Recognizing God’s Love in Us
Welcome and Theme: (Judy Stamp). Welcome everyone. Today is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary time. It has been an anxious and nervous week as we elect our leaders. Let us try to put the trials of the last week aside and look to a calming spirit as we include Celtic and Nature spirituality in this liturgy. We look at the importance and power of wisdom to open our hearts allowing the love of the Holy One to enter. Love spreads to others as we ready for the coming of the bridegroom.
Opening Song: Deep Peace https://youtu.be/oEmvQqg_EpQ?t=19
Opening Prayer: (Deb Trees).Holy Wisdom, we come to you today to remind us to allow the glow of Jesus’ love to radiate through us. May You remove any obstacles that stand in our way. Allow us to devote ourselves to your service. Amen
LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: (Dan Pelligrin)
Wisdom, 6: 12-16
Wisdom shines brightly and never fades.
She is seen by those who love Her
and is found by those who seek Her.
She reveals herself
to all who desire to know Her,
and those who rise early to search for Her
Will not grow weary of the journey,
for they will find Her seated at the door of their own homes.
To ponder Her in the fullness of Wisdom
And to be loyal in Her pursuit
is the shortcut to freedom from care.
She searches the far end of the earth
For those who are worthy of Her,
And She appears to them on their daily path with
Meeting them halfway in all their journeys.
These words are attributed to the Wisdom writings of Solomon in the Hebrew Scriptures. And our Upper Room Community affirms them by saying: AMEN.
Alleluia: Celtic Alleluia
A reading from the Gospel of Matthew. (25: 1-13) (Lynn Waterman)
Then again, the Kingdom of God would be likened to attendants who took their lamps and went to meet the bridal party. Five of them were wise; five were foolish. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they didn't take any oil with them, but the wise ones took enough oil to keep their lamps burning. The bridal party was delayed so they all fell asleep.
At midnight there was a cry: here comes the bridal party! Let's go out to meet them! Then all the attendants rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise replied, perhaps there won't be enough for us; go to the dealers and get some more for yourselves.
While the foolish ones went to buy more oil, the bridal party arrived; and those who were ready went to the marriage feast with them, and the door was shut. When the foolish attendants returned they pleaded to be let in. The door keeper replied, the truth is, I don't know you.
So stay awake, you don't know the day or the hour.
This is the gospel from the writer named Matthew. Our community affirms these writings by saying Amen!
Homily Starter (Deb Trees, ARCWP)
This 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time is definitely not ordinary. Many see the amazing experience we live in, during these days of trepidation for health, mind and body, as a time of upheaval, dissension, unkindness, lack of patience and division. No matter where one perches on the landscapes of today, we seem to have lost sight of our connection to each other.
Our readings and liturgy hopefully help to bring us back to our center, and to our expansion. Wisdom comes to those who seek it. Knock and the door is open to you. Ask and It is Given. These words comfort us, if we remember to ask. If we remember that this wisdom is not just for each of us, but for every being that requests it. Our Holy Spirit is available to all. And maybe that awareness can help us to ease the dissension. We are all part of this hope, kindness, patience and quieting of the soul.
Our Gospel reading today though points once again to the haves and the have nots, the ones on the inside versus the ones left out. Reviewing the opinion of Scholars of the Jesus Seminar in The Five Gospels, The search for the authentic words of Jesus, the prevailing view is that these words were not from Jesus. The writing is from his followers possibly promoting their common wisdom, the prepared win out, and an apocalyptic message. The story lacks the touch of Jesus in clarity, inspiration, quick wit and teaching.
It is so easy for any of us to fall into the thinking that we know better; we know the truth. When it comes to segregating ourselves from those who do not think like us, it’s an easy well-worn path. The challenge for many of us is to see how alike we are to the other. Here we can call on Wisdom, and She will help us.
My wish for all of us is to quiet the mind, sooth the emotions, and begin to see with the eyes of Spirit. To know that we are in this creation, “A child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars” (Desiderata) and that we have been given the exquisite task to love. This month, with a focus on Native Indigenous Peoples and our Upper Room experience into Celtic Spirituality, we look beyond ourselves to nature and our earth. My hope is that we use this life of abundance to share what we have, and to be shining stars of that creation no matter what is happening around us.
So my friends, what did you hear, what will you do, and how does that change you?
Statement of Faith (Donna and Kim Panaro)
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.
Deb: Holy One, You reside within us, and we, within You. Hear us now as we bring our concern and our gratitude to this, our table.
(Intentions are read by Dennis.)
We pray and for all unspoken concerns. Amen.
Deb and ALL: Please join us in praying the Eucharistic prayer together:
O Holy One, 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 hearts in prayer, invoking anew the gift of wisdom and enlightenment, that we may continue to praise and thank you, in union with all who sing the ancient hymn of praise:
Holy, Holy: Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy
Judy and ALL: Holy One, 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, thus hindering your creative presence in our midst.
Sending among us Jesus, our brother, you birth afresh in our world the power of Sophia-Wisdom, and in the gift of Your Spirit, your creative goodness blooms anew, amid the variety and wonder of life.
Judy: Please extend your hands in blessing.
All: We invoke Your Spirit upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.
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.
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.
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.
(consume bread and wine)
In faith and hope we are sustained; in grace and dignity reclaimed. In praise, we thank you.
Communion Song: How Can I Keep From Singing. https://youtu.be/3OMH5MmvgJA
Deb and ALL: 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;
- and to love all people with generosity of heart, beyond the labels of race, creed and color.
And may we ever be aware and alert to the new things Your Spirit makes possible in us, as our world unfolds amid pain and beauty, into the fullness of life to which all are called, participating in the wise and wonderful work of co-creation.
Like Jesus, we will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and we will live compassionate lives, for it is through living as Jesus lived, that we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to glorify you, O Holy One, at this time and all ways.
Deb and All: Let us pray the prayer Jesus:
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)
Moment of Silence…
Great Spirit Prayer (Judy)
Oh, Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me! I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever hold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
Help me remain calm and strong in the
face of all that comes towards me.
Help me find compassion without
empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.
- Translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887
Final Blessing- (Deb) May our intentions and presence infuse the space around us with the perfume of Joy, Hope, Peace, Faith and Love. May we be a blessing on our world. Amen.
Closing Song: Grateful https://youtu.be/sO2o98Zpzg8