Zoom link for video - 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
ID 851- 0809-5506, Passcode 1066
Meeting ID: 851 0809 5506
Theme: Humanity in Progress
Welcome! (Elena) We warmly welcome you to the inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota, Florida. All are welcome here. We invite you to pray the liturgy where it says, “All.” And please sing your heart out! Everyone will be muted during the service. Some of you will unmute yourself to read one of the parts, then mute yourself again. Also during the shared homily and prayers of the community, we invite you to unmute yourself to contribute, then mute yourself again. Please have bread and wine or juice with you as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer.
Janet & All: We begin our celebration together ✝️ in the name of The Holy One the Source of all Being, Jesus the Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit Sophia our Wisdom within. Amen.
Please welcome each other with a sign of Christ’s peace! Bow toward your camera with hands folded as we say together All: I bow before the presence of God in You. Namaste, Namaste, Namaste
Reconciliation Rite. Joan P & All: We pause now to remember times when messages of our unworthiness have clouded our vision of the infinite love within us. Let us imagine our imperfections, the chaos and messes of our lives all brightly lit by a love that heals and transforms us as we evolve and grow in awareness of our divinity and our humanity. (Pause for several moments. Then extend arm over your heart.)
All: I love you. Thank you. I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.
Opening Prayer. Janet & All: Spirit of the Holy One, we gratefully acknowledge your presence among us and within us. We humbly ask that our consciousness be as wide as the skies and the earth and the peoples of the earth; as deep as the past, the desert, the ocean; as tenuous as the atoms of matter or the thoughts of the human heart. Amen
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading. (Joan M) (Please pause for a moment of silence) A reading from The Practice of Faith, page 236.
While praising grace we should not forget that it does not always rush over us in a wave of victory, sweeping aside all obstacles; nor is it a simple and unhindered growth; neither does it develop our spiritual life only to the extent that we suffer all in silence, leaving everything else in the hands of God. Generally speaking, the spiritual life is grace precisely because it must be painstakingly cultivated day by day; it requires constant training and drilling. In short, the spiritual life is also (even though not exclusively or even predominately) work, planned exercise, and conscious development of the believing, hoping, and loving life in us according to the laws of nature and grace, and according to the motives of a total dedication to God.
These are Spirit inspired words of Karl Rahner, and we respond, All: Thanks be to God.
((Joan P) Psalm of Praise: ---- Response: The Whole Universe is Aflame!
Holy One, You truly contain within your gentleness, within your humanity all the unyielding immensity and grandeur of the world.
The Whole Universe is Aflame!
We love you as the source, the activating and life-giving ambience, the term and consummation of the natural world, and of its process of becoming.
The Whole Universe is Aflame!
We praise you for the extensions of your body and soul to the farthest corners of creation through grace, through life, and through matter.
The Whole Universe is Aflame!
(Joan P) Gospel: A reading from Hymn Of The Universe- Humanity in Progress #23
The development in our souls of supernatural life (based on the natural spiritualization of the world through the efforts of mankind): this in the last resort is the field where the operative power of faith is positively and without any known limits exercised.
Within the universe it is spirit, and within spirit it is the moral sphere, that are par excellence the actual subjects of the development of life. Consequently, it is there, on that plastic centre of ourselves where divine grace mingles with early drives, that the power of faith should be brought vigorously to bear.
There above all, surely, creative energy awaits us, ready to work in us a transformation beyond anything the human eye has seen or ear heard. Who can say what God would fashion out of us if, trusting in his word, we dared to follow his counsels to the very end and surrender ourselves to his providence?
Let us then, for love of our Creator and of the universe, throw ourselves fearlessly into the crucible of the world of tomorrow.
These are Spirit inspired words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and we respond, (Joan P & All): Thanks be to God.
Homily: Janet Blakeley
There was a period in my life when the disease of alcoholism kept popping up all around me. I escaped having the disease, but people I loved did not. The impact of their struggles on my life was so great that it forced me to seek help. During the 1950s and 60s, the only resource available was Alcoholics Anonymous. AA meetings were held in rough areas attended by rough people, people who had really been down and out. They talked about being hopeless, in the gutter, left for dead but miraculously saved by God’s grace. Others there were reminded of their own experiences of being saved, They were humbled again at the wonder of that moment. Despite the pain shared, a special reverence could be felt in those rooms.
A visitor could have left believing that all it took to break the hold of this dreaded disease was a single act of God. Linger for a while around the ever present pot of coffee, however, and you would hear the rest of the story. “I get down on my knees every single day and thank God for saving me, and then I ask for the grace to go through one more day without a drink.” Surely this is what Karl Rahner means when he says grace must be cultivated on a daily basis. It must be exercised.
Does that mean that God’s grace diminishes once it’s given? Never. What does diminish, however, is our capacity to notice it, appreciate it, love it for all that it is. As with anything else, we can’t keep our attention fixed on something for very long. Our minds begin to cast about looking for something else, something interesting, something distracting, something new. For that reason, Rahner encourages us to cultivate the habit of revisiting, re-appreciating, re-experiencing, redesiring the gift of grace we experienced once upon a time. Our prayer might shift from “Give me your Grace” to “open my eyes to see your Grace again, and open my heart to love it more deeply.”
2nd Reading: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1888-1955): Hymn of the Universe.
We shift from the logical and grounded thinking of Karl Rahner to the poetic, mystical and scientifically-informed thinking of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Given his unusually isolated life, he had time and space to ponder the universe and what life was all about. He saw that humanity is evolving, mentally and socially, toward a final, spiritual unity.
In today’s reading, Teilhard pinpoints the center of ourselves “where divine grace mingles with early drives” – a refined way of saying “where divinity connects with our humanity” - as the place where the force of faith should be brought to bear – “vigorously”! He says that, at that point, creative energy waits, “ready to transform us beyond anything we have ever seen or heard.”! Question to self: Do I dare to surrender myself to God’s providence? Teilhard says Yes! “We should throw ourselves fearlessly into the crucible of the world of tomorrow!”
That’s pretty vivid, pretty dramatic. But does it have to be anything different from Rahner’s “day by day” efforts? It seems to be a matter of scale. Rahner is talking about the slow but sure building of a soul to its full completion by consistent daily effort. This is within our ability to understand and carry out. Teilhard is talking in gigantic terms, about building a universe that is becoming all spirit, able to unite with God’s very self. Despite the vast proportions of Teilhard’s vision of our contribution to building a universe, it differs only in scale with Rahner’s vision. Rahner speaks of building our own spirit (which will finally separate from the material body and join God) while Teilhard speaks of all our spirits, working individually and as a group, to build this spirit, this universal spirit, that will unite with God.
Each view requires our own individual desire and commitment to do what it takes by joining our efforts to God’s Grace.
Shared homily. (Janet) As the Spirit moves you, now is your opportunity to share your thoughts about the readings, the liturgy, or something else. Please turn your microphone on to share, then off when you’re finished.
Profession of Faith: (Elena & All):
~We believe in the all-embracing Source of Life, birthing and healing, making all things possible.
~We believe that the transformative Divine sparks relationship across Earth and Eternity, with love beyond our wildest dreams.
~We believe that The Beloved waits patiently for us to erase the boundaries we place around human consciousness, and to realize heaven in the here and now.
~We believe that in the twists and turns of difficult times, The Holy One invites us into relationship with a love that can soothe and unify a hurting world.
~We believe in Jesus whose radical blend of divinity and humanity reveals the promise and the challenge of being crafted in the image and likeness of Our Creator.
~We believe that like Jesus, we are called to bring generous presence to the lonely and despairing, the hurting and broken, the yearning and
~We believe in the Spirit of Sophia Wisdom, nudging the universe to unfold as it would making each new day one filled with promise and possibility.
~We believe that the Spirit inspires within and among us the gentleness to comfort, the daring to challenge and the strength to lift up.
~We believe in the wildfire of the Spirit, sweeping through this amazing journey of life, urging us toward wholeness, forever and ever.
(December, 2016 A Creed for all times By Lynn Kinlan)
Prayers of the Community (Joan M)
We bring to the table prayers for our community and the world.
Our response is: Christ of the universe graciously hear us!)
~We bring to the table all who have died from covid, who suffer from “long haul covid” as well as their family and friends who bear an enormous burden of grief. R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us!
~We bring to the table those who continue to suffer from active fires that have destroyed homes, hurricane devastation and flash floods.
R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us!
~We bring to the table all the refugees coming to our shores in search of safety and opportunities for growth.
R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us
~We bring to the table Mary Kay, Diane Burroughs, and all of our community members who need healing, comfort, and strength in their illness.
R Christ of the universe graciously hear us!
~We bring to the table the intercessions in our Community Prayer Book……
R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us!
Who and what else shall we bring to the table today?
(Please unmute yourself to offer a prayer, to which we all respond:
R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us. (Then remember to remute.)
(Joan M): Christ, we will be your presence in the world today and every day of our lives. All: Amen
We offer our gifts.
(Let us pause for a moment of silence before we begin the Eucharistic Prayer.)
Preparation of our Communion Gifts
(Joan M and All): Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness, each one of us has bread to offer in this sacred meal, this grain that the earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us our Bread of Life. Blessed be God for all the love that has been given to each one of us.
(Joan P and All): Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness, each one of us has fruit of the vine to offer in this sacred meal, that earth has given and human hands have prepared. It will become for us our Spiritual Drink. Blessed be God for all the graces that have been given to each one of us.
(Janet and All): Loving God, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness. You are always with us…you live in us and we live in you. May we reflect your compassionate care in everything we do and say with everyone we meet today. And moved by the Spirit, each one of us will sing our shared blessing:
(Elena and All): Creator God, we thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history – and the gift of Jesus the Christ in faith. You brought him from among all your people to baptize us in your Spirit. His life was moved by his consuming vision of your presence both in himself and in his earthly mission. He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well lived. And he showed us, through his teaching and example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may suffer and even die…as he did. Through him and your Spirit, you breathe life into us so that we may be witnesses to his gospel messages.
(Janet) When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus - aware of and accepting his destiny - gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death. And then, in providing an example of his wisdom for all people in every age to come, he opened wide his arms and died on a cross. The Spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise that he made to all of us too. Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.
(Outstretch an arm as we pray the Consecration together.)
We remember the gift that Jesus gave us the night before he died. He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it. This bread is you; this bread is me. We are one body, the presence of God in the world. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.
(Take a short pause here)
(Elena) In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this all of you and drink it. This wine is you; this wine is me. We are one blood, the presence of God in the world. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.
(Janet and All): Jesus, who was with God in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth, is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.
Let us proclaim this mystery of faith…All: Christ dies, Christ rises, Christ comes again and again and again.
(Joan P): Jesus who walks with us on the path to holiness, you are the spark of love in whom we believe; the Wisdom of Sophia in whom we trust; and the desire for justice that consumes us.
(Joan M): As we celebrate the memory of Jesus, we remember our prophetic leader. We remember the communion of saints who have inspired and loved us and all who have gone before us leaving their foot prints on our hearts.(Names………..)
All: For it is through living as Jesus lived that we awaken to your Spirit loving through us to promote justice and equality in our service to our sisters and brothers. AMEN
Prayer of Jesus
(Joan P) & All: Eternal Spirit, Earth maker, Pain bearer, Life giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be. Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven –The hallowing of your name echos through the universe.
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world,
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings.
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come to earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In the times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trial too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen
(A contemplative prayer in the style of Taize from St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Seattle.)
(Joan M) PRAYER FOR THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD
~O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
~ O God of Compassion, You call us to be your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
~ O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
All Chant: God prepare me to be your sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary for you.
(Joan P and 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.
(Elena) Please share Eucharist with the words “You are the Body of Christ”, “You are the Face of God”.
COMMUNION: “I am the One Within You” (Karen Drucker)
Final Prayer. (Janet) : Spirit of the Holy One, we gratefully acknowledge your presence among us and within us. We thank you for the grace you have bestowed on us during this Eucharistic celebration, so that our consciousness may expand to become as wide as the skies and the earth and the peoples of the earth; as deep as the past, the desert, the ocean; as tenuous as the atoms of matter or the thoughts of the human heart. All: AMEN
PRAYERS OF GRATITUDE, INTRODUCTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS
(Elena and All) COMMUNAL BLESSING
~May you be blessed with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.
~May you seek truth boldly and love within your heart.
~May you continue to be the face of the Holy One to all you meet.
~May you hold steadfastly to your faith and belief that when the Beloved speaks, it comes to pass.
(Elena) Full of Christ’s peace, may we go out to love and serve one another in our community and in our wider world. Remember: We are the face of Christ to the world! All: Amen
Closing Song: We Shall Be Known
If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer Book, please send an email to Joan Meehan: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to invite someone to attend our liturgy, please refer them to the day’s liturgy at MaryMotherofJesus.org
To support our community, please send your check to:
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34238