Sunday, July 7, 2019

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community – Liturgy for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Presiders: Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP, and Kathleen Ryan, ARCWP


Our theme for Sunday comes from a verse in Ephesians ; You are aliens and strangers no longer. The attached readings give us advice about going out into the world to travel lightly but meaningfully on a journey where the reign of God is near and strangers become our companions.  

Opening Prayer: The Holy One is as close as your next breath. Breathe deeply. Each of us is in need of Peace. Our world and sometimes our personal lives are in turmoil. If you are comfortable close your eye-Let us offer the Peace and Love of the Holy One to the person sitting on our left- and now to the person sitting on our right- we complete this circle of Peace and Love as we send this Peace and Love into our local and global communities. Amen

Opening Song: Namaste by Mark Hayes and Monique Danielle

First Reading: “Take Nothing for the Journey” by Joyce Rupp

Heal and proclaim…
Were the twelve afraid?
Did they wonder if they could do those things?
Compared to the quality of your ministry,
did they feel inadequate and unworthy?
What persuaded them to go?    Your words?
Your friendship?    Their enthusiasm?
Your deep belief that they could do it?

And you said:
“Take nothing for the journey”
What did you mean?
Trust or more than trust?
Did you perhaps imply that we can’t wait
until we have all the possible things we need?
That we can’t postpone “doing”
until we are positive of our talents?
That we can’t hold off our commitment
until we are absolutely sure
we won’t make a mistake?

I think of all the excuses and reasons
we can give for not serving and giving:
no time, no talent, no knowledge,
no energy, no assured results.
You say, “Take nothing.
Don’t worry about your inadequacies.
I will provide for you.
Go! Just go! Go with my power.
Risk the road, risk the work.
Go! I will be with you.
What else do you need?”

These are the inspired words of Joyce Rupp and the community affirms them: Amen.

Gospel Reading: from Luke

Jesus appointed seventy-two others, and sent them on ahead in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is rich, but the workers are few; therefore, ask the overseer to send workers to the harvest.

Be on your way, and remember: I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves. Don’t carry a walking stick or knapsack; wear no sandals and greet no one along the way. And whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace be upon this house!” If the people live peaceably there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you, for the laborer is worth a wage. Don’t keep moving from house to house.

And whatever city you enter, after they welcome you, eat what they set before you and heal those who are sick in that town. Say to them, ‘The reign of God has drawn near to you’. If the people of any town don’t welcome you, go into its streets and say, “We shake the dust of this town from our feet as testimony against you. But know that the reign of God has drawn near.

These are the inspired words of the disciple known as Luke and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Lynn's homily starter:  In Luke’s gospel, Jesus appoints 72 followers as an advance team of sorts to go into places he himself wishes to visit. Genesis mentions there were 72 nations in the ancient world so perhaps; Luke is telling us that the good news is to be shared all the world over by countless prophets. The 72 travel far and wide because the kindom of God is both urgent and present. They seek to reap a rich harvest in a hungering world, and their travels are incredibly prescient for our current times.  

Jesus counseled them to travel light and find hospitality from strangers. He advised them to travel in pairs and share the joy and the pressing challenge of how near to us is our loving God, how already embedded in our daily lives is the Divine Spirit. And he asked them to go without a walking stick or bag and without sandals - on bare feet.

A gospel commentary by a Saint Louis University theologian states plainly that “no one in their right mind traveled the Palestinian roads” like that. Defenseless, with little way of running from danger on rocky trails, and no back up provisions, the 72 must be considered genuine prophets, because of their willingness to trust fully in the Holy One.
As Kathie and I considered the readings, we thought of how refugees and asylum seekers are on the move today much like the 72 Lucan disciples -- without possessions or provisions. Exiting war torn Syria and civil war in Venezuela, fleeing religious persecution in Myanmar and murderous gangs in Honduras or famine in South Sudan, they leave behind everything they know and people they love. They carry only hope.

The gospel advice is about travel but it is equally as much about hospitality -- how do we receive today’s refugees? Our country is harshly divided on this and it breaks our hearts.  Whatever our response, it must be informed by the earnest resolve the travelers carry, the gospel message they enact. We must dare to hope with the strength of their death-defying hope, to act with the courage of their sacred powerlessness.

The gospel insists that the laborer is “Worth a wage” so hospitality includes a living wage and policies that afford dignity to all workers whether we are recent migrants or descendants of migrants of generations ago. We are called to befriend the vulnerable using our dual giftedness ---  the inspiration of our faith and the reach of our prosperity.

Traveling light and being hospitable are two sides of the same coin; together, traveler and host discover the reign of God across interpersonal boundaries and physical borders. We can live in a world like that of the 72 when Jesus imagined the harvest as rich and the talent of every person as bountiful. We are people who sense the kindom is near at hand. And despite the daily news, we know the reign of God calls for abundant kindness.

What did you hear? What does it mean for you? What will we do?


Statement of Faith
Presider 2: Please join in praying our statement of faith. 
All: 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.


LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Presider 1:  As we prepare for the sacred meal, we lay our stoles upon the table as a sign that just as Jesus is anointed, so is each one of us. And we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns.    (Please feel free to voice your concerns beginning with the words, “I bring to the table…”) At conclusion:  Presider 1: We pray for these and all unspoken concerns of our hearts. Amen.
Presider 2:  Let us join as a priestly people in praying our Eucharistic prayer together:
All: Source of Love and Light, we join together in unity of Spirit, love and purpose with all Your people everywhere, living and crossed over. With all of creation across billions of galaxies, we open our hearts and souls to become One in the mystical Body of the Cosmic Christ.
In your loving, embrace we are liberated from division, fear, conflict, pride and injustice. We are transformed into wholeness. With gratitude, we meld ourselves into You, into the one Cosmic Body that knows all, shelters all and transforms all into love, abundant and eternal.

United in one voice, we sing of the glory of all Creation with these words of praise and thanks: Holy, Holy Holy by Karen Drucker

We thank you, Holy One, for the incarnation of Jesus, a radical balance of human and divine who points our way and who strives with us in our time of need. We yearn with passion to live as Jesus, one with you and your Spirit, in peace and justice with all.

May our desire to a part of the Body of Christ join us to all living things. We seek to heal the differences that isolate us across the globe so that we may live and breathe in solidarity with all your people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or class. May we have the imaginative sympathy and love of Your Spirit to go beyond the confines of time and space into the Oneness of forever and ever where Love abides.

Presider 1:  Please extend your hands in blessing.
All:  Together, we call on Your Spirit, present in these gifts - bread that satisfies our hunger and wine that quenches our thirst – to make us more deeply One, living in the fullness of holy compassion and Sophia wisdom.

Anticipating the likelihood of betrayal, arrest and pain, Jesus wanted more than anything to be with his friends at a Seder, to share the meal, exchange stories and create fond memories. To strengthen the bonds of friendship that evening, Jesus washed the feet of his friends in an act of love and humility.

Presiders stand at table. Presider 1 lifts the bread.

All: Back at the table, he took the Passover Bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread and offered it to them saying, Take and eat, this is my very self. (pause)

Presider 2 lifts the wine.

Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life in you.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you. (pause)

As we prepare to feast on grain and grape, we seek the wildfire blessing of Your Spirit, that it might sweep through our lives and urge us toward wholeness.

Knowing that Jesus spent his time with the lowly and hurting, the needy and shunned, we seek to be alert to how we can bring the love and unity of the Body of Christ to wherever and with whomever is in need. We ask for the grace to see with the eyes of Jesus, touch with the hands of Jesus and heal with the heart of Jesus. Amen.
Presider 2: Let us join with disciples of all ages to pray together:
All:     O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come.
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,
Each day you give us all we need;
You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
            For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever.  Amen    (Miriam Therese Winter)

Presider 2:  Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread:
(Presiders break the bread)

All:  Loving Source of the Divine, You call us 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 1: 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 within the mystical Body of Christ, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Presider 2: 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 Body of Christ.”
Communion Song: Let Justice Roll Like a River by Marty Haugen


BLESSING
Presider 2:  May we continue to be the Face of God to each other. May the harmony of being connected across culture, race, time and space create in us the yearning to love as One Body, joyfully and persistently. May each of us shine with the terrific love of Jesus. 
All: Amen.

Closing Song: Go Make a Difference by Steve Angrisano


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