Donna Panaro, ARCWP, Kim Panaro, ARCWP, and Deven Horne led the Upper Room liturgy with the theme of “Inner Resurrection.” Donna’s homily starter is below the readings.
We are grateful today for this time together, We are united with each other and all of creation on this journey through life. We embrace our connectedness and seek always to have a deeper and more profound experience of the truth of our connection. Through this experience of inner resurrection, we tap into the energy of the Holy One and we use this energy to bring resurrection to others, the planet all who dwell on her. Amen
Opening Song: I And The Mother Are One by Jan Phillips
First Reading: From The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr
Most of us understandably start the journey assuming that God is “up there,” and our job is to transcend this world to find “him.” We spend so much time trying to get “up there,” we miss that God’s big leap in Jesus was to come “down here.” So much of our worship and religious effort is the spiritual equivalent of trying to go up what has become the down escalator. I suspect that the “up there” mentality is the way most people’s spiritual search has to start. But once the real inner journey begins—once you come to know that in Christ, God is forever overcoming the gap between human and divine—the Christian path becomes less about climbing and performance, and more about descending, letting go, and unlearning. Knowing and loving Jesus is largely about becoming fully human, wounds and all, instead of ascending spiritually or thinking we can remain unwounded. (The ego does not like this fundamental switch at all, so we keep returning to some kind of performance principle, trying to climb out of this messy incarnation instead of learning from it.
These are the inspired words of Richard Rohr and the community affirms them by saying: Amen
Gospel Reading: Luke 20: 27, 34-38
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those judged worthy of a place in the age to come
and of the resurrection from the dead don’t take husbands and wives. They can no longer die, like the angels-they are children of the resurrection. That the dead rise again was demonstrated by Moses when, in the passage about the bush, he called the Most High
'the God of Sarah and Abraham, and the God of Rebecca and Isaac, and the God of Leah and Rachel and Jacob.'
God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
All are alive to God.”
These are the inspired words from the gospel of Luke and the community affirms them by saying: Amen
Donna’s Homily Starter
In 21st century theology we must understand resurrection in a different way than religion has traditionally taught. The gospel reading is an answer to a question that the Sadducees asked Jesus about what the afterlife will be like for people who have been married more than one time. Who will their spouse be in the afterlife? The disbelief in the bodily resurrection is at the root of the question from the Sadducees who are using their question to support their disbelief. Jesus, as usual is not tripped up by their question. Instead Jesus refocuses the discussion in a way that shows the Sadducees that they are asking the wrong question. If God is not the God of the dead but is the God of the living what do we and the Sadducees need to understand about resurrection?
The question from the Sadducees has to do with relationships that we have during our life and asks what happens to these relationships when we pass away. When Jesus points to the scene in the Torah of the burning bush where God names people who predeceased Moses Jesus is showing that the people of who lived in the past are not dead. If God is the God of the living how is it possible to believe that death has the final say or that there is no resurrection?
Maybe we like the Sadducees need to understand resurrection in a different way. Our new way of thinking recognizes what Richard Rohr says, “God is not ‘in’ heaven nearly as much as God is the force field that allows us to create heaven through our intentions and actions.” We need to as Rohr says in the first reading stop “trying to go up what has become the down escalator.” Instead of focusing on going up to heaven to escape the mess we must begin the inner journey of going down, letting go and learning from the mess. This is transformative and involves inner resurrections.
The inner resurrections are when we die to hate and rise to love. Loving self, God and others manifests and expresses heaven and hate manifests hell. What did you hear and how will it change you?
Communion Song: I Am The Vine by John Michael Talbot
Closing Song: City of God by Dan Schutte