Zoom link for video - 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
(Note -- if you have a problem with the above link, open your ZOOM app and insert the Meeting ID number and Passcode)
Welcome. Michael. We warmly welcome you to the inclusive Catholic community of Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota, Florida.
All are welcome here!
We celebrate together ✝️ in the name of God our creator,
Jesus the Christ, and the Spirit our wisdom within. Amen.
Please welcome each other with a sign of Christ’s peace ☮️
🙏🏿 Namaste! The peace of Christ be with us!
Theme (Michael) Our theme today is “We re-commit to nonviolence.”
Together we took a vow of nonviolence at our liturgy on the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2021 & 2022. And we celebrated the life and teachings of Martin Luther King in mid-January. Meanwhile the war in Ukraine is now in its fourth month. And hearings of the January 6th Congressional Committee reveal that threats to our democracy are ongoing, including threats of violence. Time for us to recommit to nonviolence!
Transformation Prayer (Mary Kay) We commit ourselves to respond to the needs of others in whatever ways we can and to share our faith that goodness and love will prevail. All: Transform us, O Holy One!
Gloria (Mary Kay) Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us and shares the Sacred Word with us.
Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace—peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another.
Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all those who serve our special needs in numerous ways.
Glory to the Spirit of Life, who sent Jesus—Jesus who taught us how to live the Gospel, Jesus who brings hope and healing to all those in need.
O Holy One, you are one with us. We will live a life of peace and faithfulness to you, committed to the Gospel message.
We depend upon the ever-present Spirit, Wisdom Sophia, to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.
All: Glory to the Spirit of Life!
Liturgy of the Word (Please pause for a moment of silence.)
(Russ) The first reading is from The Nonviolent Life by John Dear.
How can we become people of nonviolence and
help the world become more nonviolent?
What does it mean to be a people of active nonviolence?
How can we help build a global grassroots movement of nonviolence
to disarm the world,
relieve unjust human suffering,
make a more just society and
protect creation and all creatures?
What is a nonviolent life?”
[In my book] I propose a simple vision of nonviolence that
every one of us can aspire to.
I commend three dimensions of nonviolence:
practicing nonviolence toward ourselves,
practicing nonviolence toward all others, all creatures and creation,
and practicing active nonviolence
by joining the global grassroots movement of nonviolence—
and suggest that to be a person of nonviolence,
we each need to practice each dimension simultaneously
if we are to become authentic practitioners of nonviolence.
Many of us do practice one, or maybe two, of these dimensions.
We might be nonviolent toward ourselves and most others,
but we are not part of the global movement of nonviolence.
Or we might be committed activists involved in
the movements for justice and peace,
but filled with self hatred
or mean toward those around us.
The nonviolent life in all its fullness demands
that we practice all three dimensions at the same time!
It is life straddling a tightrope, or juggling three bowling pins,
or for that matter, walking on water.
We are called to a new kind of centered mindfulness
where we practice nonviolence in our private lives
as well as work publicly and actively in the movements
for disarmament, justice and peace through creative nonviolence.
It means becoming in our own ordinariness
new Gandhis, Kings and Dorothy Days.
These are the inspired words of John Dear,
and the community affirms our assent by saying, All: Let if be so!
(Joan M) The second reading is from the conclusion of The Nonviolent Life by John Dear.
The historic student-led demonstrations in France in 1968
rung with a chant that is as apt today as it was then:
“Be reasonable. Demand the impossible.”
Like those French protesters, practitioners of nonviolence are
reasonable people who demand the impossible.
With our spirituality of nonviolence and peace we
trust in the God of peace,
open our hearts in universal love,
maintain a conscious mindfulness, see with a long haul vision,
and willingly risk the cross and resurrection
as the way to nonviolent social change.
We root our life journey of nonviolence in the God of peace,
the nonviolent Jesus,
and the Holy Spirit of peace and love
so that we become one with the universe, with heaven and earth,
and all the saints and martyrs and peacemakers
who have gone before us on the path of peace.
This spiritual framework, context and practice gives each one of us
the strength to live a nonviolent life.
We have enough strength to step out into the world as
people of peace, love and nonviolence,
rooted and grounded in a whole new spirituality,
fashioned on Jesus himself.
These are the inspired words of John Dear, and the community affirms our assent by saying, All: Let it be so!
(Mary Kay) A reading from the Good News attributed to Matthew. Contemporary translation of the beatitudes by Eugene H Peterson.
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God.
He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care.
At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate
instead of compete or fight.
That's when you discover who you really are,
and your place in God's family.
You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. This is our Good News for today, and the community responds: All: Alleluia!
Acclamation 🎶 Alle, Alle, Alleluia.
Shared Homily (Michael & Community) Let us begin with moment of silence…. I highlighted John Dear’s reflection on three dimensions of nonviolence. Joining together to renew our vow of nonviolence, just as we proclaimed last January—This takes us into the third dimension, past nonviolence toward self, and nonviolence toward others and creation. We publicly join together with the grassroots movement of nonviolence worldwide. I think Dear believes this dimension is so critical because we start to receive support in our commitment to peace and provide that support and education to others.
Vow of Nonviolence (All recite together)
(Russ) Recognizing the violence in my own heart,
yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God,
I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus
who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the daughters and sons of God...
You have learned how it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ but I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven.”
Before God the Creator and the Sanctifying Spirit,
I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus,
by striving for peace within myself
and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life;
by accepting suffering rather than inflicting it;
by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence;
by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart;
by living conscientiously and simply
so that I do not deprive others of the means to live;
by actively resisting evil
and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war
from my own heart and from the face of the earth.
God, I trust in your sustaining love
and believe that just as you gave me the grace and desire to offer this,
so you will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.
Prayers of the Community
(Joan M) As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware that the needs of our country and our world are many. As a community and as individuals we do our part to be the healing power of Christ for the world as we bring our prayers to the Eucharistic Table.
We bring to the table those who exercise leadership roles in all faith traditions.
We bring to the table all those who are unemployed and underemployed, all migrants and refugees.
We bring to the table all those who work to promote justice by eradicating sexism, racism, and discrimination of every kind.
We bring to the table our desire to bring an end to the arms race and to promote peaceful ways to resolve conflicts among nations, groups, and individuals.
We bring to the table our desire to be faithful to our pledge of nonviolence in every aspect of our lives.
We bring to the table our community members, friends, and family who have current health concerns.
And for what else shall we pray?
(Unmute to be heard, then mute again)
O Holy One, you know our needs even before we speak. Yet we must speak, if only to remind ourselves of our responsibility to care for the least among us. With your grace may we act justly and love tenderly in addressing the needs of our world. And may we walk peacefully on the earth all the days of our lives.
All: Hear the voices of your people, Spirit of Compassion, that our commitment to nonviolent action will steer us forward to live that for which we pray.
We offer our gifts. (Jack) We invite everyone to place their plate of bread and cup of wine on their table of plenty. (Pause)
Ever present Sacred Spirit, you who hold us in your loving hands, we offer these gifts of bread and wine as we celebrate your life with us. These gifts are made sacred through our faith. We ask this in the name of Jesus our brother. Amen
(Michael) Please join in song to begin our Eucharistic prayer.
(Ann & All) We committed again today to be a community of nonviolence and peace! To support us, we count on each other and on the Spirit of Christ present among us, especially as we gather now for Eucharist.
We commit ourselves to live the ministry of the Gospel as we speak clearly with respect and love, as we challenge the contradictions within our society, especially during these times of division and fear. We remind ourselves daily to remain faithful in our words and actions to our commitment to nonviolence.
We are called to the inner life, our spiritual life, to be open to the new beginnings in our lives. We walk with Jesus seeking wisdom and peace.
(Hold your hand over bread and wine)
(Jack & All) Jesus, we celebrate the last meal you had with your followers. We call upon Sacred Spirit, ever and always with us, to bring blessing on this bread and wine as they are made sacred through our faith in the presence of Christ with us.
During Jesus’s life on earth, he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society. Because of his ministry, Jesus was feared by the authorities of his day, and they sought out ways to bring him to his death.
(Ann & All) On the night before he faced his own death, 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 with them, he bent down and washed their feet.
All lift 🥖 and pray the following:
When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat, this is my very self.
Pause, then lift the 🍷 and pray the following:
(Jack & All) He took the cup, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying: Take and drink. This is the new covenant. Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. (pause)
(Ann) 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.
(Mary Kay & All) Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice, nonviolence and peace, remembering that we are bearers of light and hope. We are the Christ alive today.
Everyone consumes the bread and wine at this time
🎶 Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
Prayer after Communion (Mary Kay) Sacred Spirit, we rejoice that the Universal Christ remains always and ever present within and around us. We remember all those who have transitioned from life on earth to complete union with your Sacred Presence— Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets and martyrs. We also remember family members, friends, and MMOJ members. We remember all those whose lives have been lost to covid, to war, to racism and other forms of exclusion and violence that exist in our world. And we remember those you wish to be remembered (we pause to remember our loved ones) All are beloved souls who have blessed our lives and who continue to inspire us. And we respond together: All: So be it!
(Michael & All) Let us pray together as Jesus taught us:
O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come,
Your will be done, 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 our power, and we act with courage,
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen
(Michael) Please share the gratitude you hold in your hearts.
Final Blessing (Mary Kay)
Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, 1863-1950
You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle,
and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles,
and everything and everything tries to be round.
In the old days all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished.
The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop,
and the circle of the four quarters nourished it.
The east gave peace and light,
the south gave warmth,
the west gave rain and
the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance.
This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion.
Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle.
The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.
The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle.
The moon does the same and both are round.
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and
always come back again to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood,
and so it is in everything where power moves.
Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and
these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop,
a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.
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