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Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
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You will be able to hear the Liturgy and we will be able to hear you during our shared homily.
Theme: The Beatitudes - A Culture of Compassion and Peace
Welcome and Gathering
[LEE]: Welcome, brothers and sisters, we once again come together at the table of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community for a liturgy in which everyone is welcome to share the gifts of the compassionate presence of God with one another. Now, today, at these challenging times, it is more important than ever for us to support one another as companions on our journeys … each of us with separate peaceful paths and different destinies...and all of us guided by Jesus, our common guide, on our ways.
[JOAN M]: We invite you to participate in the whole of this liturgy and respond to every prayer in it for, after all, this is OUR prayer! Each one of us will be muted (silenced) during the liturgy except for the Presiders who have different pieces to pray. “If and when” you would like to make a comment at the Shared Homily or a remark at the Closing Commissioning of the liturgy, we ask you to unmute yourself so that everyone can hear what you have to say, and then, when you are finished, please re-mute yourself so that the next person has a similar opportunity to share a comment. And please have your bread and wine or juice near you so that you may conveniently consecrate them for your Communion in the service.
[MARY AL]: Let us now take a few minutes to focus our minds and hearts on our knowledge that we are all formed as one body, by our Creator. We are all supported and strengthened by the same Spirit of God from whom all our gifts come for the same purpose, namely the common good.
And, what better way is there to start our celebration today than by beginning our ceremony with a song…by singing together our blessedness.
Opening Song: All Belong Here by The Many
[LEE]: O Loving God, creator of all that exists now or that ever will, you call us to see goodness and beauty in everything that surrounds us so that - with your grace - we may live in harmony with all that you have created. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression that is so prominent everywhere in our world today… and seemingly may also be developed and extended into the future. We ask you to bless us with the strength of the Spirit so that we may follow the examples of Jesus as we make efforts to develop those cultures of compassion and peace wherever we may go and in whatever we do.
We ask this in the name of God who shares divinity with us in the sacredness of creation - and who shares humanity with us in the person of Jesus, the Christ. We give praise and thanks to you, our Creator, as we celebrate all the blessings that You have so abundantly given to us. And to this, we say Amen … let it be so.
Penitential Confession and Community Forgiveness
[JOAN M]: Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires are sheltered, and no secrets are hidden. We ask you to send your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will. Through your grace, all people -everywhere they may be on this earth - are one family and you have made them worthy to be called your “Blessed People”. Christ Jesus, we ask you to give us the grace to realize our need to continually grow in our understanding of the skills of forgiveness, compassion and caring for ourselves, for all others, and for our planet Earth. We also ask you to share with each one of us your grace of forgiveness for our hurtful actions to all the people of other beliefs and interests, genders, nationalities and races. With your direction and support, may we all be the persons that you created each one of us to be, living in the heavenly culture of compassion and peace.
Glory to God
[MARY AL]: My community friends, in gratitude for all the gifts that we have received through our Heavenly Family, let us sing a song to our loving Holy One.
Glory to God - by Marty Haugen and video by Bridget Mary Meehan and
Mary Theresa Streck
Liturgy of the Word
[MARY AL: Today’s liturgy contains three readings, all from the Sacred Scriptures. Two of them, if not all three, are probably familiar to most of us praying here today. And one of them is piece, the same in its message but expressed in different words, that was brought to us last week in the reading for that liturgy.
The first reading was written by a then-obscure Roman citizen some thirty years after Christ’s life, death and resurrection…and it, because of the skills of the author, became a very popular piece in presenting the Christian message to a population of that time. It is best known as Paul’s “Letter to the Romans”, chapter 9, verses 14-19. It will be proclaimed to us by Lee.
[LEE]: I ask you, is there injustice among the people brought on by God’s part? By no means! For God said to Moses, I will have mercy on those whom I wish to have mercy… and I will have compassion on all those for whom I will have compassion. So these virtues depend not primarily on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy to the people. For the scripture says: “I, God, have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that – through you - my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. So then, in that way, I will have mercy on whomever I choose to share it.
[JOAN M]: The second reading is from the longest book in the Bible; it has 150 sections (or psalms) that were collected over a long period of time and that formed a very important part of the worship of the people of Israel. This reading is a selection from a much longer Psalm 103; and it is subtitled “God is Love.” It will be proclaimed to us today by Lee, And for the phrases that we will hear and pray, we will use this response ….:
Our God is tender and compassionate, slow to anger and is most loving.
[LEE]: Bless Our God, O my soul… bless God’s holy name –and do so with all that is in me. Bless Our God, O my soul…and remember all God’s kindnesses to me all the time
In forgiving all our offenses, and in curing all our diseases, in redeeming our lives from the pit, you graciously crown us with love and tenderness.
Our God’s indignation does not last long at all; God’s judgement lasts only for a short time. Our God never treats us as our guilt and our wrongdoings deserve… that is the mercy of our God.
No less than the height of heaven over the earth is the greatness of Our God’s love for those who are in the family. The Most High takes our faults farther away from us than the east is from the west.’ That is what God does for us. Let us praise our Holy One.
[MARY AL]: The third and final reading, one that we have certainly heard and prayed over many times -- including last Saturday in the liturgy. It is Matthew’s narrative of Jesus’ passage through a large crowd of people in order so he could get up to a higher location so that he could speak to a broader crowd. It was delivered from the mountain top. That message is popularly known as “The Beatitudes.” And I will give our people a refresher presentation of that talk from chapter 5, verses 1 to 12.
[MARY AL]: And this is what Jesus said when he finally found a place to sit down. This is the message that he gave to the people of his historic time in a simple location and also to those everywhere who would come in future times. Those people whom he mentions are blessed because the Merciful God will gift them for their actions.
[JOAN M]: Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for the kindom of heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the meek and gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who are mourning, for they shall be consoled.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall receive …..what has been promised to them…and they will be satisfied.
Blessed are those who show mercy to others: they will be shown mercy to …..themselves!
Blessed are those who are pure in heart, for they shall see God
Blessed are those who work for peace, for God will call them Children of …..Heaven.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their struggle for justice; …..the Kindom of heaven is theirs.
You are fortunate when others insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander and evil lies against you because of me.
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward in heaven is great.
The prophets who have lived long ago before you did the same thing as you did and many of them have been persecuted in the very same way. They have all been rewarded by the Merciful God.
Shared Homily and Community Reflections
What did you hear in the readings today? If you wish to share a reflection or comment - and we encourage you to do so - please remember to unmute yourself for the time of your message and then re-mute yourself again afterwards so others have their opportunities to speak and be heard.
Profession of Faith
[MARY AL]: We believe in God, the Creator of an unfinished world in an ever-evolving cosmos, a God whose divinity infuses all that exists and makes everything in the universe sacred.
[JOAN M]: We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who carried the message of God’s words to everyone whom he met during his time on earth, and who has continued to do so to everyone who has lived on that planet ever since. He leads us to the fullness of humanity; it is through his incarnation that we have become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness and failures and have been called to the fullness of life. Jesus will continue spreading the Good News of his promise throughout the universe till the end of time. It is through Jesus, the heart of God’s compassion, that we have become a new people. It is through him that we have been called beyond the consequences of our brokenness and have been raised to the fullness of life.
[MARY AL]: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of God in the world who keeps the Christ-vision present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives. She is the Holy Sustainer who heals and energizes people when their strengths and hopes grow weary in their journeys, especially the failing energies of those people who struggle so hard and long in the darkness, She shares with them the strength that they may need to experience the grace of God that day.
[JOAN M]: We also believe that God’s kindom is here with us now and will always be there for those with eyes to recognize it, minds to understand it, hearts to receive it and hands to spread it and make it known to their brothers and sisters wherever they may be.
We say “amen” to faith, hope and love. We say “amen” to the partnership and equality of all people, regardless of gender, race and beliefs. We say “amen” to a world of peace and justice for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this we surely believe.
Prayers of the Community
[LEE]: With heads and hearts mindful of our Creator’s unconditional love that is embedded in each one of us, let us bring our personal needs, and those of our brothers and sisters, to our Loving God. ..Help us be a community that will share the weight of each other’s’ burdens and glories as well as their own. After each intercession, we respond
God of compassion, to you we offer our prayers
We pray for broken families, especially those torn apart by the damages of war …that they may find consolation and peace...;…
RX: God of compassion, to you we offer our prayers
We pray for those who are injured by statements and actions of hatred and violence, their own or those of others…that they may find compassion and understanding, ultimately resolving in peace.
RX: God of compassion,
We pray for those who are sick and otherwise “hurt,” that they may be healed in their bodies and spirits.
RX...God of compassion,
For whom or what else do we wish to pray for at this time?
RX…God of compassion,
[Mary Al]: Healing 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, with our sisters and brothers,
we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence everywhere. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
Gathering of the Gifted
[JOAN M]: Beloved One, we - your people -are united today in this blessed sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who shares your gifts of compassion and love, especially all those people who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice and walk humbly with you in solidarity with all our sisters and brothers wherever they may be located. And, in doing so, may we live always as prophetic witnesses to the gospel of Jesus.
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)
[MARY AL]: We thank you, Loving God, for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history - and the gift of Jesus the Christ in faith. You brought him from among all your people on earth to baptize us in your Spirit. His life was moved by his consuming vision of your presence in himself and in his mission. He extended that when he also recognized your presence in every person he met. He showed us, through his example not only how we should live, but also what was worth dying for.
[JOAN M]: And when his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus -aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life as a witness of 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 the ages to come, He “paid the price;” he was put to death for following his blessed mission. Then the Spirit raised him from the dead and, through that blessing, showed us that life is eternal and that love is immortal. And that same Spirit that lived in Jesus will be resurrected in each one of us. The Jesus of history and faith is with us today as He will be through the end of time. And the Spirit that lived in Jesus raised Him to a new life. That Spirit of His resurrection is promised to each one of us as well. Jesus is with us today in the coming of the kindom; He will be with us 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 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 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.
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.
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 prophet spoke in history, is with us now, in this cup. let us proclaim this mystery of our faith.
Jesus has died, Christ is risen, and the cosmic Christ lives in us - and loves through us -in the world today, tomorrow and forever.
[MARY AL]…Compassionate God, today we need your Wisdom, the vision that inspired Jesus, and the strength of the Spirit that will bring us through our difficult times. Help us to grow in our love for everyone we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of their communities and societies. They are all our brothers and sisters, and they are reflections of your love and care for all of creation. We especially remember now all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts. Sometime in the future, we will be reunited together again…as was Jesus and his family of friends… when he passed on to them the gift of His Peace.
The Passing of Peace
[JOAN]: We remember that you, Jesus, said to your disciples…: My peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Look on the faith of those gathered now in this sacred time and grant us your peace. O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us to spread that gift of your peace throughout the world, to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.
Song: Peace is Flowing like a River.
The Prayer of Jesus
[LEE]: And in that spirit, my brothers and sisters, let us say, together, the Prayer of Jesus. This is from the Center of Concern and is modified a bit for our use today.
Our God who is in Heaven and in each and all of us on earth…bless those who are hungry, oppressed, somewhat separated - or even excluded - from societies of care, places of love.
May your kindom come and move all of our hearts with your love, compassion and peace.
May your will be lived among us on earth as it is in heaven...that is, without the complexities of the world, its greed for riches and its desires for power.
Give us this day our daily bread, the blessings that you give us abundantly so that we may share them fairly with our brothers and sisters everywhere on the planet Earth.
Forgive us our trespasses…the all-too-often temptations that we may close our minds to easing the difficulties, misfortunes, dilemmas and struggles of our actions in which we have thought only of ourselves, and not at all of others.
Strengthen us in times of temptations…those times when we close our minds and when our efforts would be of real help, and even comfort, to the persons with whom we share our lives.
Then, may your kindom come, with all the experiences that you have prepared for us as brothers and sisters of your Holy Family. That is the setting for a complete sharing of a culture of compassion, peace and love, forever and ever. Amen
[MARY AL] Loving God…as we, people of our Mary Mother of Jesus Community, have now come timewise to share the richness of this sacred time in this blessed liturgy, we are unable to forget the poverty and of so many of our brothers and sisters, our families and our neighbors, who are in need.
We believe that we are a sanctified people who cannot eat this blessed bread or drink this wine without thinking of those brothers and sisters who are homeless in the several very serious war areas, among them are many people so very hungry and thirsty on so many places on planet Earth. O God, its people cry out for environmental justice at a time when their lives stand at war’s door openings with no closings in site.
[JOAN M]: And now we will consume the Body and Blood of Jesus, the result of our Consecration of the bread and the fruit of the vine that we have blessed today in this liturgy. So let us pray …
May we give and receive abundant love
May our belief in that love enrich and sustain us
May we find wonder and miracles in the ordinariness of life
May we experience joy and the Heavenly Light burning within us
And…may we know true love, compassion and peace in our minds and in our hearts. Amen.
Closing Community Prayer
[JOAN M]…May our hearts be glad on our journeys as we dream new dreams and see new visions.
May we remember all our sisters and brothers throughout the world, in our love and prayers and also in our compassionate and justice-making actions.
May we all live and work for peace in our hearts and, in doing so, visualize that peace and justice flooding the hearts of all the world’s leaders …and in all of us as well,
May we learn to bless and honor and hold in reverence the cosmos, the earth and each other.
May we do whatever we can to feed the hunger of the many starving people anywhere in the world, particularly the Ukraine region.
Closing Community Blessing and Commissioning
[JOAN M]: May our nurturing God bless each one of us at this zoom liturgy today and all those who have ever joined together in a Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community service. And, as we go in the peace of Christ, may we minister to one another as the People of God that we are and may we go in the compassion and peace of Christ. Amen, Alleluia
Closing Song: Lean in Toward the Light by Carrie Newcomer
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please send a check to:
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community’
% St. Andrews UCC 6908 Beneva Rd. Sarasota, FL 34328
Blessings….and thank you for your generosity.