let us give glory to our loving Holy One.

All (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: Isaiah 58:6-12 

6-9 “This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. I will secure your passage. Then when you pray, you will hear Me answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’

9-12 “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go.
These are the inspired words of the prophet, Isaiah, and the community affirms them by saying, Amen. (interpretation taken from the Message Bible)

Response:  May the Christ Light Shine in you, May the Christ Light Shine in me and together, we will shine with God’s love to the world. 

Second Reading: A Reading about Love 

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

These are the inspired words of Kahlil Gibran and the community affirms them by saying, Amen.

Gospel Acclamation:  Celtic ALLELUIA!

Gospel: Mathew 5:13-16
13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!

Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with the Beloved, the Holy One.

These are the inspired words of Matthew, disciple of Jesus and we affirm them by saying, Amen.  (interpretation taken from the Message Bible)

Shared Homily/Community Reflection
Mary Theresa's Homily Starter
This coming week, many of us will celebrate Valentine’s Day – a day to remember the sweethearts in our life through many expressions of love. The survival of our species continues because of this beautiful attraction to one another. And this is very, very good!

Today in our readings we are pondering a different love, a self-giving love that goes deeper than the physical attraction. This is a love that flows from a covenantal fidelity with the Holy One and with each other. This is a love that sustains us in a world that sometimes feels like chaos.  
In our first reading from Isaiah, the prophet reminds the people of Israel of their covenantal relationship with God. Israel is challenged to a live a communal love that does justice. This love will make their lives shine in the darkness – in the chaos. They are to get rid of all oppression, take care of one another and then their lights will turn on and their lives will turn around!

In the second reading, Kalil Gibran, tells us that through self-giving love, we are truly in the heart of the God.  And when we are there, the Holy One directs our actions and desires.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we are reminded of the fruits of self-giving love. We become salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth so that through us, people will taste godliness. What a concept. We are to shine for all to see. What beautiful readings.

Today we celebrate Seth who turned 30 on Thursday. Seth is the Face of God to this beautiful community and we certainly have experienced his bright light. It is the self-giving love of Kathryn and Stephen and family and friends that continues to surround Seth and nurture him into the miracle we see before us.

Happy Birthday, dear Seth. When we look at you, we know this to be true: there is only, only love.

Profession of Faith

We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery beyond all definition and rational 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 life 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 people of faith.  We believe in the power of prayer.  We believe that we send blessings to those who are struggling and who need to experience hope; to those who are grieving and need to be comforted in their loss, to those who are facing medical challenges that they be granted hope and healing. We bring the needs of people throughout our world to our community and to our gracious and comforting God.

Response:  We are filled with joy as we awaken to your call.
Presider 1: For what else do we pray?
Presider 2:  Joyful God, we know you attend to our prayers and respond with your wisdom and love.  In you, we place our faith.  ALL: Amen.

Preparation of the Gifts
Offertory Song:    “We Are Called” by David Haas

Presider 1:  Blessed are you, Jesus of Nazareth, through your goodness we have this bread and this wine and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we remember how to live the new story.   
All:  Blessed be God forever.   
Presider 2:  Divine Presence, we believe that you are always with us, loving in each of us and healing others through us.
All:  Namaste (with a nod…3x)
Presider 1:  Lift up your hearts.  
All:  We lift them up in tender love, open to serve.
Presider 2:  Let us give thanks for all that we have.
All: It is our joy to be grateful for our many blessings as we gather at our family table.    (let us “gather at our family table)

Liturgy of the Eucharist 

Presider 1:  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 caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

Presider 2: Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together:  (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane)

All: 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, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:

“We are Holy, Holy, Holy”

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 name.

And 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 go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name.

And 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 name.

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.

Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: We invoke Your Spirit upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

All: 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.

Presider 1 lifts bread.

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.

Presider 2 lifts cup

He then raised high the cup of blessing, spoke 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 and all that I have taught you!

Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated 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 about 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.
For it is through 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,
O Holy One,
At this time and all time and in all ways.
And we say yes to You!

Presider 2: Let us sing together the prayer of Jesus:
(adapted from "Our Mother" by Her Church: 

O Holy One, who is within us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come.
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,
Oh, Each day you give us all that we need;
You remind us of our limits, and we let go, we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
 For you are the dwelling place within within, within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever.  
now and forever, now and forever.  Amen (Miriam Therese Winter)   

The Sign of Peace

Presider 2:  God, we know that you give us peace and unity beyond what any words can express.  You are here with us as we join hands in a circle of love and sing our prayer: “Let there be peace on earth.”

Litany at the Breaking of the Bread

Presider 1: Please join in our prayer for the breaking of the bread:
(presiders break the bread during prayer)

All:  We are called to live the Gospel of peace and justice in harmony and with joy. We will live justly, love tenderly and walk with integrity in Your Presence.

(Presiders lift bread and wine)

Presider 2: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

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 Love’s challenge.

Presider1: Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive. We belong to the Divine and to each other and nothing can separate us. Everyone is invited to receive at this friendship table. Please pass the bread and wine with the words “You are the love of God in the world.” 

Communion Meditation: There is Only Love (Mindy Lou Simmons Solo)

Community Blessing

May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion penetrate us, that we may penetrate the numbness that continues our society’s injustices. May we know that we are loved.
May we continue to be the face of the Holy One to each other and may our name be a blessing in our time!  Amen.

Closing Song:  This Little Light of Mine


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