|Members of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrate Liturgy in Sarasota, Florida|
|From left to right: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Pat McMillan- Co-Presiders|
Welcome and Greeting
Presider: Welcome to Mary, Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome to share Eucharist at the Banquet Table. We use inclusive language in our Scripture readings and prayers. We invite respectful sharing at the homily that is related to our readings. We welcome all of you to share your intentions at the Prayers of the Faithful. In the Eucharistic Prayer we invite anyone to ‘voice’ one of the prayers if you are comfortable doing so and all pray the words of Consecration. We welcome all newcomers and we are so pleased that you joined us today. All are invited to join us for supper after the liturgy.
Presider : Like Peter and the disciples, we are companions on the journey called to live the Gospel of compassion, forgiveness and empowerment each day by serving those in need no matter what the cost. Let us commit ourselves- to be the Presence of Christ -love tenderly, walk humbly and do justice in our Church and world.
Opening Song: # 581 (1,2, 4) Companions on the Journey
All: Source of Love, Jesus showed us that that there is no greater love than laying down one’s life for one’s friends. We dedicate ourselves to serve all those you have called us to serve and to extend this circle of love to everyone we encounter.
Communal Reconciliation Rite
Presider: With an awareness of the power of your Spirit moving within us to love, we pause now to remember the times we have failed to reach out to others in need with a kind word or a helping hand.
Presider: Please extend your hand in blessing and say the
All: I am sorry. Please forgive me. I thank you. I love you.
ALL: Glory to God, glory, o praise God, alleluia, Glory to God, glory, o praise the name of our God (sung 3 times)
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 30:
Response: “Ubi Caritas, et amo, ubi caritas, deus ibi est.”
Second Reading: Rev. 5:11-14
Eightfold Alleluia (Charismatic)
Homily: Pat McMillan:
In what ways are your arms outstretched to and with the Be
When I contemplate the image of outstretched arms, I see a parent kneeling down with arms opened greeting a child. I also think of the statues of our Blessed Mother and Jesus with arms fanned out silently saying to us, “You are my Beloved.” Both images speak of unconditional love.
The commitment to love someone is not just expressed once but over and over again just as Peter does in today’s gospel.
Peter’s love for Jesus was tested in the last days of Jesus’ life. First, by the servant girl in the courtyard of the high priest where he denied knowing Jesus, denied that he loved and believed in him, 3 times. And before that when he showed his anger, and disrespect for another human being by cutting off his ear. Peter was struggling with who he was, what was expected of him and from whether he had the courage to put his life on the line for what he believed.
So, he goes back to a place of comfort, where he can think, he goes fishing with his friends. He wasn’t catching anything until he sees Jesus(unconditional love) and its after seeing Jesus that he fills his net with fish –the very symbolic affect of uncondional love giving us the strength to do what may seem impossible. This is the third time the apostles see Jesus after the crucifixion and Jesus asks and Peter tells Jesus 3 times that he loves him. Jesus then gives this directive “Feed my Sheep.” This gospel tells us that it’s Peter’s love for Jesus and Jesus’ unconditional love for Peter – Jesus knew Peter better than Peter knew himself – it’s Jesus unconditional love that gives Peter the inner strength to grow spiritually and in his service to God.
In The Last Week by John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg we read that society back in Jesus’ time was controlled by a domination system . Here we are 2100 years later and that has not changed - and if we look back further in history we will find that the domination system existed even before Jesus was born. As an aside, my interpretation of Jesus choice for his 12 apostles, in The Last Week, was that these 12 men were not yet ready to go out to do God’s work and Jesus wanted to spend more time with them. I believe the book even says the others, meaning his other followers went off to do God’s work. But Jesus’ kept these 12 back because he wanted to spend more time with them – they weren’t ready (remediation). Peter certainly was not.
Getting back to the domination systems, as long as life walks this earth there will be domination systems. These systems financially manipulate and oppress the workers, the most vulnerable, who are at the bottom of the hierarchy to transfer the wealth and power to the people at the top. Humans will always be striving to change these systems to create fairness and a balance of power.
Jesus said to Peter and his apostles “Feed my Sheep”. In essence, take care of the vulnerable, watch out for them and nourish and care for their souls. Jesus knew this work could be dangerous. However, as Dr. Reverend McMickle told his audience during his speech titled “Building the Beloved Community” if you see something, say something (or do something) and be prepared to suffer for standing up”. Rev. Dr. McMickle was speaking about racism but this applies to any cause that you undertake that is not supported or may be seen as a threat by the “domination system”. Jesus knew that going into Jerusalem that last week. He also knew that God was with him on his journey. Peter came to know that in Galilee when he, Peter, a man who doubted himself and denied Jesus, recognized Jesus’ unconditional love for him.
The love between Jesus and us is both rewarding and potentially dangerous. It is not the blissful embrace of lovers. It is a love that requires us to do God’s work, look beyond ourselves toward the greater good, and work on behalf of the most vulnerable. We are asked to take a stance with arms outstretched in unconditional love.
Statement of Faith
We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding, in whose infinite love all creation exists and evolves.
We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Presence,
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 reflection of divine compassion and healing
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace and healing 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.
Presider 1: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we pray for the needs of the people of God in our community and around the world.
Our response is: Holy One, you hear our prayers.
Please share your spontaneous prayers.
Presider 2: We give thanks for all whom we held in the circle of grace and will continue to pray for and use our talents to serve our sisters and brothers with joyful hearts in the coming weeks. Amen.
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
(Lifting up the Bread and Wine)
Preparation of Gifts (presiders lift up bread and wine and book of prayers)
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, these prayers of the heart, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we respond to your call to use our gifts in loving service to our sisters and brothers.
All: Blessed be God forever.
Presider : All are welcome to join us around the table.
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Presider 1: God is with you.
ALL: And also with you.
Presider 2: Lift up your hearts.
ALL: We lift them up to God.
All: : O God of_____(say your name), we praise you with our names and rejoice that You call us to be your disciples in our world today. We give thanks for the rich diversity of talents we have in this community. We open this circle of grace to remember the angels and saints and all who have gone before us. Joined with all creation, we lift up our hearts and sing:
We are holy, holy, holy by Karen Drucker
Voice 1: We thank you for Jesus, our brother, who called women and men to be disciples and equals to proclaim the Good News of divine love for all creation. He lifted up the lowly, and revealed your abundant tenderness toward each of us especially those who are sick and suffering, lonely and grieving, lost and excluded.
Voice 3: We celebrate our call to use our talents to reflect the embrace of the Beloved in our relationships and actions each day. We rejoice that we are called to serve our sisters and brothers as your disciples in our world.
(Extend hands in blessing toward bread and wine for Invocation of the Holy Spirit)
All: Now, as we share the bread of life and lift the cup of joy, we pray come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine.
All: On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the people closest to him. He washed their feet. For this they would remember him.
Presider: (Lifts bread as community prays the following)
All: When he returned to his place, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them 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: (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)
All: Let us share this bread and cup,
and welcome everyone to the Banquet as we live the gospel of love in generous service each day.
Voice 3: We are called to do everything Jesus did, to be the living presence of a love that does justice, of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates laughter, of a light that illumines right choices and confronts the darkness of every injustice and inequity.
All: So, we trust you to continue to share with us your own spirit, the Spirit that filled Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, his loving and healing all honor and glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever. All sing: Amen.
Presider 1: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
All: Sing -Prayer of Jesus:-Our Father and Mother
Sign of Peace: Let us hold hands sing “Peace is flowing like a River” as we pray for peace and justice to spread through our world.
Prayer for the Breaking of Bread
Presider 2: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread:
(Presiders break the bread)
All: O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
O God of Compassion, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
(Presiders hold up 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 are welcome to the Feast.
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.
Communion Song: You are The Face of God by Karen Drucker “You are the face of God, I hold you in my heart. You are a part of me. You are the face of God. “
#376 Servant Song: (1,2,3) Substitute God for Lord
Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions and Announcements
Presider 2: Let us raise our hands in blessing pray together:
All: May we continue to be the face of God as we serve our sisters and brothers. May we call each other to be blessings as we share our talents with all. May we walk with an awareness of our call to do justice and change our world.. May we, like Jesus, be a shining light and a blessing in our time!
Closing Song: #382 Take the Word of God with You (1,2,3,4)
(This liturgy was written by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck)