Saturday, October 5, 2019

Ecological ritual performed in Vatican gardens for pope’s tree planting ceremony by Courtney Grogan, Do you think Pope Francis and the Vatican Curia Were Comfortable with the Ritual?

.- Pope Francis witnessed an indigenous performance at a tree planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens Friday, during which people held hands and bowed before carved images of pregnant women, one of which reportedly represented the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
A group of people, including Amazonians in ritual dress, as well people in lay clothes and a Franciscan brother, knelt and bowed in a circle around images of two pregnant women who appeared to be semi-clothed, in the presence of the pope and members of the curia.
After witnessing the ritual, Pope Francis set aside his prepared remarks, opting instead to offer the Our Father without comment. 
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told CNA Friday that “at the end of the ceremony, the Pope decided to entrust his reflection, thoughts and words to the Prayer of the Our Father, which is in itself a message of faith, witness, repentance and hope.”

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community 27th Sunday of Extraordinary Time, October 6, 2019, Presiders: Janet Blakeley and Sally Brochu, ARCWP, Special speaker: Anna Davis , Musician: Linda Lee Miller


Presider: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where everyone is welcome.   We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers.  You are invited to share your respectful and related comments when we share the homily and in the Prayers of the Community.   Everyone is invited to gather around the altar table to take part in praying the Consecration and sharing Communion.   And finally, it is our custom to share dinner together at a local restaurant which will be announced.   All are welcome!

Presider: Four years ago, Pope Francis declared the first day of September to be observed annually as the World Day of Prayer for the Care for Creation.   In 2017, he wrote the Encyclical, “Laudato, Si,’” his letter to “all people of good will,” concerning our need to care for  not only the planet itself but all of creation.    These papal pronouncements have lead to the month of September’s being devoted to our intense need to care for all of creation in all its forms.   It is a fitting time to recall the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, lover of a universe he knew as inclusive of the Earth, the Sun, Moon and stars.   But today we are called to heighten our awareness of the expanding meaning of the words “creation” and “universe” - to become more sensitive to our connectedness to all of it – not just out of reverence for what God has made, but because we begin to realize that God is to be found in every particle of creation.   Although it has always been so, it is now we begin to see that God entered into matter, not only in Jesus, but in everything God created.    And so it is that we know our true nature – that of brother and sister to every bit of creation.  

Presider: Let us take a moment to center ourselves – to note that we are in the presence of God because God is within everything and everyone.   (bell)
Presider:  Listen to the voice of God within us and let it expand our understanding of our oneness with all of creation.   We acknowledge our connectedness to air and water, the plants and animals, and every other human being, noting that our similarities are more important than our differences.   We will that our hearts and minds be open to recognizing that everything known and unknown in the universe merits our care and concern. 

OPENING SONG: “God, You Spin the Whirling Planets” (melody, “Ode to Joy”) verses 1, 2

ALL:   We confess our laziness and our lack of imagination in allowing our air and water to become polluted.   We confess our shortsightedness in thinking our need for greater space is more important than protecting the beautiful lands around us for the shelter of all sorts of living creatures, for the promise of food for generations to come, for the earth to breathe and cleanse itself.   We confess our self-centeredness in wanting to build grandiose structures robbing people and wildlife of living space.   Open our eyes, minds and hearts so that we may cultivate a long-term vision for seeing the profound reality of your creation and our place in it.    
ALL:  (Raise hands in gesture of mutual forgiveness and chant)   I am sorry.   
(Breathe)   Please forgive me. (Breathe)   Thank you.   (Breathe)   I love you. (Breathe)   Repeat.  

ALL sing:   Glory to God, glory!   O praise God, alleluia.   Glory to God, glory!   O praise the name of our God. (3 times)

FIRST READING: A reading from Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato, Si’” in which he calls our attention to the patron saint of ecology, St. Francis of Assisi.
“His response to the world around him was so much more than intellectual appreciation or economic calculus, for to him each and every creature was a sister united to him by bonds of affection.   That is why he felt called to care for all that exists.   His disciple Saint Bonaventure tells us that, “from a reflection on the primary source of all things, filled with even more abundant piety, he would call creatures, no matter how small, by the name of ‘brother’ or ‘sister’.   Such a conviction cannot be written off as na├»ve romanticism, for it affects the choices which determine our behavior.   If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of master, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on the immediate needs.   By contrast, if we feel intimately united with all that exists, then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously.   The poverty and austerity of Saint Francis were no mere veneer of asceticism, but something much more radical: a refusal to turn reality into an object simply to be used and controlled.”    

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm 19.   Nan Merrill, interpretation
            Lector: The heavens declare the glory of the Creator!
Psalm Response: The heavens declare the glory of the Creator!
Lector: The heavens declare the glory of the Creator,
The firmament proclaims the handiwork of Love.
Response: The heavens declare the glory of the Creator!
Lector: Day to day speech pours forth and
Night to night, knowledge is revealed.
            Response:  The heavens declare the glory of the Creator!
            Lector: There is no speech
            Nor are there words;
            Their voice is not heard.
            Yet does their music resound through all the earth,
            And their words echo to the ends of the earth.
            Psalm Response: The heavens declare the glory of the Creator!

From the poems of Mary Oliver, “With Thanks to the Field Sparrow, whose Voice is so Delicate and Humble”
            I do not live happily or comfortably
with the cleverness of our times.
The talk is all about computers
 the news is all about bombs and blood.
This morning, in the fresh field,
I came upon a hidden nest.
It held four warm, speckled eggs.
   Then went away softly,
having felt something more wonderful
than all the electricity of New York City.

ALLELUIA  Caribbean”

GOSPEL:  Luke 18:15-17
Presider 1: Our gospel reading emphasizes Jesus’s love for a particular element of creation – children.

A reading from the Gospel of Luke.
People even brought little children to him, for him to touch them.   When the disciples saw this they turned them away.   But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.  I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’
These are the words of Jesus as recounted by the writer of the Gospel of Luke.   To this we respond: Amen.

Presider 1: As a homily starter, we will listen to a letter written by Karen Leslie Hernandez to her as yet unborn granddaughter.   It will be read by three grandmothers.
VOICE - Anna
You’re still an idea - a thought.      Yet I think of you often.      I hope for you.   When you arrive will each breath be easy?
Will you have places to run?   Trees to climb   Glaciers to marvel    Oceans to explore    Whales to watch   Turtles to hatch?
Will elephants trumpet?    Wolves howl.   Roosters crow    and lions hunt.
Will rain soak?   Will snow fall from the sky
Or will it be ash?   Instead.
Voice -  JANET
On a planet that’s angry I wonder.  
Will humans be?   Kinder   Wiser   Loving   Good   Caring   Better.
Violent   Deadly    Selfish   Void   Tired   Scared.  
Too tolerant of intolerance.
Voice - SALLY
When stardust forms you
I wonder.  Will people still live?
In tents on streets   encampments   in cars   in fear?
Without enough food   Unequal.
Will healthcare be?   For all   Or   withheld for the entitled still
Will you live?
Safely   Securely   Warmly   Belly full   Happily.
Will race   religion   culture   Ethnicity   
Matter?   Still.
Voice 1:  ANNA
I fear.
Will bullets still fly?
Through your classroom    At Temple   Through Streets.   At Mosque   By store clerks   To music.  
While dancing in Church   On freeways   At home.,
While the smell of garlic   and gunpowder   infuse the air.
I wonder what life will be like for you.
When you are born  
Will Iraq know peace?   Will I be here?   Will Syria fall silent?   Will America accept?   Will you meet me?   Will Myanmar coexist?   Will Afghanistan thrive, finally?
Will you understand?   Will the world know?   Will Israelis and Palestinians coexist?
Will tyranny be laughable?   Will we care?   Because I do.
Voice - JANET
I marvel.
Because somehow    Still   In the darkness   There will be laughter   Family   Friends   Time  
Goodness   Light   And helpers.
Voice - SALLY
I hope for you.
That your life exists   Gives,   Understands.   Reads.   Listens.   Sings.   Creates.   Dances.   Expands.   Traverses   Loves.   Thrives. 
Voice - ANNA
I hope for you.
That you know a God   A Higher Being   Who’s loving   Non-violent   Compassionate   Understanding   Giving   Patient.
Voice - JANET
I hope for you.
A Universe of stars   Suns   Moons   Vastness.  
So stunning as it is for me, your Grandmother.
Yes, you are still a thought   An idea right now.
Yet, I wonder.
What life will be like for you.
Voice - SALLY
I hope.
Voice - ANNA
I wonder what life will be like.
For you.  
I wonder.

Question:  What future do you hope for?  

ALL:  The universe is my home,
               All beings are my tribe,
                        And Oneness is my religion.
(Repeat more slowly)
            The universe is my home.
                        All beings are my tribe.
                                    And Oneness is my religion.

Presider: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we pray for the needs of the people of God in our community and around the world.   Who/what do we bring to the table?
I bring to the Table…   Response to each prayer: Amen
Please share your spontaneous prayers.
Presider: (Hold up Book of Intentions)   We give thanks for every aspect of your creation, especially humanity, and we ask blessings for those who cannot be with us in body but are held in our hearts.  

(Instrumental music)
Presider:  Blessed are you, God of Creation.   Through your goodness we have this bread that human hands have prepared.   It will become for us the bread of life.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider : Blessed are you, God of Creation.   Through your goodness we have this wine to share.   It will become our spiritual drink.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
(All are welcome to join us around the table.)

                                                LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
Presider: God is within you.   ALL: And also within you.
Presider: Lift up your hearts.   ALL: We lift them up to our God.

ALL: Wonderful God, we trust that your spirit works in us and through us as we recognize your presence in every expression of your creation.   May our attempts to better see your creation lead us to a right focus that results in a loving environment for all creatures.   Only then will we be able rest in your kin-dom.   

Presider:  As a foretaste of that, let us sing Karen Drucker’s song, underlining that everything in the universe is holy!  
We are holy, holy, holy.   We are whole.   (You, I, we)

ALL:  It is Jesus who draws us together and Jesus who sends us out to be clones of himself.   For this he prepares us by inviting us to share and become his real presence in these elements.

ALL: (Extend hands in blessing toward the bread and wine for Invocation of the Holy Spirit):

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 with his friends, and washed their feet, so that they would follow his example.  

Presider: (lifts bread as community prays the following)
ALL: When he returned to his place at the meal, he spoke the blessing, broke the bread and shared it with them saying: Take and eat of the Bread of Life.   Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. 

Presider: (lifts up 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: Christ dies, Christ rises, Christ comes again and again.

Voice: 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.

(Presiders hold up bread and cup)
ALL: It is through the Spirit moving in Jesus’s life and teaching and in our attempts at honoring you that all glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever.
Great Amen 

Presider:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
ALL: Sing Prayer of Jesus: Our Father and Mother…
Presider: Now may we turn to our neighbors and give them a sign of peace

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

ALL: We break this bread for the purpose of sharing and nourishing.   May we approach all of creation with the same purpose, or leave it unbroken. 

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:  As we share communion, we will become communion, Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Algonquin Water Song (recorded)



Presider: Let us raise our hands in blessing as we pray together:
ALL: May we live with eyes and ears and hearts open to see, hear and love all of creation – most especially our fellow human beings.   Amen.
CLOSING SONG: “God, You Spin the Whirling Planets” (melody “Ode to Joy”) verse 3

This liturgy is an adaptation of that written by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP for August 14, 2019

Verse 1                                                                                Verse 3
God, you spin the whirling planets,                            God, your will is still creating,
fill the seas and spread the plain,                                  calling us to life made new.
mold the mountains, fashion blossoms,                    Now reveal to us fresh vistas
call forth sunshine, wind, and rain.                               where there’s work to dare and do.
We, created in your image,                                        Keep us clear of all distortion,
would a true reflection be                                          fashion us with loving care.
of your justice, grace and mercy,                               Thus new creatures in your image,
and the truth that makes us free.                              we’ll proclaim Christ everywhere!

Verse 2
You have called us to be faithful
in our life and ministry.
We respond in grateful worship,
joined in one community.
When we blur your gracious image,
focus us and make us whole.
Healed and strengthened as your people,
we move onward toward your goal.