Saturday, December 7, 2019

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Second Sunday of Advent - December 7, 2019 Presiders: Elena Garcia ARCWP, Dotty Shugrue ARCWP & Community Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons Lectors: Kevin Connelly and Cathy Alexander

Presider : Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome to share Eucharist. We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers. You will be invited to gather around the Table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer. We warmly welcome our newcomers to our liturgy and we will invite you to introduce yourself if you wish at the announcement time after Communion. All are invited to join us for supper after liturgy.
 Theme: Bearing Good Fruit                                                                                          Compelled by visions of God’s kingdom, Isaiah and John the Baptist do some building up and tearing down. Isaiah envisions God’s peaceable kingdom. He waits for the Messiah, the “root of Jesse” who will bring righteousness and justice. His people mired in sorrow and despair have stopped waiting for God’s. He builds them up offering hope. In today’s Gospel we see that the Baptist is preparing the way for Jesus, the Messiah. His people mired in greed and exploitation have also stopped waiting for God’s kingdom. John warns: change your ways find the right path, bear good fruit—and do this now! Prophets do whatever is necessary so that others may see reality. For both John and Isaiah, God’s kingdom is a compelling reality. It is their goal and guide. They are connected to that kingdom and long for its fullness.  May it be so for us here and now.                                                                                                                                                
 Opening Song:  “Spirit of the Living God”                                                                            ~Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me,                                                                                    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.                                                                                      Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,                                                                                             Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.                                                                                      ~Spirit of the living God, move among us all,                                                                                make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love                                                                       Humble, caring, selfless, sharing,
Spirit of the living God, fill our lives with love.
Lighting of the Advent Candle
Presider: Called to live God’s abundant generosity, we dedicate ourselves on this Second Sunday in Advent to imaging Christ together. May we live and act in community, working to achieve justice for all as Jesus did in his life through works of compassion.                                   ~May this Holy Season bring new life to our personal and communal ways of acting, and as we light this candle today, may our message of love and compassion move out to comfort and renew hope in all who are hopeless, abandoned and alone.                                                      ~May the blessing of God’s abundant love bring light to the dark places of our world, calling us to action as Christ’s presence.
Transformation Rite                                                                                                              All: During this holy time of waiting, awaken our hearts to recognize what it is that blinds us to your presence in others and in the events of our lives. Give us the light we need to accept all that you give as tokens of your loving care.
Opening Prayer                                                                                                                        Presider:  We give you thanks, most loving and compassionate God,
for this time of waiting when we search to find you present in our midst. Open our hearts to finding you in new ways during this time of waiting. Plant the seed of your presence deep in us and help us to nourish it into new life
.               All: Amen.
Liturgy of The Word                                                                                                                        First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10 
For Isaiah, words are watercolors and melodies and chisels to make truth and beauty and goodness. Or, as the case may be, hammers and swords and scalpels to unmake sin and guilt and rebellion. Isaiah does not merely convey information. He creates visions ,delivers revelation, and arouses belief. He is a poet in the most fundamental sense- a maker- making God present  and making that presence urgent. Isaiah is the supreme poet-prophet to come out of the Hebrew people.

Isaiah 11:1-10
A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump, from his roots a budding Branch. The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, the Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.
Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight. He won’t judge by appearances, won’t decide on the basis of hearsay. He’ll judge the needy by what is right, render decisions on earth’s poor with justice. His words will bring everyone to awed attention. A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked. Each morning he’ll put on sturdy work clothes and boots, and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.
The wolf will romp with the lamb, the leopard sleep with the kid. Calf and lion will eat from the same trough, and a little child will tend them. Cow and bear will graze the same pasture, their calves and cubs grow up together, and the lion eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens, the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent. Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill on my holy mountain. The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive, a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean wide.
On that day, Jesse’s Root will be raised high, posted as a rallying banner for the peoples. The nations will all come to him. His headquarters will be glorious.
These are the Inspired words of the prophet Isaiah.           All: Amen

Responsorial: Psalm 72 (Taken from “Psalms For Praying” By Nan Merrill)
Response: Bring justice to your people O Beloved, and your Mercy to all generations.
May the people be known for their mercy, rendering justice to the poor!
Let their spirits soar as the eagle, let joy abide in every heart!
May we heed the cry of the poor---the young and the old helping to free all those in need, awakening the souls of oppressors.
May every heart open to your love from sea to sea, from the River of Life out to the universe!
May fears that paralyze the people rise up from the depths into Your Light!
May the leaders of nations from all the earth, listen to Love’s Voice: May they spend time in silence before they counsel and surrender to your Love, and the nations serve the Most High.
May your Name live on forever, your Love endure as long as the sun!
May the people bless themselves in knowing You, and all nations call you blessed!
Blessed be the Beloved, the One who dwells in open hearts, who guides us along the way.
Blessed be you who come in Name of Love; may your glory fill the earth! Amen and Amen!

Second Reading: Romans 15:4-9    
Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help”
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make is easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled” is the way scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of her steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever she will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir--- not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God of our Master Jesus!
So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!
These are the inspired words of Paul to the Romans and to us.      
And our  response is:   AMEN

Gospel Response: “Prepare Ye the Way for our God” (from Godspell)                                                          Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12 (The Message by Eugene Peterson)
Matthew 3:1-12
While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer”, was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings; “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap.  He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey.  People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordan countryside to hear and see him in action.  There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.
When John realized that a lot of Pharisees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: “Brood of snakes!  What do you think you’re doing slithering down to the river?  Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make a difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin!  And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father.  Being a descendent of Abraham is neither here nor there.  Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen.  What counts is your life.  Is it green and flourishing?  Because if it’s deadwood, it goes to fire.
I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life.  The real action comes next:  The main character in this drama – compared to him I’m a mere stagehand – will ignite the kingdom of life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out.  He’s going to clean house – make a clean sweep of our lives.  He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.
These are the inspired words of Matthew the Evangelist.
And we respond:  Praise to you Jesus the Christ!
Shared Homily
Profession of Faith:                                                                                                                       O Holy One, Creator of this vast universe,                                                                                 ~We believe that you are not far from us,
and that your loving care is shown in the life, ministry, death, and continued presence of Jesus the Christ, whom you sent to show us the way to your loving presence.               ~We believe that each of us is called to continue your presence and your work
in this world, by loving and caring for one another.                                                              ~We believe that no one is beyond the reach of your love, and so no one should be beyond the reach of our caring.                                                                                                 ~We believe that you call us to be one with you and with one another.                                 ~We believe that we have in our hearts the grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit to live fully in your love when we are open to you.                                                                              ~We believe that you pardon our weaknesses and use them to teach us how to come to you.                                                                                                                                                 ~We believe in the resurrection of Jesus in our lives, and life everlasting in your Divine Presence.                                                                                                                                      ~May God, the source of all patience and encouragement, enable us to live as we believe,
in harmony with one another so that with our hearts and voices and lives we may glorify the God who names us and calls us to live in the fullness of being. Amen.
Prayer of the Faithful
Presider: Like Jesus, we seek to respond to the desires deep within us, for our hopes for a more just and peaceful world. We bring to the Table these desires of blessing, cares and concerns. In humility and trust let us lift up our petitions. For what shall we pray?         Response      All: We awaken to your call                                                                         Presider: Compassionate Presence, hear the prayers of your people. In your tenderness and love embrace our petitions and hold them and all our unspoken desires close to your heart.                    All: Amen.
Sign of Peace                                                                                                                          Presider: O Life-giving God, we celebrate your fruitful love as we embrace one another with joy. May the peace that our brother Jesus offers, always be with us!           All: Amen.          Presider: Joining in prayer with one mind and heart, let us extend a sign of communion and charity to one another. Namaste (3x)     
Offertory Hymn                                                                                                                    Rejoice! Rejoice! (Tune:O Come,O Come,Emmanuel;words adapted from the original by Diana Newrb)                           ~O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel. That mourns in lonely exile here until a Liberator is near.                                                                                                                                              Refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Our freedom is at hand. The Dawn of Justice shines upon the land.                                                                                                                                           ~Come now, dear friends, for Advent time is here; It’s time to cast our doubt and crippling fear— For presently, before our wondering eyes, This season will bring forth its own surprise. R
~O come, O Wisdom sister of us all, Prepare our ears to hear a wondrous call. To us the path of knowledge show, And teach us in your ways to go. R   
~Let us together ponder how we may, Initiate a new and better day.
In numbers we are strong, our faith is great; No more delay lest justice come too late.
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have this bread, this wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal, may we become a new creation.                                                                                                                                          All: Blessed be the Divine Presence forever.
Presider: Let us pray... O Holy One, in this bread and this wine you give us food for body and spirit. May our strength be renewed by your generous blessings that will bring us health in mind and body.       All: Amen.
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST                                                                                             (Please join us around our Eucharistic Table. All are welcome to receive that which sustains us on our daily journey)
Presider: The Holy One is with you, abounding in love!
All: And also with you!                                                                                                                           Presider: Open your hearts to Christ who lives and loves, heals and empowers through you!  All: We open them up to the Holy Spirit dwelling everywhere.                                               Presider: Let us give thanks that we are co-creators in the miracle of life.                                   All: It is right to proclaim our oneness with all.
Presider: Loving and faithful God, you have birthed us in goodness, gifted us with life, and cherished us in love. In the heart of our being, your Spirit dwells; a Spirit of courage and vision, a Spirit of wisdom and truth. In the power of that same Spirit, we lift our voices and hearts in song, invoking anew the gift of wisdom and enlightenment, that we may continue to praise and thank you.
All: (sing) Holy, Holy, Holy One; Spirit of Love and Peace,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed are all who come in your Holy Name. Hosanna in the highest!
Voice: Creator God, we see around us the work of your hands, the fruit of your wisdom and love. The unfolding story of creation witnesses unceasingly to your creative power. We, your creatures, often deviate from that wisdom, hindering your creative presence in our midst.
Voice: Sending among us Jesus, our brother, you birth afresh in our world the power of Sophia- Wisdom. In the gift of the Spirit, your creative goodness blooms anew, amid the variety and wonder of life.
Presider: That same Spirit we invoke now upon the gifts of this Eucharistic Table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, as they become for us the body and blood of Jesus—to nurture afresh in us the discerning gifts of wisdom, light and truth.
All: Gathering the disciples around the Table of shared wisdom, Jesus took bread; blessed you, God of all good gifts, broke the bread and handed it to those seeking nourishment, with these words: Take and eat; this is my very self. (pause)
All: Then taking the cup of wine, Jesus gave thanks, and shared the cup with those gathered at Table, with these words: Take and drink of my cup of life, through which the covenant is made new again, for you and for everyone, for liberation from every oppression. Whenever you do this, re-member me! (pause)
Voice: As we celebrate this sacred meal, we recall the wise and gracious gifts bestowed on us down through the ages; and we look forward in hope, knowing that you, our wise and faithful One, will continue to endow us with abundant blessings.
Voice: In the power of this Eucharistic meal, bless us afresh with the gift of Spirit, that our hearts may be open and receptive as you invite us into the fullness of life.
Voice: In union with all peoples living and dead, we unite our thoughts and prayers, asking wisdom and courage to discern more wisely your call to us in the circumstances of our daily lives; to act justly and courageously in confronting the pain and suffering that desecrates the Earth and its peoples; to take risks in being creative and proactive on behalf of the poor and marginalized.
Presider: And may we ever be aware and alert to the new things the Spirit makes possible. As our world unfolds amid pain and beauty, into the fullness of life, we are all called to participate in the wise and wonderful work of co-creation.
Presider: (presider raises the bread and wine)
For it is through learning to live as Jesus lived, and why he lived, and for whom he lived, that we awaken to your Spirit within. Thus we are moved to worship you truly, Life-giving God,
at this time and all time and in all ways. (sing) Amen!
                                                             Presider: Let us pray together the Prayer of Jesus: (Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)
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.

Presider: Please join in our prayer for the breaking of the bread:                                                  All: Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly. Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
Presider: This is Jesus, the Bread of Life, and this is the Cup of the New Covenant. How blessed are we who are called to this Table.                                                                                      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.
Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ. All are welcome at this Table!
Communion Meditation (music or song of reflection and meditation inspired by Carol Houselander
Prayer After Communion                                                                                                 Presider: We rejoice in your amazing love, O God!
We rejoice in the life-changing opportunities You open to us.
Out of that joy, we offer our thanks and praise as we leave this place. May we be challenged, encouraged, and empowered, so that we may continue to live as joyous partners in creating a world filled with love and ruled by justice.
         All: Amen
Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions and Announcements
Closing Prayer:
Presider: Gathered together,                                                                                                         
All: We wait for the light.                                                                                                          Presider: Standing together,                                                                                                        All: We trust in the light.                                                                                                          Presider: Praying together,                                                                                                              All: We hope for the light.                                                                                                       Presider: Seeking together,                                                                                                         All: We step out with the light.                                                                                                 Presider: Singing together,                                                                                                            All: We are blessed by the light.
Presider: All are invited to extend your hands for our mutual blessing:                                     All: May vision and truth companion you. May beauty be in your eyes.
May peace fill your being, Love hold you close. Earth give you guidance.
Stars give you hope. Blessings of life to you!
(Jan Novotka)
Presiders: Go into this week, held together by the love of God, Clothed with the nature of Jesus our Companion and reinforced by the strength of the Holy Spirit.         All: Amen.
                  Presiders: Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts the mystery and the wonder of this holy season.                                                                                      All: Thanks be to God!

Closing Song                                 Hills of The North Rejoice (Brotherhood of Hope)
1 Hills of the North, rejoice,
river and mountain-spring,
hark to the advent voice;
valley and lowland, sing.
Christ comes in righteousness and love,
he brings salvation from above.
2 Isles of the Southern seas,
sing to the listening earth,
carry on every breeze
hope of a world's new birth:
In Christ shall all be made anew,
his word is sure, his promise true.
3 Lands of the East, arise,
he is your brightest morn,
greet him with joyous eyes,
praise shall his path adorn:
your seers have longed to know their Lord;
to you he comes, the final word.
4 Shores of the utmost West,
lands of the setting sun,
welcome the heavenly guest
in whom the dawn has come:
he brings a never-ending light
who triumphed o'er our darkest night.
5 Shout, as you journey home,
songs be in every mouth,
lo, from the North they come,
from East and West and South:
in Jesus all shall find their rest,
in him the universe be blest.