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Theme: A Walk on the Earth with the light of the sun and the blessing of the Son
Welcome and Gathering
[LEE]….Welcome everyone, Spirit Warriors and friends, Chosen Ones - all - as we “Walk on the Earth.” We welcome you to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. Although many of us are located in various places, homes or elsewhere on the earth that we walk, we are all together in this “Zoom Room” to share the compassionate presence of God with one another in this liturgy. We will share the message of Jesus as we break the bread and drink the fruit of the vine that we brought with us this afternoon, 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 our signs of mutual love.
[JOAN]….During this liturgy, we certainly invite everyone to pray the liturgy all the time. However, at the start, everyone will be muted (silenced) so that they do not disturb everyone else during the service. The presiders and the readers will be unmuted (able to be heard) so that they can be easily understood by the community. Also, during the shared homily and prayers, we invite you to unmute yourself to contribute your ideas, then to mute yourself when you have finished. And please have your bread and wine or juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic Prayer.
Let us take a few minutes now to collect ourselves as we focus our minds and hearts on our celebration Then we will open our ceremony with a song.
Gathering Song: All Belong Here by The Many
[ANN C] Nurturing God, in your goodness, you blessed the whole of creation and made it all sacred in your everlasting care. We are grateful that you graced our planet Earth with your presence in Jesus of Nazareth and, later, in us before we were even born … as we celebrated in our liturgy last week.
[LEE} Jesus - through his life, teachings and examples - showed us how to live as fully as you, Creator God, would have us do. Through Him, you showed us the experiences of joy and sorrow, success and failure, effort and exhaustion, and life and even death…all the events and challenges that we would encounter in our lives, and the very things that we ask you for your support and strength through your Spirit. What we ask of you now, Loving God, is to bless all of us celebrating this sacred liturgy and to open our spirits and souls to the messages of the life and messages of Jesus, today and always. Amen.
Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness
[JOAN] Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires are unknown, and no secrets are hidden. We ask your help so that we can better understand Sophia’s messages and be truly faithful to them – and, then, that we may spread Her graceful concern, compassion and care among all your people – wherever we may meet them while “walking on the road.”
[LEE] Jesus, grant us the courage we will need to spread your example of universal love. Help us to grow in our understanding of it as we live and share your messages that bring the grace of peace to every everyone we will meet in our futures. Loving God, we ask you to pour out your healing mercy on us here today—and especially on those who may be in difficult settings where forgiveness and compassion are so badly needed.
We know that you understand the frailties of our human nature. Grant us that, despite our weaknesses, we may increasingly develop our abilities to extend the forgiveness that You grant to us with …and to share that with all our brothers and sisters.
(Pause…please extend your arm toward the others with us today.)
[ANNA D] Loving God, the Father and Mother of mercy, through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, He bonded the world and all creation to you. He sent the Spirit to give each one of us the strength and compassion of love that we may share it with one another. Loving God help us understand the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn- learn to forgive those others for our failures to care for one another and for our planet Earth. We ask this of You, our healer and comforter. Amen.
Glory to God
[LEE] Let us give glory in song to our loving Holy One, the One who “knew us before we were born…and set us apart”” (Jeremiah 1:5)
A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller
Liturgy of the Word
[ANN C] Our first reading today is from Paul’s first letter to his church in Thesolonia. That community was thoroughly believing that Jesus, who had died, was coming back. So each moment was full of hope, expectancy, and preparation for that time. And that was the setting for today’s reading…the First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 3, verses 11 to13 And this will be presented to us by [JOAN].
[JOAN] And now brothers and sisters, may our God and Father and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may love be so strengthened in your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before Our God at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
And for this piece of Paul’s message to his community, we say:
Amen, it is so…Amen, Alleluia.
[ANNA D] And today’s gospel reading is taken from the First Letter of John, chapter 2, verses 3 to 11. As we can surmise from the many readings we have heard from John, he was strong in his belief and teaching that God and Love were intricately related…for all teaching purposes, they were one and the same. And that is the context of this selection for today. It will be proclaimed to us by [LEE].
[LEE] Now, by this we may be sure that we know Jesus: if we obey his commandments. Whoever says” “I have come to know him”, but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, then truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him, and that whoever says,” I abide in him” ought to walk, strongly and truthfully.
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message that you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment in the sense that it is true in him and in you … because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. And that commandment is this: Whoever says “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or a sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness
And this is the pretty clear message of John to his readers. And for that, we all say:
Amen, Amen, let us walk in the light of the Son Alleluia.
Shared Homily and the Community Reflections and Responses
Profession of Faith
[JOAN] We believe in a God of extravagant love who dwells with us, rejoices with us in our blessed selves and supports us in our struggles, losses and sufferings.
We believe in that God who is the Creator of an unfinished world in an ever-evolving cosmos and whose divinity infuses all that is in it and makes everything in the universe is sacred.
We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, our peace and our light. Through His incarnation, we are a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Wisdom who keeps the Christ-vison present to all those persons who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives. She heals and energizes us when we grow weary on our journeys; she is our rest on our Walk on the Earth.
We believe that God’s kindom is here with us now and will always be there for those who have eyes to recognize it, minds to understand it, and hearts and hands to make it known to their brothers and sisters wherever they may be.
And, in all this, we surely believe in a world of peace and justice for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.
Prayers of the Community
[ANN C] And now, let us now bring to God’s blessing our concerns for our brothers and sisters. We are a people of faith and we believe in the power of prayer. We now present our intentions to God for healings and blessings. After our mention of that, our response is:….
Compassionate God, bless our petitions.
We pray for those many broken families, torn apart…suffering their separations and unsure of their futures …. may they be comforted and brought back together.
Compassionate God, bless our petitions
We pray for those who are bound by hatred, hostility and violence, may they be freed.
Compassionate God, bless our petitions
We pray for those who have gone on ahead, especially those victims who suffered in the various forms of the coronavirus
Compassionate God, bless our petitions.
And for whom else or what else do we pray at this time?
For each one: Compassionate God, bless our petitions.
[ANNA D] O Holy God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns and care for one another here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in the world. As we always do, we make these prayers to you, O Creator God, in the names of Jesus, our Brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.
[ANN C] Ever living and loving God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
It is through you that we live and move and have our very being. That Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven; she is at that home to which you promised us to be at when we end of our walk on earth. Her dwelling in us gives us the hope of unending peace and joy with You. And so, in gratitude, we sing with thankful praise:
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)
[ANNA D] We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, he burned with the constant vision of his mission. He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well-lived. And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we might die.
[JOAN] 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. He even provided an example of this wisdom for all people in all ages to come. He did so by opening wide his arms on a cross…and then died. The Spirit who raised him from the dead showed us, by Her action, that life is eternal and that love is immortal. Jesus, the Christ, lives with us today…as he will through the end of time…and beyond.
O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon the simple pieces of wheat and wine or fruit of the vine) that each of us has with us now. May she transform them so that they become – for each of us, through our Consecration – the Body and Blood of Jesus.
[LEE] We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died. He gathered with his friend 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.
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.
[JOAN] 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 the mystery of faith.
And to this, we say: Jesus has died. Christ is risen. the cosmic Christ lives through us in the world today.
May all who will share this sacred meal today be strengthened in their unity by the Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom that moved in Jesus, move as freely in our lives as She did in that of Jesus.
[ANN C] Gracious God, we ask you to remember your church throughout the world. Help us grow in love together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your people everywhere—especially those who live on the margins of church and society. We remember, as well, the entire Communion of Saints, both those living with us on earth and those with you in the eternal Now who touched our lives ad left you footprint on our hearts. We remember especially …(pause here to mention anyone you wish…._
Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ is the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory on honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever. Amen
The Prayer of Jesus
[JOAN] O Holy One, You are within, around and among us. We celebrate your many names.
May your wisdom come and your will be done, both 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 your power, and we act with courage.
You are the dwelling place within us, the empowerment around us, and the celebration among us. Now and forever. (Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)
The Passing of Peace
[ANNA D] Jesus said to his disciples: “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.”
Let us, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, spread that peace throughout the world that we walk, to everyone we meet, everywhere, with no exceptions. Amen.
Let us now sing a song of peace.
SONG: Peace is flowing like a river.
Community Communion Celebration
[JOAN] (At this time, please consume the Communion we have consecrated).
We cannot eat this bread – the Body of Christ — and not think of those who are hungry.
We cannot drink this wine – the Blood of Christ—and not think of those who are thirsty.
O God, your world is one world and we are just stewards of its nourishment for all your people. Creator God, may we be your face in the world. Amen.
Introductions…Prayers of Gratitude…Announcements
Closing Community Blessing
[LEE] May we all go in the peace of Christ, and let our services to our brothers and sisters be those of the blessed people that each one of us were created to be… and may we do so following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Amen, and we all say “thanks be to God. Alleluia!
Closing Hymn: The Garden (He Walks With Me)-
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
c/o St. Andrews UCC 6908 Beneva Road Sarasota, FL 34328