Sunday, July 5, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy of Interdependence - July 5, 2020 - Presiders: Denise Hackert-Stoner, ARCWP, and Ann Bayly

Welcome:  Denise
Opening Prayer:  Ann

Please take a moment to meditate on this quote from Nikole Hanna-Jones: “We have a terribly flawed and miraculous country.”
Can we hold both ideas in mind as we contemplate the interdependence of  communities, nations, the world and all creation?

Opening Song:  “Eye on The Prize, “Sweet Honey in the Rock

Paul and Silas bound in jail
Had no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Paul and Silas began to shout
Jail door opened and they walked out
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

I got my hand on the gospel plow
Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Well the only thing we did was wrong
Stayed in the wilderness too long
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

The only thing that we did was right
Was the day we started to fight
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

We met jail and violence too
But god's love will see us through
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Only chain that we can stand
Is the chain o' hand on hand
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on


First Reading: The Gospel of Mary 4:25-27

Peter said to him, “Since you have explained everything to us, tell us one other thing.  What is the sin of the world?
Jesus said, “There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called ‘sin.’  That is why the Good came into your midst, coming to the good which belongs to every nature, in order to restore it to its root.”

These are the inspired words of one of our ancient spiritual ancestors.  And we affirm them by saying:  AMEN

Second Reading:  A selection from “I Am Waiting”

I am waiting for every 9th grader in America
to board a school bus to Washington,
camp out for a week on the floors of Congress
and talk some sense into elected leaders.

I am waiting for the thunder
to shake us from our sleep,
for the tropical winds
to melt the frozen parts inside us
and warm us up to the lovely sight
of the one walking toward us.

I’m waiting for the end of the red,
white and blues,
the end of commercialism,
consumerism, capitalism.

I’m waiting for fundamentalism to die
so freedom can live
for churches and temples and mosques
to be places of laughter
where the hungry are fed,
the sick are healed,
the elders are cared for.

I’m waiting for the children to teach us,
the trees to save us, the oceans to sail us
into truer horizons
where we can see-
in spite of this darkness-
a love fire rages deep
in the human heart.

These are the inspired words of Jan Phillips and we affirm them by saying: AMEN.

Gospel:  Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me,
all you who labor and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon your shoulders
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble of heart.
Here you will find rest for your souls,
for my yoke is easy
and my burden is light.”

These inspired words, attributed to Jesus, were recorded by another of our spiritual ancestors.  Let us affirm them by saying:  AMEN

Homily starter: Denise

The people of our world are burdened.  The citizens of our own country, whose birth we celebrate this weekend, are burdened.  Inequity, poverty, the uneven distribution of resources, injustice, racial and religious intolerance, abandonment of those most in need; these burden all of us directly or indirectly.  Our souls cry out for rest.  As we march in the streets demanding justice we cry out for rest.  As we petition our government for needed reform we cry out for rest.  As we look within ourselves with eyes wide-open and examine our own biases, we cry out for rest. 

Jesus invites us to rest.  In the gospel of Mary he reminds us that at our root we are good.  We are rooted in goodness.  Goodness is our natural state. 

The light burden, the easy yoke, is waiting for us to pick up.  It is ours to claim, to bear as individuals, and as a body politic.

But how?  The burden Jesus offers may be light, but the burden we have loaded upon ourselves as individuals, as community, as a nation, as a world, is heavy indeed.  It seems to me that just as Jesus invites us to pick up his light burden he invites us to lay down the heavy one.  He invites us to learn from him.  To live like him.  To follow him.  To love like him.  To become  the goodness that we are at our root.  To shine.  To bring to birth the world Jan Phillips is waiting for when we recognize in “the lovely sight of the one walking toward us” our own true selves.

This is the burden Jesus invites us to carry.  This is the prize.  Let’s keep our eyes on it.

What did you hear in today’s readings?  Please unmute yourself to share your reflection, and re-mute yourself when you are finished speaking.  

Shared Homily

Statement of Faith

Anne: Please join in praying our statement of faith

We believe in the Holy One, 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 the Divine Word,
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 vehicle of divine love,
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace 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.


Ann: As we prepare for the sacred meal, remember that just as Jesus is anointed so is each of us.  And, we bring to this table our blessings, cares, and concerns.  (Dennis reads the intentions)

Ann: We invite you to silently add your own intentions (Pause……..)
For these and all unspoken intentions, we pray.  Amen.

Ann: O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you.  We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

Denise: Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together:  (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane)

Denise and All: O Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future.

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.

May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny.

United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker

We are holy, holy, holy
We are holy, holy, holy
We are holy, holy, holy
We are whole...

Spirit divine, Come to me
Feeling love, Healing me
Open my heart, Allow me to see
Beauty & love Lives in me

You are holy, holy, holy…..

We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world, we pray for peace in their name.

And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on - this great blossoming that is meant to go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name.

And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this,
For the animals that have no voice in this,
For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this,
For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their name.

We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.

Denise:  Please extend your hands in blessing.

Denise and All: Your Spirit is upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape. They are gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

Denise and All:  On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.

All lift their plate and pray the following:

When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:

Take and eat; this is my very self.
(pause, consume bread)

All lift their cup and pray the following:

He then raised high the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you.
(pause and drink)

Ann and All: Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love.  We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation.

We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

For it is through learning to live as he lived,
And why he lived,
And for whom he lived,
That we awaken to your Spirit within,
Moving us to worship you truly,
O Holy One,
At this time and all time and in all ways.
And we say yes to You!

Ann: Let us pray together the prayer of Jesus:

Ann and 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  (Miriam Therese Winter)  

Communion Song :  This Is My Song (Finlandia), Jean Sibelius

This is my song O God of all the nations
A song of peace for lands afar and mine
This is my home the country where my heart is
Here are my hopes my dreams my holy shrine
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine
But other lands have sunlight too and clover
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine
O hear my song Thou God of all nations
A song of peace for their land and for mine


Denise: Let us pray together our blessing:

May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion penetrate us, that we may penetrate the numbness that continues our society’s injustices. May we know that we are loved.
May we continue to be the face of the Holy One to each other and may our name be a blessing in our time!  Amen.

Closing Song:  What a Wonderful World, Playing for Change, Louis Armstrong

I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying
"I love you"

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They'll learn much more
Than I'll never know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Oh yeah

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