29th Week in Extra-Ordinary Time
Celebrating St. Teresa of Avila
October 16, 2021
Presiders: Mary Al Gagnon and Lee Breyer
Lectors: Michael and Jerry Bires
IT: Peg Bowen
Music Minister: Linda Lee and Rick Miller
The Church way …as it was yesterday, is today and will be tomorrow
Zoom link for video - 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
ID 851- 0809-5506, Passcode 1066
Meeting ID: 851 0809 5506
MARY AL: Welcome everyone to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community where everyone is invited to participate in our services. Although many of us are located in various spaces - our homes or otherwise - we are all gathered together in this “zoom room” to share the compassionate presence of God with each one of us in this liturgy. We will share the message of Jesus as we break bread and drink the fruit of the vine and we will express our gratitude for all that we have been, for all that we are now, and for all that we can be when we share among ourselves the signs of love and promise.
LEE: Although we have all been encouraged to “say our prayers,” especially where the liturgy text says “ALL,” there are some parts where there needs to be some oral control…due to the number of people at open microphones at the same time and the resulted single “mixed” sound” that is projected…creating a distraction to every one of us celebrating in the liturgy. So this process, when carried out by all of us, will be a help for each one of us.
Pause shortly for the break in the content
Everyone will be muted (silenced or off-microphone) for much of the liturgy…except for the Lectors and those persons who would like to make a comment to everyone in the community at only two places: the first is after a presider has given us a “liturgy starter” and the second is near the closing of the liturgy service…that is, when everyone is asked if there is something that someone has gratitude about, maybe an event or issue…and would like to share that with all of us, or if there is a welcome to some people who are new or near-new to MMOJ, and lastly if there is an announcement of interest to the community.
Please remember that if your microphone is on (or “unmuted”), your voice ..in song or in speech..will be carried to all of us, creating a wide distraction.
Opening Song: Gather Us In by Marty Haugen
Performed by Linda Lee and Rick Miller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnom5mFwJaI
MARY AL: O God of compassion, God of peace and justice, you bless all of creation in wisdom and goodness by giving us many examples of it in the life of Jesus, our teacher and brother. Open our hearts to the messages of the Gospel so that they may rule in our minds and actions and, through that, guide our daily lives. We ask you to grant us the strength that we will need to renew our personal lifestyles so that we may imitate, more closely, the actions of Jesus, so that we can truly become more Christ-like. May we act in ways by which we can renew the planet earth and all its people by our meaningful movements for justice and peace everywhere. Come, O God of caring, bless all of us celebrating this liturgy here now – and all those of our community who are not with us today. We ask you for the blessing of Jesus, your Son, and the strength of Sophia, the Wisdom. Amen.
Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness
LEE: O Creator God, we do not fully open our hearts to your Spirit that is always living within us.
JERRY B: Help us to open ourselves to increasingly experience your love for us in our daily lives.
JERRY B and ALL: Jesus, the Christ, grant us the grace we need to trust more and more in your promise that you would send your Spirit to live and act within us in your holy family.
MICHAEL B: O Holy Spirit, help us to grow in our understanding and confidence in your word that would direct our days. Bless us with your healing grace in such a way that we may be able to reflect your presence in everything we do and say.
MICHAEL B and ALL: God, the Father and Mother of mercy and compassion, through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, He revealed that nothing we do can separate us from your infinite love. Through Him, you reconciled the entire world to yourself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of our harmful actions that we sometimes spread among our brothers and sisters.
JERRY B and ALL: Give us the gifts of pardon and peace, so that we may – in turn – forgive each other for our failures to care for one another and for the planet Earth. We ask this of you, Creator God, in the names of Jesus, our brother and model…and the Holy Spirit, our strength and wisdom. Amen.
Glory to God
MARY AL: Through Jesus Christ, you – Creator God - opened our minds with “the Good News” assuring us that we could believe that you are among us. You did that by actually being in us and bringing us to be in you...and assuring us that we can truly experience you among our brothers and sisters. And for this, we give you glory…and what better way to do that then in song.
Song: Glory to God, Glory, O praise God, Alleluia.
The Liturgy of the Word
JERRY B and ALL: O heavenly God, Creator of the universe, we give you thanks for the blessings of the Spirit that She has used to develop and perform all the works and wonders that that have ever taken place in the cosmos, especially on the planet earth, and are happening even today…and will in the days to come.
MICHAEL B: Today’s first reading for us is primarily composed of selections from Praying Visionary Woman, written by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan and it includes some phrasing by another person. It will be presented to us by Lee Breyer.
LEE: Yesterday was a commemoration of St. Teresa of Jesus, more widely known as Teresa of Avila, the town in Spain where she was born. She was the daughter of a wealthy Spanish merchant. When she was 20 years old, she entered a Carmelite convent in that town. After a while, she became distracted and confused at the prayer rituals in which she was involved in that convent of that religious order. She had longed for the intimacy with God that religious life did offer her; but she was distracted by the pastimes that were part of convent living at the time. She found herself becoming attached to things that made her lose her focus on spiritual growth…she felt that the present form of convent life was something that had to be changed. In that estimation process, she experienced a powerful conversion and worked at developing something better. Filled with a dislike for her spiritual state of mediocrity, she devoted herself to intensive prayer. She worked to change the difficulties and sad occasions she was experiencing. She worked at improving the present situation. She surmounted all the obstacles that were in the way of the existing Carmelite convent and, with her prayers and efforts, she developed the future conversion she desired….a new reform that became the foundation for a new Carmelite Order, called “Discalced Carmelites”. Teresa was a mystic, a reformer of seventeen convents, author of four books among a long list of her successful efforts. And she is the first female Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church.
In a short summary, Teresa was dissatisfied with the past, the yesterdays of her childhood in Avila, entered the local Carmelite convent for a meaningful present, and then developed a future 4 centuries of tomorrows for herself and thousands of her followers.
And to this biographical story, we all say:
ALL: Thank God for Saint Teresa of Avila.
JERRY B: Today’s gospel reading is from the book of Mark, the 16th chapter, verses 15 – 20. It will be proclaimed to us by Mary Al Gagnon.
MARY AL: After Jesus rose from the dead early in the morning, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went and told his companions. They were mourning and crying: and when they heard her say that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe her.
After this Jesus appeared in a different manner to two of them while they were on their way to the countryside. When they returned and told the others, they would not believe it.
Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating dinner. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive. He said to them: “Go into the world and preach the Message of God’s good news to all the people. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; and those whoever do not believe will be lost. Those who believe will be given the power to perform miracles: they will drive out demons in my name; if they pick up snakes or drink anything poisonous, they will not be hurt. And if they lay hands on people who are sick, these will get well.” The disciples went everywhere preaching and Jesus worked right with them and proved that their preaching was true by the miracles that were performed.
This is the Good News of the Gospel.
And to that we say: Glory and praise to Jesus, the Christ!.
Homily Starter and Community Sharing
Communal Statements of Faith
LEE and ALL: We believe in God, the Creator – the source of everything that exists in the universe, everything that has and everything that will be. We believe that God’s divinity infuses all life everywhere and does so in all its forms and places. We believe in Jesus, the touch of God in earthly humanity. It is though Him that we have become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life in the cosmos and who is the One who keeps the Christ vision present to all those searching for meaning and wholeness – and we believe that She energizes all those people whose spirits grow weary in the process. We say: amen to courage, to hope and to the spirit of truth. We say amen to the partnership and equality of all persons, of both genders and in all colors, wherever they may be and whatever they believe. We believe in justice and peace for everyone, with no exceptions. In all of this, we surely believe.
Prayers of the Community
MARY AL and ALL: We are a people of faith and compassion; we believe in the power of prayer. Always mindful of God’s love for us, we now bring the needs and concerns of the people to our Creator and heavenly caretaker.
After each intercession, our response is:
R: Compassionate God, we ask you to bless our petitions.
MARY AL: That those bound by neglect and violence may receive care and peace, we pray. R.
MARY AL: That those suffering from sickness or hurtful acts may find healing and consolation from their earthly brothers and sisters. R.
MARY AL: That those who are lonely and feel forgotten in their situations receive the attentions and recoveries that they need. R.
MARY AL: And for whom or what else do we pray? Other intentions …R.
Healing God, we know that you faithfully listen to our prayers. We ask you to strengthen us in our caring for one another and in our works for justice, equality and peace. We also ask you for your grace that we may grow in our concern and guardianship of the environment. As always, we make these requests in the names of Jesus, our brother and the Holy Spirit, our strength and wisdom.
Offertory Hymn: I Am the Bread of Life by John Michael Talbot
Preparation of the Gifts
(if it is convenient, please lift your bread and wine)
MICHAEL B and ALL: Blessed are you, Jesus. Through your goodness we have - with us now - our bread and the fruit of the vine … this grain and plant that the earth has given us and human hands have prepared for our use today in our sacred service. They will become for us the Bread of Life and our Spiritual Drink.
Song: All: Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller
(adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)
JERRY B and ALL: We thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. His life burned with the vision of his mission on earth. Through his teachings and actions, he showed us not only how we should live, but also for what was worth even dying.
And 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 this wisdom for all the people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms on a cross…and die. Then the Spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, showing us that life is eternal and that love is immortal. That same Spirit will be resurrected in each one of us as well. The Jesus of history and faith is with us today – as He will be through the end of time.
LEE: We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on 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, broke 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.
Pause a moment, and then continue…
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.
MARY AL: 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, whom the prophets spoke of in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim this mystery of our faith.
Jesus has died. Christ is risen. The Divine Presence lives in us and through us in the world today.
JERRY B and ALL: May all of us who share this sacred meal in our varied locations be strengthened now in our unity by the Spirit. And may that Spirit, the Wisdom who moved in Jesus, move as freely in our lives as She did in that of Jesus.
God of blessing and peace, help us to continually grow in love for you and each other. May we always be aware that we are your Body and Blood on earth, reflecting your care and concern for everyone, everywhere.
MICHAEL B and ALL: We know that you bless your church communities throughout the world. We, your people, ask for your grace that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society. They are all our brothers and sisters. We remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts. We remember especially… mention those you would like to remember.
MARY AL and ALL: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and She will do more that we could ever ask or even imagine. Amen.
The Prayer of Jesus
LEE and ALL: Let us pray to God with the words that Jesus taught us.
O Holy One, we know you are present with us always, the rich and the poor, the well-satisfied and the hungry, the free and the oppressed, those who are in leadership positions and those who are marginalized, and especially everyone who are in circles of communities and those who are excluded from them. Blessed is your name, our Comforter and our Sustainer. And blessed are you whom I can call “my friend”.
May your kin-dom come on Earth.
We know that your will is done in our actions as we struggle with the complexities of this world and try to confront greed and the desires of power in ourselves, in our nation and in the entire global community.
May your kin-dom come on Earth.
Give us this day our daily bread…bread that we are called to share…bread that you have given us abundantly, and the bread that we are to distribute fairly, nourishing the health and welfare of all in your holy family, with no exception.
May your kin-dom come on Earth.
Forgive us our trespasses…for those times that we have turned away from the struggles of other people and countries, and for those time we have thought primarily – and sometimes even only – of our own selves. We ask you to forgive us our misdeeds to the same extent as we forgive others for theirs.
May your kin-dom come on Earth.
Strengthen us in times of temptation. The temptation to close our minds, our ears and our eyes to the unfair global systems that create ever-larger and longer-lasting gaps between the rich and the poor, the temptation to think that some hurtful system is just too complex to deal with and too difficult to find alternative for that.
May your kin-dom come on Earth.
Deliver us from evil…the evil of a world where violence happens even in Your name, where the wealth of a few is more important than the economic rights of all, where gates and other barriers between people are so hard to bring down to bring that little effort is made to resolve them.
May your kin-dom come on Earth.
We know that you will bring about peace and justice in the blessed time to come…and that will be surely be in your time; may we have the grace to move our actions toward it in our time.
And – to that – we all say “Amen, Amen, let it be so!
The Passing of Peace
MARY AL: Jesus, you said to your disciples: “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Look on the faith of all of us who share this liturgy on Zoom; we are thankful for your gift of the peace that we share among ourselves and with others…our brothers and sisters in your “Blessed Family.” And, we ask for the strength of the Spirit so that we may spread that peace to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.
MARY AL and ALL: We recognize your presence with all of us now as we offer a sign of peace to one another: Namaste…Namaste…Namaste.
And now pass a sign of peace, folded hands motioned to others.
Litany at the Breaking of the Bread
Jerry P: Loving God, you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the gospel of non- violence in our efforts for peace and justice. We will live justly.
Loving God, you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.
Loving God, you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk humbly with you.
Michael P: This is Jesus, who calls each one of us to open doors that are closed and to share our bread and wine on the altar of the world. We are invited to eat and drink at this banquet of love.
When we share our sacred meals in our Zoom “churches,” we – who have always been worthy people – ask for your grace so that we may strengthen our commitments to living the teachings of Jesus, and to spreading the message of the kin-dom of God everywhere we go. This is the good news of the Gospel!
Let us now consume the Body and Blood of Christ that we just celebrated today in this liturgy.
Communion Song: Women of the Church by Carrie Landry
Video by Mary Theresa Streck
Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
MARY AL: Let us continue our lives in compassion and peace, holding fast to what is good and rejoicing in the power of the Spirit. May we always be the Face of God to the world, reflecting well God’s compassion and caring presence to everyone we meet. Amen.
Gratitudes – Introductions -- Announcements
LEE and ALL: Let us all go forth in mutual understanding, compassion and peace, holding fast to what is good and rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are called to see goodness and beauty everywhere we go, and to live in harmony with one another and with all of creation. We are called to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression, in our world. With the grace of God, the fellowship of Jesus, and the strength of the Spirit, we can do all this on our different paths to the same heavenly goal. Let it be so. Amen.
Closing Song: All You Works of God by Marty Haugen