Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
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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 in union with Mary whose joy enflamed her soul! 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: Faith Seeking Understanding (Mary and US)
(Janet): We take St. Anselm’s (1033-1109) definition of what it means to do theology as a help in trying to understand today’s readings. Trusting in God’s never-ending love for us, we dare to open our minds to ideas that may only prove to be “dead ends.” On the other hand, the ideas we explore might just lead us in our desire to evolve as individuals and as a species. May that evolution bring us ever closer to union with God.
Gathering Song: Gather the People
(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.
(Elena): My sisters and brothers, God is with Us
All: God is with us Indeed!
O Holy One, you are unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, and the Life of all life. Help us to understand that You are the reason why everything that is, is, and why each of us exists, namely, to receive your ineffable, all transforming, all beautifying Love. We ask for the grace to allow ourselves to be loved, to be there for You, Love , to love us. Help us to understand and feel how deeply our body, soul, mind and total existence is connected to your divinity.
Transformation Rite (Janet)
We pause now to remember the times we have not born fruit in our lives and our service to others. Take a moment to recall one missed opportunity, one broken or damaged relationship. Now imagine this person or situation in the light of healing love as we ask for forgiveness.
(Pause briefly. Then Extend arm over community)
All: Please forgive me, I am sorry, I love you, I thank you.
The Sign of Peace (Mary M) It is fitting that, having asked for Divine and mutual forgiveness, we now extend an expression of Peace to each other.
(Mary M and 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
(Mary M): 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
First Reading Luke 1:26-38 (Maryal G)
In those days when the people of Judea were oppressed in the reign of King Herod in the town of Nazareth there was a woman named Miryam.
In prayer Miryam watched. Eyes of her soul turned inward, she watched.
Ears of her spirit stretched out, she watched. Watched for Yahweh in stillness.
In awe Miryam listened. With the firm beat of her heart, she listened. With the deep stroke of her breath, she listened. Listened for Yahweh in stillness.
In the stillness Miryam reached out. Mind alive, she reached out. Memory reflecting, she reached out. Inviting her God to inspire. The shadow streamed into her being. Greeting the core of her soul. Hearing, she stretched for the life source.
Embracing the quickening call.
“How is this? I know not!” she responded. Stumbling in God’s desert of time. “But you speak and all things come together. I will as you say let it be.”
Her life of shadowy knowing was confirmed in the quieting joy.
Summoning cadences, ancient and deep, echoed the call of God’s peace.
Miryam arose and went out. Holding the knowledge of change, went out. Went out to begin the task. Miryam embarked on the journey. Her mind precise for the journey. Her soul enflamed for the journey. Journeyed to the arms of Elizabeth.
In the warmth of those arms, she knew. Ancient pathways op’ning before her, she knew. Words of her people streamed from her mouth, she knew.
Knew that her God lived within her.
These are the inspired words found in Luke’s account of the annunciation and interpreted in poetic form by Ann Johnson in “MIRYAM OF NAZARETH”. We as a community respond: Glory and praise to the Holy One
Psalm 149 Praise The Beloved (Mary M)
Sing a joy-filled song praising the Blessed One among the people!
Be glad in the Creator, rejoice in Love Divine!
Res: Praise the Beloved
Praise the Divine Lover with dancing, with melodies and voice!
For the Beloved dwells within, journeying with us through all our lives. Leading us in truth and love.
Res: Praise the Beloved
The humble are adorned with honor; the faithful exult in glory, singing for You with thankful hearts!
Res: Praise the Beloved
With truth on our tongues, with gratitude as our friend, we are in harmony with the universe as we hold hands with all the people.
Res: Praise the Beloved
The chains of oppression are broken, the fetters of injustice unbound.
The realm of Peace and Love shall reign! Glory abides with those who are faith-filled. Res: Praise the Beloved
All people on earth welcome Love’s Companioning Presence who abides in your hearts! Res: Praise the Beloved
Second Reading (Jack M)
It seems that the moment of breakthrough for Mary was also the beginning of the breakthrough of salvation for all creation….. a moment came at which a unique demand was made on her…. Her response was a self-giving so total that she was, as it were, subsumed in that giving. It was herself. But the event we are talking about is the conception of a baby, which is above all a bodily event…..Mary, mother of the Word, had much to learn, later. She made mistakes, she did not understand, she suffered. But from that time her being, her very body, was the Being of the One to whom she had assented.
These are inspired words written by Rosemary Haughton in “The Passionate God” We respond: Amen
Spirt of the Living God
Third Reading( Mary M)
Oh, If you could feel in some way the quality and intensity of that fire sent from heaven, the refreshing coolness that accompanied it, the consolation it imparted; if you could realize the great exultation of the Virgin Mother, the ennobling of the human race, the condescension of the divine mystery; If you could hear the Virgin singing with joy…… If you could see the sweet embrace of the Virgin and the woman who had been sterile and hear the greeting in which the tiny servant recognized his Lord…. Then I am sure you would sing in sweet tones with the Blessed Virgin that sacred hymn: My soul(proclaims your greatness, O my God,) and with the tiny prophet you would exalt, rejoice and adore the marvelous virginal conception.
These are inspired words of Bonaventure found in The Tree of Life.
We respond: Amen
Spirt of the Living God
Homily Starter: Janet Blakeley
Having grown up in a free-thinking family, in which every one of the many adults held different beliefs about everything, Iquestioned the Catholic Church with its various dogmas, i.e., things that were supposed to be taken as uncontrovertibly true. The felt presence of God in this church, however, was so powerful and life-giving that I had to overlook what seemed to be minor issues. It is that God overriding everything else that will keep me Catholic forever.
Today we consider the Annunciation, that is, the announcing by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God. This event is recorded in the Gospel of Luke which scholarship attributes to approximately the year 85 of the Christian era. Before that, it existed on scraps of papyrus fragments dating to the early or middle of the first century. Ateaching coming from the earliest days of the church, it wasproclaimed dogma during our lifetime, in 1950.
Dogma: That is, “uncontrovertibly true.” In one way or another, you and I have made our peace with this aspect of the Church. But we are products of our culture and our era. In our day, being “true” means that all the facts add up. In this case, the facts don’t add up for all of us, or at least not in the same way.
Begin with angels: I’ve never seen or heard an angel, and yet it makes sense to me that such a spiritual being exists – as a next level of being who can make God more accessible to humans. And yet, I also believe that nothing separates us from God, and that God deals directly with me.
Mary’s response to the angel, Gabriel: Hundreds - probably thousands - of paintings of the Annunciation have been done over time. In these it is interesting to study Mary’s response which ranges through “expressionless” to “perplexed” to “terrified.” This may be due to the variety of translations from the original Greek. We might come close to the truth by praying in the Ignatian way. We invite God to enter our imaginations to let us see, hear, feel what Mary experienced. Today’s first reading comes as close to my understanding as anything I’ve ever felt or thought about this event, and it shows me a Mary whose life was spent seeking God everywhere, at all times, not least of all within herself.
Mary, a virgin: Does that matter to me? Certainly virginity is not highly valued in our culture. And I am earthy enough to find many human qualities that I value much more than that. The giving of self to God by preserving one’s virginity is beautiful, but I have known such self-giving that seems to surpass traditional virginity. I would not want to slight anyone whose response to God is specifically virginity because such a thing is highly individual and to be reverenced. I do wonderwhat Jesus thought about virginity, but that too would seem to be in regard to the individual. Maybe you know form your own sources what that might be.
Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit: I can say that every baby I have ever seen appears to have just arrived from Heaven! All are children of God. There is nothing more I can say about thatexcept that, for me, that would qualify as dogma. But think about the theologies that have come from the belief that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Some explain that Jesus was the only Son of God. Others teach that he always knew this about himself, and still others that he discovered divinity within. That last idea challenges us to do the same – and to take our places as part of the Body of Christ and part of the Trinity. Would that not be union with God?
Today we have sought to understand this short paragraph in Scripture by opening our intellects to possibilities. We have done so with trust and faith in the Author of it all, and we are not afraid. Like Mary, we really want to know “but how?”
Profession of Faith (Jack M and All) 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 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-vision 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
(Mary M): 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- Holy One, hear our prayers.
Mary is blessed among women with the joy all ages have awaited; through her intercession free all women who are in bondage and who lead lives less than human. R: Holy One, hear our prayer
Mary chose freely to become the mother of the Savior; grant to all people the freedom to choose their way of life.
R: Holy One, hear our prayer.
Mary rejoiced at the mystery of her motherhood; grant your grace and guidance to mothers who do not want their children.
R: Holy One, hear our prayer.
Mary went in haste to support and to share the mystery of new life with her cousin Elizabeth; teach us how to share with others, the fruit of your Spirit in our lives. R: Holy One, hear our prayer.
We pray for the people of Ukraine, Russia and all war torn countries that they may live in peace without fear of invasion and that goodness and sanity will fill the hearts and minds of those that would cause them harm.
R: Holy One, hear our prayer.
We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Joan shares)
R: Holy One, hear our prayer.
For what else shall we prey?..........
R: Holy One, hear our prayer
God of Mystery, hear our prayers, those spoken and those presented to you in the silence of our hearts. 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
(Elena) Let us listen as Joe Wise helps us to bring ourselves, just the way we are, to the celebration of Eucharist.
Song: 🎶 “Here is My Life” by Joe Wise
Liturgy of the Eucharist
(Jack M): O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you. We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.
(Mary M): Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together: (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane, adapted)
Mary M and All: O Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future.
As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.
May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth and world community with a common destiny.
United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker, played by Linda Lee Miller)
(Jack and All): We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world, we pray for peace in their name.
And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on - this great blossoming that is meant to go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name.
And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this,
For the animals that have no voice in this,
For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this,
For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their name.
We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.
(Please extend your hands in blessing)
(Janet and All): Your Spirit is upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, and they are gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.
On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.
All lift bread and pray the following:
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 and eat; this is my very self.
All lift the cup and pray the following:
Elena and All: He then raised high the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine saying:
Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life,
for you and for everyone, for liberation from every oppression.
Whenever you do this, Re-member me and all that I have taught you!
The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead showed us, by Her action, that life is eternal and that love is immortal. Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love. We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation.
We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
For it is through learning to live as he lived,
And why he lived,
And for whom he lived,
That we awaken to your Spirit within,
Moving us to worship you truly,
O Holy One,
At this time and all time and in all ways.
And we say yes to You!
Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller
The Abba Prayer
(Janet and All))
Who loves us like a mother,
Whose realm is blooming among us now.
We pray that your compassion guide us in every action.
Give us what we need for each day,
and help us to be satisfied with the miracle of that alone.
Forgiver, whose embrace brings us to wholeness without our asking,
May we reconcile ourselves to one another in humility.
And may we cancel the crushing debts that imprison our neighbors
So that communities of joy and health may flourish.
May we neither profit from nor ignore evil.
But ever work to thwart it with non-violence
As we co-create the realm of peace in this world.
Now and each day.
Amen. (Bret Hesla/wsj)
(Jack and All)
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.
(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”.
Annunciation and Canticle of Mary
Final Prayer. (Janet) : Bountiful God, we are filled with wonder and gratitude as we strive to realize our calling to tell the message of the gospel with our lives. Let the promises of Christ give us the freedom to leave behind all that hinders the coming of your realm on earth. Give us the courage and peace of heart that comes from confidence in your care. Dispel the darkness of our lives with healing truth; make us ready for the new wine of the future. We ask this of You, God of time and eternity. 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 Spiritual growth and evolving consciousness.
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 with a Happy song of the soul.
Amen! Thanks be to God! Let it be so!
Closing Hymn: A modern day song of joy that echoes the Joy expressed in the Canticle song by Mary. With Mary let us sing our out joy!
Song of the Soul by Chris Williamson
If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to 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