|Presiders: Lee Breyer and Joan Meehan|
Theme: Love and peace…she will remind you of all I have taught you.
Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome to share our Eucharistic Celebration. We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers. We invite respectful and related comments when we share the homily and, a little later, everyone will have an opportunity to share their personal intentions in the Prayers of the Community. And everyone will be invited to gather around the Table of Plenty and take their parts in praying the Consecration and Communion. We welcome everyone here today, both the “old timers” and the newcomers, and we are very pleased that we can all join together in worship this afternoon. And, all will be invited to join us for supper at a local restaurant after the liturgy.
Gathering Song: Now As We Gather #319, (verses 1 and 3)
Change “be” to ‘is” … twice in the refrain.
All: Holy One, you have created everything that exists in our ever-expanding universe. You have done so out of the kindness of your very being…your pure love, your unconditional and unending love…that leads us to our love and peace for one another. Through your Spirit, your wisdom, may we realize that what is not of love… is not of you.
You call us to lives of love and peace…to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with all of creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to warmly welcome everyone with whom we come in contact as your presence among us. In communion with Jesus, our brother, and with the power of the Spirit, we will live your love poured out each day. Amen.
Community Reconciliation, Healing, and Transformation
Presider: Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden. Our desire is to be continually conscious of this in how we live, and to be aware of this in everything we do with our sisters and brothers.
All: We ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in a better understanding, compassion and caring for ourselves, for our brothers and sisters, and for our planet Earth. We also ask for our awareness of your forgiveness of our love-less and hurtful actions to people of other beliefs, nationalities, races and actions.
May we gather strength through your Divine Presence within us so that we can extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift – through us – to everyone, everywhere - with whom you share your unending love. 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: Philippeans 4: 4-7 All: Thanks be to God.
Peace Responsorial: Peace I Ieave with you, my friends, peace the world cannot give.
Peace I leave with you, my friends, so that your joy may be ever full.
Second Reading: Revelation 21: 1-5 All: Thanks be to God.
Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia
Gospel: John 14: 23-29 All: Glory to you, O God.
Shared Homily and Community Reflections
Homily Starter - Lee Breyer
I heard someone say; “John again? It seems that he’s been in our liturgies for months!” Well, that is pretty much right. And it will continue for a few more weeks until Ordinary Times starts. To someone unfamiliar with this scheduling, it may seem to be an obsession to John’s gospel. Well, in a way that could be considered right if repetitiveness affects behavior. In the case of John’s gospel, we have heard so many “love” statement. Today’s statement “Those who love me will keep my commandments” had been preceded with others such as “love God, love your neighbor, love your enemy” and others you could bring up. John could sum up Jesus’ mission in one word: love.
Why is John’s seeming focus on love more than it is described in any of the other three gospels?
What could have long stories are shortened….
A direct reason is that John’s central message is the love of God itself, expressed in a person’s behavior with self and others. The center of the others was the coming of the Kingdom of God.
In John’s understanding, John claimed that love is a mode, a way, of intimately knowing God. Gospel love made God present. To him, this was so compelling that he wrote that love was God, and God was love. So that contributes to the frequency of love in John’s gospel.
An earthly reason deals with the time John’s gospel was written, namely near the end of the first century. At the time, the “Christian” populations were being persecuted or under attack by both the Jews and the Romans. The Jews were upset because the Christians were not following the traditions and rules of their history and religious scriptures. And the Romans, who had just destroyed the Jewish Temple were still upset by the Christian adherence to titles such as “King of the Jews” (not Caesar, and that was part of Jesus’ execution) and “Son of God” that did not conform in the least with their pantheon of gods.
Back to where I started…with a simple marketing strategy….repetition affects behavior. (Some will say that it conducts boredom; others hold fast that it increases the subject to the desired behavior. And we heard so very much about love in the many sequential readings of John’s gospels since the last week in Lent and that will continue for several more weeks until Ordinary Time starts. To what extent did the frequency of love firm-up your ideas about your understanding and behavior to yourself and to others? Or maybe it didn’t…your observations.
Statements of Faith
Presider: We believe in God, the Divine Mystery that is beyond our understanding and the. Creator of an unfinished world in an ever-evolving cosmos. God is the Holy One who invites us to join with one another in creating and building a world of justice, a new world of love and peace on our planet Earth.
Left: We believe in God who calls all of the world’s peoples to harmony and unity so that that they may heal the hurts and the sufferings that have been caused over time and replace them with a celebration of peace, love and enduring partnership.
Right: We believe in God who has not divided our people into the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, the wise and the unwitting, the advantaged and the advantaged. We believe in God who created all of us to be brothers and sisters of one another in a Blessed Family.
Left: We believe in Jesus, the Word of God who became human like us. He befriended the well-placed persons and the poorest regardless of their positions in society. He spoke truth to both all the men and the women with whom he came in contact, and he practiced love, peace and justice to everyone. And for all this, he was put to death for doing what was his blessed mission.
Right: We believe in Jesus who, then, was raised to life.
All: We believe in the Spirit of God, the breath of our innermost life and the sustainer of everything that exists in this world. She is the one who brings order out of chaos, peace out of strife, love out of hatred, and life out of death. We truly believe in her. Amen.
Prayers of the Community
Presider: We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We believe that we send blessings to those who are struggling and need to experience hope; and as well as to those who may be in physical or emotional pain.
With heads and hearts mindful of God’s unconditional love for each one of us, we can bring our needs and those of our community to the support of such people. After each intercession, we respond: Compassionate God, bless our petitions. (Intentions are mentioned here.)
Presider: We pray for those broken families, torn apart…suffering in their separations…unsure of their futures. Compassionate God, bless our petition.
We pray for Sally who has had a surgery this week and is currently in recovery,
Compassionate God, bless our petition.
Presider: And for whom or what else do we pray at this time? Other Intentions are to be followed by Compassionate God, bless our petition.
Presider: We hold these and all the unspoken intentions in our hearts as we take them with us when we will gather around the Banquet Table.
Offertory Song: Table of Plenty #310, (verses 1 and 3)
Presider: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up in tender love, open to serve all God’s people, everywhere.
Presider: Let us give thanks for all that we have.
All: We are grateful for our many blessings as we gather together at our family table.
Presider: Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his. Everyone is welcome to join him at his table. (Everyone is welcome to gather around God’s family table.)
Presider: As we gather around Jesus’ table, let us take the opportunity to acknowledge our worthiness of God’s invitation.
All (singing): We are holy, holy, holy…(3x), we are whole. You are…I am…We are…
(then following the end of that song, we share a nod and Namaste … (3x)
Presider: Blessed are you, God of Love. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer…this grain of the earth that human hands have prepared for our use. It will become for us the bread of life. All: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Blessed are you, God of Peace. 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.
All: Gracious God, you have set the Banquet Table and have invited all of us to your feast of unending delight. Here we experience your divine love beyond what any words can describe. Your divine compassion connects us to the young and the old, the first and the last, to everyone, everywhere, on our journeys into the heart of your mercy.
Voice 1: We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history—and the gift of Jesus in faith. While on earth, Jesus burned with the constant vision of his earthly mission. He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well-lived. And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we will suffer and may even die. Through him, you continue to breathe life into us so that we may be witnesses to his gospel messages.
Voice 2: And when his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death. Then, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in the ages to come, he “paid the price,” he opened wide his arms…and died. The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead showed us, through him, that life is eternal and that love is immortal. And that same Spirit that lived in Jesus will be resurrected in all of us. The Jesus of history and faith is with us today as he will be through the end of time.
All: (With an outstretched arm 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. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.
(pause a moment, then continue….)
All: 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. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.
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 our faith.
All: Jesus has died. Christ is risen. The cosmic Christ lives through us in the world today.
Voice 3: God of blessing and peace, help us to continually grow in love. May we do that together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our bishop and your sacred family everywhere -especially those who live on the margins of church and society everywhere. We remember as well the communion of saints, recently enlarged by Imogene, Helen and Eileen. We remember also those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left warm footprints on our hearts… especially….
(mention names at this time…)
All: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we could ever ask or even imagine. And now we hold hands as we sing…Amen. (x times)
The Prayer of Jesus
Presider: And with joined hands, let us sing the Prayer that Jesus taught us.
All (sing): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name.…...
The Sign of Peace
Presider: Loving God, we know that you give us peace beyond what any words can express. You are here with us now as we, with joined hands in a circle of love, continue our singing with “Peace is Flowing Like a River.” (#535) Please replace “captives” with “people.”
Litany at the Breaking of the 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 do so, walking humbly with you.
Presider: This is Jesus, who calls us to share our bread and wine on the altar of the world. All are invited to do that today in this blessed space … and at this sacred banquet of love.
All: We are the Body of Christ.
Presider: Let us then gladly share this good news! All: Amen.
(As we share this sacred meal, we say to one another
… with the passing of the bread: “you are the love of God in the world, and
…..with the passing of the wine: “you are the peace of God in the world.”)
Communion Music: Instrumental (Linda Lee Miller)
Post Communion Meditation Hymn: There is Only Love (Karen Drucker)
(The lyrics are on the bottom of the next page)
Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
All: Holy One, may this Eucharist in which we shared Jesus’s healing love today deepen our oneness with you and with one another in all our tomorrows. May we share with one another our bountiful blessings, knowing that you always give us all more than we need. And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with knowledge and understanding as we experience the infusion of your love and compassion in us, your sacred people. We ask this in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, our strength. Amen.
Introductions – Gratitudes - Announcements
Closing Prayer and Community Blessing
All: May we give and receive abundant love to our brothers and sisters everywhere.
May our belief in the power of love to enrich and sustain us as we live our lives to be
the people God created us to be.
May we find wonders and miracles in the ordinariness of life;
they are there if we but look for it.
May we know and experience true peace, the peace of Jesus,
in our minds and in our hearts.
May our Loving God be with us as we continue on our different paths on different
journeys as we do our best, with Spirit’s support to follow in the
footsteps of Jesus.
May we always remember that we are the face of God to the world…
and may we reflect out God well. Amen.
Closing Song: Take the Word of God With You #373 (all verses)
Presiders: May we go forth and spread the message of peace, love and compassion everywhere we may go and to whomever we meet. May we be the light in the world for others to see an image of God and find the guidance of the Spirit. Let this be our mission, the mission of Jesus…and let our service continue.
All: Thanks be to God; let it be so.