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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. 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.
Theme: Our call as Prophets: Use our gifts for good
(Janet): Today is a National Day of Prayer and in two days we celebrate MLK Jr.
In Baptism we are all called to be priest and prophet. Prophets are those who speak for or on behalf of God in the community. They speak truth to power. In a world that did not clearly separate issues of religion and politics, the prophets appeared as lobbyists for the rule of God demanding that the courses of action in times of crisis, follow what God desired and not that which was most expedient according to human political wisdom. On page 253 of Joan Chittister’s “The Monastic Heart” we read that, “Truth is about a great deal more than facts…..Truth is the integration, the synthesis, of soul, heart, and behavior.”
As we gather today to celebrate Eucharist, let us listen to the messages of Isaiah, , Jesus and Martin.
Gathering Song: We are Called
(Elena): We begin our liturgy in the name of our Creator, the Source of all being, and of the Son, eternal Word, and of the Holy Spirit, Sofia Wisdom. All: Amen.
(Elena): My sisters and brothers, God is with Us All: God is with us Indeed!
O Holy Mystery, you draw us to yourself through signs and wonders, through the ordinary events and encounters of the day, and through the silent word spoken in the depths of our hearts. Keep us ever open to your call. Let us approach one another and all of your creatures with reverence and humility. Help us to seed our days with silent moments of presence to you. Make us worthy messengers of your Word Incarnate, Jesus the Christ, one with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. All: AMEN
Community Reconciliation (Janet)
(Brief Pause for reflection.)
~ Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets are hidden. Cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Holy Wisdom.
All: We take your Word into our minds and hearts. Open them to new understanding.
~ Loving Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in understanding, compassion and caring for ourselves, all of humanity and for our planet earth, and all the while to be You for others and to meet You in others.
All: We accept your love and understanding of the frailty of our human nature.
~ We ask for your forgiveness for our failure to extend compassion, understanding and caring to all your children, our brothers and sisters regardless of beliefs, nationalities, races and actions, for we are all worthy to be called your sacred people.
All: (with an outstretched arm):
God, our Father and Mother of Compassion, through his life, Jesus revealed to us that nothing can separate us from your unconditional love. He sent Holy Spirit who gives us the understanding, willingness and courage to love one another. We ask you to grant us the grace of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn- forgive each other our failures to care for one another and for our earth. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our brother and of Holy Spirit Sofia, our healer and comforter. Amen.
A Sign of Peace (Elena)
~It is fitting that, having asked for Divine and mutual forgiveness, we now extend an expression of Peace to each other.
All: Grant us Your peace O Loving God, that following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, we may be eager to spread that peace to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. Amen
~ May the peace of our gracious and loving God be always with us. Let us turn to each other and with praying hands offer each other a sign of peace. NAMASTE 3x
Glory to God, glory, O praise God, alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God. (3x)
First Reading (Joan P) Let us be attentive to God’s promise as written in the book of the prophet Isaiah.
~Regarding Zion, I can’t keep my mouth shut, regarding Jerusalem I can’t hold my tongue, until her righteousness blazes down like sun and her salvation flames up like a torch. Foreign countries will see your righteousness and world leaders your glory. You’ll get a brand new name straight from the mouth of God. You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand, a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God. No more will anyone call you Rejected, and your country will no more be called Ruined. You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight), and your land Beulah (Married), because God delights in you and your land will be like a wedding celebration. For as a young man marries his bride, so your builder marries you. And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride, so your God is happy with you.
These are inspired words found in the book of the Prophet Isaiah and we respond:
All: So Be It!
Responsorial Psalm: Composed from MLK Jr. Quotes (Joan P)
Response: Holy Mystery, grant us the courage to fulfill this dream.
~ “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
~ “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. I have decided to stick with Love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
~ “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
“ Love is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There is something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies”
~ “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.”
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward, In love.”
2nd Reading (Joan M) (A contemporary interpretation of 1Cor12.7-11)
God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s spirit. We point to Christ in different ways, and we point to Christ in one same way. We point to Christ in different ways because he calls us to do different things. Stephen, first to be martyred, pointed to Christ with his blood. Augustine and Aquinas, gifted minds, pointed to Christ with their theology. Teresa of Avila pointed to Christ as a mystic in action… people in professions point to Christ by penetrating technology with the gospel; civil servants by planning passionately for peace….. Amid all this diversity, we point to Christ in one same way, because Christ calls all of us to be one person. Whatever you are called to do, you point to Christ ultimately by who you are, and in the concrete this means you point to Christ in the measure that you are Christlike. These are the inspired words of Walter J Burghardt, SJ “Lovely in Eyes Not His” And we respond: All: Amen
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia (Celtic version)
Gospel John 2:1-11 (Joan M)
Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him “They’re just about out of wine.” Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother---yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.” She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “ Whatever he tells you, do it.” Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus ordered the servant, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim. “Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did. When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you have saved the best till now!” This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
This are the inspired words found in the gospel of John and we as a community respond,
All: Glory and praise to our brother Jesus!
Homily Starter: Janet Blakely
Profession of Faith (Janet)
All: We believe in you O God, Creator of the universe, whose divinity infuses all that exists, making everything sacred. Jesus, we believe in You, messenger of the Divine Word, the bringer of healing and the heart of Compassion.
We believe in you Holy Spirit, the breath of our innermost life, and the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our spirits grow weary in our journeys.
We believe that You are here with us today in this gathering, calling us to be a loving and just people.
We believe the poor have a priority in your plans and we are called to do our best to serve them in your name.
We believe you are offering us freedom and grace to become our true selves, so that we can turn from false, worldly securities and look to you for our true identity as your children.
We believe that as You were anointed by God to do God’s Will, through our baptism, we too are called to be a sign of God’s Kingdom on earth where we are all sisters and brothers. Amen
Prayers of the Community (Joan P)
We are a people of faith. We believe in the power of prayer. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each one of us. And so, we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious Creator.
After each intercession please respond:
R-Compassionate God, hear our prayers.
~O Holy Mystery, you grieve for all that afflicts us. Give those who struggle with addictions the courage and perseverance they need.
~You are father and mother to us, and we bask in your love. Inspire persons of integrity and compassion to care for children who are separated from their parents.
~You taught your followers to travel lightly through life. Call our consumer culture to a change of heart and to values that lead to life.
~You are always with us, silently guiding and encouraging us. Help us to quiet our lives with moments for listening to your voice in our hearts.
~You love justice and all your ways are true. Grant us the insight and courage to face our prejudices and blind spots.
~Jesus is Your supreme gift to us. Grant that the words of his gospel be woven into our daily lives, coming easily to mind for our inspiration and your glory.
For what else shall we pray?
God of Mystery, God of Love, send your Spirit into our hearts with gifts of wisdom and peace, fortitude and charity. We long to love and serve you. Faithful God, make us faithful. This we ask through the intercession of all your saints. Amen
WE Are Many Parts by Marty Haugen
We are many parts, we are all one body. And the gifts we have, we are given to share. May the Spirit of love, make us one indeed. One, the love that we share, one our hope in despair, One, the cross that we bear.
Vs.1 God of all, we look to you, We would be your servants true, Let us be your love to all the world
Vs. 2 So my pain is pain for you, In your joy is my joy, too. All is brought together in our God.
Vs.3 All you seekers, great and small, seek the greatest gift of all, If you love, then you will know our God
Preparation of the Gifts
( Elena) Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, this grain of the earth that human hands have prepared for our use. It will become for us the bread of life.
All: Blessed be God forever.
(Janet): Blessed are you God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, this fruit of the vine that human hands have prepared for our use. It will become for us our spiritual drink.
All: Blessed be God forever.
Gathering of the Gifts
~ Our brother Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join Him at his family table. Everyone is welcome to share in this meal.
All: Loving and caring God, we, your people are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are one with all beings in the community of creation and with all those who share your gift of compassion, especially toward those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. May we strive to live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel of our brother Jesus, supported by the wisdom that directed him and by the Wisdom of the Spirit who supports us. Amen.
(Joan M): Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
( Joan P): Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at the family table.
All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all of creation.
( Joan M): Let us lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up to the Holy One who lives in us and loves others through us.
( Joan P): God dwells in each one of us.
Preparation of our Communion Gifts
(Janet and All): Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness, each one of us has bread and fruit of the vine to offer at this sacred meal, that which the earth has given and human hands have made. They will become for us our Bread of Life and Spiritual Drink. Blessed be God for all the love that has 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:
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)
(Elena and All):
We thank you, God, for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. Through him, you breathe life into us. He was moved by his vision of your constant presence in everyone, everywhere he went. He revealed you in everything he did in his life well lived. And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may die.
(Janet) Epiclesis **Please extend your hands over the bread and wine as we pray together:
(Janet and All) O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts that we brought from your fields and placed on our table – this simple wheat and wine. May She make them holy so that they will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.
(Elena) 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.
** Please stretch out your arm over the bread and cup
(Elena) 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.
(Janet) 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): 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 M ) 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 P) 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………..)
Joan and 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
(Janet & 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.)
( Janet and All) Together we PRAY at 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.
(Elena 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 Hymn “Summons”
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. Your gift of life is a source of joy for us, O Holy One, but the challenge to grow often weighs us down. Grant us the courage to live responsibly in all of the areas of our lives. Inspire us with new ways to serve you and one another as we realize your constant presence. Let all that we do radiate our faith and hope in your love for us. Bless all who encourage us on the way, as together we strive for the unity that is yours, Creator, Word, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
PRAYERS OF GRATITUDE, INTRODUCTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS
(Elena and All) (Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)
As we go forth from this sacred space, let us purposefully look with new eyes and hearts to recognize our call to prophetic obedience to the Gospel of Jesus and to count on God’s grace for courage to speak truth to power.
All: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!
(Elena) Full of Christ’s peace, may we go out in haste to share the Good news of the Divine Presence dwelling within. Remember, that as the face of Christ to the world we are absolute existence and a field of infinite possibilities. Let our service continue!
Closing Hymn “Go Make a Difference”
In honor of MLK Jr.
Ninety-one years after his birth on Jan. 15, 1929, and 57 years after his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr.‘s stirring words and writings remain as relevant and inspiring today as they were when he lived.
Today we honor King’s lasting legacy by reading some of his best quotes—some you may have heard already and some not—but all of them worth repeating and contemplating as we celebrate equality, faith, and the profound truths of his message.
MLK’s response to God’s Call
~“ We must accept finite disappointment , but never lose infinite hope.”
~“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
~“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
~“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
~“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
~“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
~“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
~“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
~“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
~“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
~“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
~“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
~“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”
~“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” ~“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop… I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”
~“For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.”
~“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
~“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” “A lie cannot live.”
~“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
~“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
~“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
~“Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
~“In some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” ??????????
~“That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.”
~“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”
~“A right delayed is a right denied.”
~“I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”
If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34238