Zoom link for video- 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
ID 851- 0809-5506
We warmly welcome you to our Inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus based in Sarasota, FL. During this time of pandemic, we have become a community without walls or boundaries, thanks to the technology of Zoom. While everyone will be “muted” for most of the liturgy, we invite you to pray the parts designated “All” and to sing out loud. We ask our readers to “unmute” for their reading and then “remute” again after finishing; the same goes for anyone wishing to pray a “Voice” part. Please have some bread and wine or juice on your table.
Last week we celebrated Easter with the resounding proclamation: “He is risen, alleluia!” As we gather today, might we ask ourselves whether the “resurrection” has made a difference in our lives? Have our lives changed? Is our world any different? Perhaps, we can gain some insight from our readings today that urge each of us to “unlock our doors, leave our houses, believe and go forth!” So, let us begin our prayer in song!
Image credit: Faysal Elahi – own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Opening Song: Glory to God by Marty Haugen
Refrain: Glory to God in the highest,
Glory to God in the highest,
Glory to God in the highest,
And peace to God’s people on earth!
We sing praises to you,
God of life, God of wonder,
Hearts filled with joy,
let our voices be thunder. Ref
Sing to Jesus, the Christ,
Word of life to the nations,
Raised up in glory
As our hope of salvation. Ref
In the Spirit we come
For the feast and the stories,
Speaking of God
In the pain and the glory. Ref (2x)Liturgy of Word
First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35
The community of believers was of one mind and one heart.
None of them claimed anything as their own; everything was held in common.
The apostles continued to testify with great power to the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, and they were all given great respect; nor was anyone needy among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them and give the money to the apostles. It was then distributed to any members who might be in need.
These are the inspired words of Luke, and we respond by saying: AMEN!
Psalm Response: Psalm 118 [Nan C Merrill]
Response(all): O Beloved, we give You thanks!
Let every nation proclaim, “Your steadfast Love endures forever.”
Let all the people cry, “Your steadfast Love endures forever.”
Let those who reverence You sing, “Your steadfast Love endures forever.” Response
When all my fears surrounded me, I acknowledged your Presence within me!
When they surrounded me on every side, I gave thanks for your Companioning Presence!
Though they arose like an army, You stood firm beside me. Response
Harken to songs of victory, to the music of my soul. You have walked with me into the light!
I shall live in peace and give witness to Your saving grace.
You opened to me the gates of truth and justice. This is the door to Life! Response
The stone which the builders rejected has become the foundation of our lives.
This is Your work; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day which You have made; let us rejoice and be glad! Response
Alleluia Alle, Alle, Alleluia -Linda Lee Miller
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-27, 30
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were locked in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Temple authorities. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Having said this, he showed them the marks of crucifixion.
The disciples were filled with joy when they saw Jesus, who said to them again, “Peace be with you. As Abba God sent me, so I’m sending you.” After saying this, Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”
It happened that one of the Twelve, Thomas—nicknamed Didymus, or “Twin”—was absent when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen Jesus!” Thomas’ answer was, “I’ll never believe it without putting my finger in the nail marks and my hand into the spear wound.”
St. Albans Psalter, ca. 1130
On the eighth day (a week later), the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them, saying, “Peace be with you.” Then, to Thomas, Jesus said, “Take your finger and examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Don’t persist in your unbelief, but believe!”
Jesus performed many other signs as well—signs not recorded here—in the presence of the disciples.
These are the inspired words of John, and we respond by saying: AMEN!
Shared Homily: Jim
Homily Starter – 2 Easter 04/10/2021
Locked doors ………… believe ………….. go forth.
Our Gospel story today picks up where we left off on Easter morning. In fact, it’s still the same day when Mary Magdala went to the tomb with the other women and found it empty. We are told Mary lingered in the garden, becomes the first to experience the “Risen Jesus” and then tells her sisters and brothers, “I have seen the Teacher.”
It’s now the evening of that same day and this unnamed / unnumbered group of disciples are gathered. No doubt they have heard the good news from the women: “He is risen!” But where are they? They are behind locked doors. And where are they a week later ….. still behind locked doors. Has the resurrection event changed their lives? It certainly doesn’t appear so at this juncture.
Friends, do you remember a year ago when we were all behind locked doors, “sheltering in place” because of the devastating virus we call COVID-19? Are we still in the same place? Perhaps the locked doors is a metaphor for all that “locks us in” – whatever that may be.
Then somehow mysteriously or mystically, Jesus appears to them. They recognize him by the marks of crucifixion—the wounds of suffering and death. Jesus greets them with Shalom, breathes on them (a Pentecost experience?), and says: go forth. The Greek word used by this Gospel writer is ‘apostolos’ which means one who is sent. This unnamed group which no doubt included women and men are all deemed apostles.
And then there’s the character of Thomas who is told “to believe.” Thomas reminds us that faith and doubt are not mutually exclusive, but often go hand-in-hand. The Greek word for doubt is ‘skeptikos’ which simply means to inquire, to ask. Doubt is often part of the faith journey. Let me give a contemporary example. There was a woman in her 30s who had a spiritual or mystical experience that God was calling her to do something new, something bold, even scary. She did venture out from her safe place, and for the next fifty years did amazing things. But all the while, she doubted, wrestled and sometimes even questioned the existence of God. Many Christian mystics and writers call this experience the “dark night of the soul.” Though bothered by this, she continued doing simple things with great love. You and I know her as Mother Teresa. Do you suppose her community called her “doubting Teresa?”
So you and I are in “good company!” We receive faith and come to believe through community (our parents, friends, the church). But faith is not an assent to credal doctrines but a way of knowing, seeing and living our experience of the “Risen One” who is in our midst.
The reading from Acts is a post Pentecost experience of the growing Jesus movement. It describes the ideal community—one united in mind and heart and purpose … a community where no one is excluded or in need. Their faith and actions express God’s love, justice, and mercy.
There’s a difference between fact and story. Facts inform while stories often touch our hearts. Resurrection is a story! It’s not a one-time event. Indeed, it’s the ongoing process of all creation. And you and I are continually evolving as ‘resurrected people’ through the circumstances of our daily lives, even in the midst of doubt and fear.
So unlock those doors, get out, feel the ‘breathe of God’ and continue to do good works in the local community. You, too, are apostles and evangelists! I’m reminded of the words of my ‘spiritual father’—Francis of Assisi, who would encourage his fellow companions to “preach the Gospel always; when necessary, use words.”
What did you hear; how did these readings speak to you?
Statement of Faith led by Jack Duffy & Ann Cooke
Do you 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?
All: Yes, we believe!
Do you 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?
All: Yes, we believe!
Do you 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? All: Yes, we believe!
Do you 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? All: Yes, we believe!
Do you 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? All: Yes, we believe!
This is the faith of twenty-first century followers of Jesus and we proudly profess it. Amen.
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Elena: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to our tables the many cares and concerns surrounding our world this day:
We pray for all women and men who are spiritual leaders of faith communities
throughout the world, may they guide and inspire all to “do justice and love
We pray for civil leaders and all those who hold public positions of leadership,
may they exercise authority wisely, seeking harmony, peace and an end to
divisions and war.
We pray for refugees and exiles throughout the world who seek a safe place to call
home, may we open our hearts and homeland to these sisters and brothers who are
And for what else should we pray…… (please feel free to voice your concerns)
O Holy One, you know our needs before we even speak. Yet, we must speak, if only to remind ourselves of our responsibility to care for the least among us. With your grace, may we act justly and love tenderly in addressing the needs of our world, and may we walk humbly on this Earth all the days of our lives. AMEN
Jim: Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together. (Written by Jay Murnane)
Voice 1: God beyond our words,
we gather to give thanks and open our awareness to the goodness of all of creation. You invite us to co-create with you and we remember our responsibility to serve.
We open this circle to the memory of all of the joyful troubadours and faithful servants who have gone before us. Joined with all that is alive, we lift up our lives and sing:
“Here In This Place” by Christopher Grundy
Holy One, may your presence here open our minds
may your Spirit among us help us to find you are rising up now
like a fountain of grace from the holy ground
here in this place, here in this place.
Holy, holy, holy God of love and majesty
the whole universe speaks of your glory
from the holy ground here in this place, here in this place.
[Extending your hands, we pray…]
Voice 2: We invoke your Spirit upon the gifts of our eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become the presence of Jesus and that we remember our call to be the body of Christ to our world.
We thank you for Jesus, simple servant, lifting up the lowly, revealing you as God-With-Us, and revealing us as one with you and all of creation.
On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the people closest to him. Like the least of household servants, he washed their feet, so that they would re-member him.
Elena: 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 this bread and eat it;
This is my very self. (pause)
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)
Jim: By sharing this bread and cup, we commit to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace.
Voice 3: We are willing to do everything Jesus did,
to re-create the living presence of a love that does justice,
of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates hope,
of a light that illuminates and confronts the darkness of injustice and inequity.
So, we trust you to continue to share with us your own spirit, the spirit that animated Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, all honor and glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever. Amen.
Elena: Let us sing the prayer of Jesus (Creator of All - monks of Weston Priory)
Creator of all,
You are with us.
Holy is your name.
May Your kin-dom come,
Your will be done by all who share the work of your creation.
Give us bread for the world’s hunger and forgiveness in your mercy
As we forgive those who are in debt to us
For You are compassion, justice and love
For evermore. Amen, amen, amen!
Jim: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.
Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.
All: What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share
communion, we become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s
challenge. Eat and drink
Communion Meditation: Until All are Fed by Bryan McFarland
How long will we sing?
How long will we pray?
How long will we write and send?
How long will we bring?
How long will we stay?
How long will we make amends?
Until all are fed we cry out!
Until all on earth have bread.
Like the One who loves us each & everyone
We serve until all are fed.
How long will we talk?
How long will we prod?
How long must we fret and hoard?
How long will we walk
to tear down this façade?
How long, how long, O Lord? Chorus
How can we stand by
and fail to be aghast?
How long til we do what’s right?
How could we stand by
and choose a lesser fast?
How long til we see the light? Chorus
On the green, green grass
They gathered long ago
to hear what the master said.
What they had they shared-
Some fishes and some loaves
They served until all were fed. Chorus
Voice 4: Closing Prayer of Thanksgiving [1 John 5:1]
We believe that Jesus is the Christ, begotten by God. We, too, are God’s begotten and beloved.
May our time together strengthen our belief and increase our hope for the day when we can “unlock our doors.” On that day, may we leave our places of safe refuge and gather with sisters and brothers everywhere in creation, rejoicing in song and dance. May our faith-filled living transform our world. In this way, we praise You, O Giver of all good gifts. Alleluia!
Presiders: Let us extend our hands and bless one another with these words:
All: May you continue to see and recognize the Risen One in your midst.
May you hear the voice of the Teacher and be an apostle of good news like Mary of Magdala. May the Holy One bless you with enough foolishness to dispel any doubt that you can comfort, heal and transform our world by living genuinely, and loving extravagantly, even wastefully. Go forth—be a blessing! AMEN.
Closing Song: Anthem by Tom Conry
We are called, we are chosen,
We are Christ for one another,
we are promised to tomorrow,
While we are for him today.
We are sign, we are wonder,
We are sower, we are seed,
We are harvest, we are hunger.
We are question, we are creed.
Then where can we stand justified?
In what can we believe?
In no one else but Christ who suffered,
Nothing more than Christ who rose
Who was justice for the poor,
Who was rage against the night,
Who was hope for peaceful people,
Who was light. Ref
Then how are we to stand at all,
this world of bended knee?
In nothing more than barren shadows,
No one else but Christ could save us.
Who was justice for the poor, Who
was rage against the night,
Who was hope for peaceful people,
Who was light. Ref
Then shall we not stand empty
at the altar of our dreams?
When Christ promised us ourselves,
Who mark time against tomorrow,
Who are justice for the poor,
Who are rage against the night,
Who are hope for peaceful people,
Who are light. Ref by 22Kartika – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia Commons
Mark your calendars for new Spiritual Enrichment Course
from People's Catholic Seminary on A New New Testament beginning on April 19th. Register now:
Did you ever wonder if there is more to the Jesus story than you know? Discover ancient texts that provide a fuller understanding of his life and message. This course can be taken for spiritual enrichment for individuals and faith sharing groups.
Cohort begins April 19 at 4pm EDT,
Independent Study ongoing
PCS 505: New New Testament
This course provides new perspectives on the legacy of Jesus in the earliest Christian communities that include a fresh mixture of the traditional New Testament Gospels alongside a treasure chest of ancient texts that were lost for centuries and now have been discovered and translated: The Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Thomas, the Acts of Paul and Thecla, the Prayer of Thanksgiving, and The Thunder: Perfect Mind. They reveal a fuller portrait of the life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus that broaden intellectual understanding and spiritual growth.
Special thanks to our MMOJ IT Team : Peg Bowen, Patricia MacMillan and Bridget Mary Meehan
Please send MMOJ donations to:
St Andrew United Church of Christ
6908 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34238