Sunday, September 22, 2019

Home Church Liturgy with Friends of ARCWP on 25th Sunday in Swords Ireland, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP

Liturgy and Meeting with Friends of ARCWP

Theme: The Spirit in us is rising up for justice

Opening Prayer
With St. Brigid, we light the fire of God’s desire as prophets of a new vision that welcomes all to the Banquet Table of Infinite Love. We join with all holy women and men in the work of transforming oppression and celebrating the rising up of justice and equality in our world today.  

Opening Song: Light the Fire
In honor of St, Brigid (composed by Liam Lawton, January 1993)

There travels forth from the passages of history
A woman’s voice that is heard across the plains,
That calls once more, for a people of new vision
To heal our wounds and green our Earth again,
To heal our wounds and green our Earth again.

She spreads her cloak ‘cross the land and far beyond it,
A shadow cast on a people void of hope.
She speaks of peace and the chains that weigh upon it
And there her light shall glimmer from the oak
And all that binds the people shall be broke.

So light the Fire of God’s desire
Within all hearts, let sorrows end.
So light the Fire of God’s desire
God’s chosen one, Your peace upon us send.

And we today need a prophet of new vision,
To lift the low – the forgotten child to heed,
To be the voice of the wounded and the weary,
To plant anew a fresh and peaceful seed
To dance the dance of God’s own Blessed BrĂ­d.

So light the Fire of God’s desire
Within all hearts, let sorrows end.
So light the Fire of God’s desire
God’s chosen one, Your peace upon us send.

First Reading: Amos 8: 4-6

Listen to this, you who walk all over the weak, you who treat poor people as less than nothing, Who say, “When’s my next paycheck coming so I can go out and live it up? How long till the weekend when I can go out and have a good time?” Who give little and take much, and never do an honest day’s work. You exploit the poor, using them—and then, when they’re used up, you discard them.
These are words of the prophet Amos. And we affirm them by saying Thanks be to God. 

Response Psalm 113 1-3 (adapted) 

Sung response by Noirin Ni Riain

Response: Amen. Truly I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you. (2x)

We serve and praise you, O Holy One.
Just to speak Your name is praise!
Just to remember You is a blessing,
now and tomorrow and always.

Response: Amen. Truly I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you. (2x)

From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
We lift all our hearts to You!
You are above all else,
No one can compare to you.
You care for the poor and oppressed
And seat them among Your honored guests.

Response: Amen. Truly I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you. (2x)

Second Reading: “Grace Filled Complexity” by Barbara Reid

Things are not as simple as they used to be—or so it seems! Perhaps there never really was a time when issues were clear-cut and moral decisions were easy. In our time, technology allows choices never before possible. Decisions about medical choices, for example, particularly those involving beginning and ending of life, are more complex than ever before. In global economic systems the ramifications of our choices now go far beyond our local and immediate venues. How to understand complex systems and make good moral choices is a question that today’s gospel can open up for us.

The parable in today’s gospel is itself so complex that the only thing biblical scholars agree on is that it poses more questions than it answers, and no interpretation fully answers all of them. Questions such as these confront us: How can a dishonest steward be praised by his master? Who is the master? Jesus? The rich man? Is the parable about lost honor or lost income? What is the economic system presumed in the story?...

One possibility for this Sunday is not to try to settle the interpretation of the gospel parable but to look instead at the underlying values and attitudes that the readings propose, which orient us toward what we must do in order to be able to make good moral decisions, in complex situations. In the first reading, the situation seems straightforward: the dishonest merchants cannot wait for the Sabbath to be over so they can return to cheating the poor.

As with Amos, our first important step is to cultivate the ability to see from the perspective of those made poor and to be outraged, as he was, about economic practices that feed greed and “trample upon the needy.” Once one sees these practices, it is then important to do whatever is possible to counter them. Publicly raising one’s voice, as did Amos when telling the truth about the unjust practices, is one important response. Another is to observe Sabbath days, when rest and communal and contemplative prayer can help communities of faith to cultivate eyes that see what is needed for the common good. A Sabbath rest from buying and selling also provides a hiatus from exploitation of the poor and cultivates reliance on providence.
These are the inspired words of theologian Barbara Reid. And we affirm them by saying Thanks be to God.

Alleluia sung by Jan Phillips

Gospel: Luke 16: 10-13

Jesus went on to make these comments:
If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things;
If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things.
If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store?
No worker can serve two bosses:
He’ll either hate the first and love the second
or adore the first and despise the second.
You can’t serve both God and corporate capitalism.
These are the words of Luke, disciple of Jesus, and we Affirm them by saying Thanks be to God.

Shared Homily: What did you hear in our readings today? What spoke to you? What challenged you?

Statement of Faith:
We believe in one God, 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 God's Word,
bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion,
bright star in the firmament of God's 
prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of God's love,
a source of God's wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of God's peace in the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the life of God that is our innermost life,
the breath of God moving in our being,
the depth of God living in each of us.

We believe that God's 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.

Presider 1: As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….” And respond with: Holy One You hear us.  

Presider 2:  We pray for all of these intentions and all unspoken concerns. Amen.


Presider 1: Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us the bread of life.

All:  Blessed be God forever.

Presider 2: Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.

All:   Blessed be God forever.

Eucharistic Prayer
Presider 1: Our God is with you.

All:  And also with you.

Presider 1: Lift up your hearts.

All: We lift them up to our God.

Presider 1: Let us give thanks to our loving God.

All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Voice 1:  O Divine Fire of Love, glowing embers dance in our hearts. Our souls are purified by the searing truth that ignites our spirits and by the fire that penetrates the cold around us, setting our hearts aglow with tenderness.

Voice 2: How often have we felt tender love that is without limits or boundaries! How often have we been consumed with delight by love in a human touch!  How often have we been embraced through Earth's beauty, a part of the beloved creation that surrounds us! We are energized to work for justice and peace in our world and we raise our voices with grateful hearts as we say:

Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Source of All Creation,
Heaven and earth are filled with Your glory,
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are we who come in Your Name,
Hosanna in the highest!

Voice 1:  Holy Mystery, may we listen with assurance and excitement as the infinite, boundless, depths of love are revealed within and among us. May we awaken to the promise that we are always, no matter what the obstacles or setbacks we experience, embraced with love and compassion.

Voice 2: May we be consumed with such a hunger and thirst for justice that our words and actions inflame others to become signs of justice. May we have eyes to see human need, hearts to care for our sisters and brothers and hands and feet to lighten others' burdens.

Voice 1: We are thankful for Jesus, and his strong, but gentle presence, whose message blesses and transform our lives. He showed us how to live as your new creation.

Presider 2:  I invite you, the People of God, to extend your hands and pray together:

All: Loving God, intensify the presence of Your Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, become the Body and Blood of Jesus the Christ for our wholeness and the wholeness of all creation. 

Presider 1:
 (lifts bread as community prays the following:)

All: On the night before Jesus died, he gave us a special gift of love divine. He took bread, broke it and shared it with friends who gathered around the table saying:

Take and eat of the Bread of Life 
Given to strengthen you  
Whenever you remember me like this  
I am among you. (pause) 

Presider 2  (lifts the cup as community prays the following: )

All: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace 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)

Presider 1: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

All: Christ dies, Christ rises, Christ comes again and again.

Voice 1: May we become Spirit-Fire, as we fan the flames of love over the entire cosmos. May all of our families and friends, the young and old, the sick and dying and all those in need experience nurturing love this day.

Voice 2: Inspire our leaders, both religious and political, so that they act without fear to bring your justice. May they become peacemakers who transform your church and society so that all living beings and our planet may thrive.

Presider 1: You have gathered us around this table in friendship, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the apostles, and all the saints. May all who are suffering in any way be strengthened and consoled by your Presence. You bless all who have gone before us and bring them into the lasting joy and peace of your presence.

Presider 2: You gather together women, men and children of every race, language, religion and way of life to share in your one, eternal   banquet. In your presence, we give you glory with all creation and with Jesus through whom your goodness flows.

Presiders hold up bread and wine
All: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit,  all glory and honor is Yours, all-loving God, forever and ever.

All: Amen 

Presider 2: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
ALL:  Our Father and Mother, who art in heaven ….

Sign of Peace:
Presider 1: Jesus said, “My peace I give you.” Let us share that peace with one another.

Song: Peace is Flowing Like a River by Carey Landry

Presider 1: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread: (Presiders break the bread)

ALL: Holy One, we are called to live the Gospel of peace and justice.  We will live justly.
We are called to be presence of Love in the world.  We will love tenderly
We are called to speak truth to power.  We will walk with integrity in your presence.

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 our lives; as we share communion we will become communion, both love’s nourishment and love’s challenge.

Presider 1: Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive. You are a spark of the Divine and nothing can separate you from Divine love. All are welcome to receive at this table.  Please pass the bread and the cup with the words “You are the Body of Christ.”  

Communion Meditation: We Are Called
By David Hass

Come, Live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of our God!
We are called to be light for the kin-dom,
to live in the freedom of the City of God.

We are called to act with justice,
We are called to love tenderly,
We are called to serve another;
To walk humbly with God!

Come, open your heart!
Show your mercy to all those in fear.
We are called to be hope for the hopeless,
So all hatred and blindness will be no more!

Presider 2Holy One, we are thankful for this holy meal which reminds us of the need to willingly give of ourselves completely. Our hearts are fueled with divine energy. May we share the love we have experienced with all of creation and may we live always as instruments of faithful love. Amen.

Final Blessing:

Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All:  In the spirit of St. Bridget of Kildare, we welcome the poor and sick to the feast, for they are God’s children. We welcome the marginalized and excluded to the feast, for they are God’s joy. Together, in a circle of love, we dance a new Church of hospitality and welcome embracing all.

Closing Song:  Robert Gass Go in Beauty lyrics: 
Oh, go in beauty / Peace be with you / Till we meet again in the light....

(Liturgy is by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP. Permission is given to use or adapt.)

For more information about the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, visit our website at: and visit Bridget Mary’s Blog at:

For more information about the People’s Catholic Seminary, visit our website at:

Bridget Mary Meehan:
Mary Theresa Streck:

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