Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
September 24, 2022
Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan and Peg Bowen
Readers: Pat and Bob Ferkenhoff, Prayer Leaders: Suzanne Bires and Beth Ponce,
Music: Linda Lee Miller, IT: Cheryl Brandi
Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Theme: All will have what they need when we share
Peg: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida.
Whoever you are,
Wherever you are,
Just as you are,
You are welcome at this table.
(Integral Christianity by Paul Smith)
Opening Song: Extravagant Love by the Many
Communal Reconciliation Rite
Bridget Mary: We pause now to remember an occasion we did not share our gifts of time and treasure with those in need… when we missed opportunities to work for social justice.
Pause briefly. Then extend arm over your heart.
Bridget Mary and All: Please forgive me, I am sorry, I thank you.
GLORIA: Linda Lee Miller
Bridget Mary: As we gather with grateful hearts, we give thanks for the abundant blessings we have received. We pray for all those who are struggling economically, especially those who are continually hungry and unhoused. We pledge to share our time and treasure to help those in need so that they will have more than enough. Through Christ’s love working within us, may it be so. Amen.
Pat F.: First Reading: “What Does It Mean to Reimagine?” by Valarie Kaur, 2021
When we look back through history, our greatest social reformers did more than resist oppressors. They held up a vision of the world as they dreamt it. Nanak sang it. Muhammad led it. Jesus taught it. Buddha envisioned it. King dreamt it. Dorothy Day labored for it. Mandela lived it. Gandhi died for it. Grace Lee Boggs fought for it for seven decades.
They all called for us not only to unseat bad actors, but to reimagine institutions of power, the institutions that order our world. You see, any social harm can be traced to institutions that produce it, authorize it, or otherwise profit from it. To undo the injustice, we have to imagine new institutions and step in to lead them.
This is why I believe reimagining is front line social justice work. It is essential for this moment as we are in the midst of a massive transition here in the United States and all around the world. We can't ever fully be able to transition humanity into a new place unless we imagine it first. So this is how I am defining what it means to reimagine.
To reimagine is to explore a vision of a relationship, a community, a world where all of us are safe and free, where all of us flourish. Reimagining means that we're doing more than resisting our opponents, that we are paying attention to the cultures that authorize them to harm us, the institutions that allow them to continue with their behavior. And if we shift our gaze to institutions, that means some institutions can be reformed, but others must be dismantled and replaced altogether.
Reimagining focuses us not just on what we are fighting against, but the future that we are fighting for. And here's the secret: Reimagining—when we engage in that hard and vibrant work of reimagining the world as it ought to be—we start to realize that we have opportunities, spaces in our own lives to begin to create the beloved community where we are.
When we are brave enough to reimagine, we can begin to become the beloved community by birthing it here and now.
These are the inspired words of Valerie Kaur, spiritual leader and we affirm them by saying: May it be so.
Pat F: Responsorial: Psalm 119
Our response is: I radiate your love within me.
Breathe on me, O Breath of Inspiration, in the silence of my tranquil heart, infill me with your wisdom. O that I might radiate the compassion and peace, truth and beauty of the Beloved!
All: I radiate your love within me.
Direct my steps, O Holy One, that I may humbly walk with you. The witness of your Life is my model; therefore, my soul yearns for You. The unfolding of your Way gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
All: I radiate your love within me.
My mouth pours forth praise continually, for I am ever grateful for your Promises, You come to me and are gracious to me, as You are to all who open their heart’s door.
All: I radiate your love within me.
Guide my steps according to your Wisdom, and show me how to lovingly co-create with You. Let me not be lured by the world’s values, that I may walk the path of wholeness.
All: May I radiate your love within me.
Adaptation by Nan Merrill, Praying the Psalms; An Invitation to Wholeness
Bob F: Second Reading: Parables for Preachers by Barbara E Reid
While possessions are a constant theme in Luke, there is no prescription for how a disciple is to use them.
Some, like the first fishermen and Levi, leave everything to follow Jesus (5:11-38).
Others, like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and the other Galilean women, use their monetary resources to finance Jesus’ mission (8:1-3).
Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector is approved for giving half his possessions to the poor (19:1-10).
In Acts (2:42-47, 4:32-36) disciples hold everything in common.
Other well-to-do disciples use their riches to host the community as Mary (in Acts 12:12 and Lydia in Acts 16:15,40).
What is constant in the message of the Lukan Jesus is that it is not possessions in themselves that are good or evil, but what one does with them.
They can either be an obstacle to discipleship, as in the case of the rich ruler (18:18-23) or they can be placed at the service of the mission.
It is within this context that we have this parable of the rich man and Lazarus that puts human faces on wealth and poverty and conveys a powerful message.
These are the inspired words of Barbara Reid, scripture scholar, and we affirm them by saying: May it be so.
Alleluia: Jan Phillips
Peg: A reading from the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31
There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torment in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.” Then he said, “I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.” Abraham said to him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” And he said, “No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” But he said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rising from the dead.”
These are the inspired words of the author of Luke and we respond to them by saying: May it be so.
Homily Starter: Bridget Mary
I met Randall around 10 years ago. He sat on the sidewalk across the street from the McDonalds where I frequently visited, enjoyed soft serve and read my paper I inquired if he’d like to have a meal there. “No”, he said, “I’d like to read your newspaper after you finish with it.” So, each day, gave him my newspaper and ask if he’d like something to eat. Finally, I decided that giving him McDonald’s gift cards might help and, some of you will remember that our MMOJ community bought the gift cards.
During COVID, I did not go to McDonalds or see Randall in his usual spot. A few months ago, I bumped into him at a thrift store that sold books for 75 cents. He shared that he had survived COVID and was worried about me!
My friends sometimes warn me that giving small amounts of money to folks like Randall is ill-advised for a number of sound reasons. But, when I encounter a person like Randall, I see the face of Christ, and hear a still small voice within my heart urging me to do something. I realize this is a drop in the bucket, a tiny band-aid on a gaping wound.
My encounters with Randall and other unhoused, hungry people taught me that, in addition to food, shelter, health care and the basic necessities, they need respect, kindness and compassion. We need institutions and governments that serve vulnerable, addicted, and mentally ill members of our society.
In our first reading, lawyer and activist Valarie Kaur invites us to reimagine our relationships, our community, and our world where all of us are safe and free, where all of us flourish. This means that we need to feed and clothe people and change the system that makes them poor and jobless. We need to work for justice for all people in a world where no one is hungry or unhouse because all share their possessions. Sound like an impossible dream! When we work with networks for a good quality of life for all, we can make progress.
In our second reading, Barbara Reid unpacks the meaning of the parable of the beggar at the door, the story of the Lazarus and the rich man.: “it is how we use possessions that determine blessedness or woe, she writes, the ideal is not to make oneself destitute for the sake of poverty.”
The Gospel message is very clear. Jesus is reminding the rich man to “take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” And to drive the point home he reminds him that, "You can’t take it with you!" So rather than settle the dispute for this man, Jesus called him into solidarity with the poor.
The ideal the Lukan Jesus presents is all will have what they need when possessions are shared. Abraham was a rich man who remained rich, but who is remembered for his generous hospitality.
Dedicated individuals and organizations have impacted major changes in our laws that affect the well-being of the underserved in our land.
One example, Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying, joined with other members of her community to form the “Nuns on the Bus” nationwide tours that promoted the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, that expanded health care for millions of Americans.
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Community supports organizations like Community Foundation, Bread for the World and our local Food Bank that bring food, housing and social services to those in need.
We also make our voices heard by lobbying political leaders to pass legislation for affordable housing, child care for working parents, food for the world and health care for all.
May we listen to Spirit’s voice within us -guiding us to be generous givers and persistent advocates for economic justice for all so that others will have all they need.
Community Shared Reflections
Statement of Faith
We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding,
the heart of all that has ever existed,
that exists now, or that ever will exist.
We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Word,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's
prophets, mystics, and saints.
We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of divine love,
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace in the world.
We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.
We believe that the Divine kin-dom is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.
Prayers for the Community
Suzanne B: As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, and just as Jesus is anointed, so are each of us. We bring to this table our blessings, prayers and concerns for the community. Please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….”
Joan M share prayer book requests
Prayers for the community are offered.
Suzanne B: We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen.
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Preparation Of the Gifts
Bridget Mary: Blessed are You, Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread, to share, the Bread of Life.
Peg and All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.
Peg: Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink.
Bridget Mary and All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.
Peg: Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence we are as we build the unity of Love in a more compassionate and just world. All: Amen.
Beth P: Our God is with you.
All: And also with you.
Suzanne B: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up to our God.
Beth P: Let us give thanks to our loving God.
All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.
Suzanne B and All: With open hands and hearts and in one voice, let us together pray our Eucharistic Prayer:
Beth P and All: Holy One, the first passion of Jesus was his passion for you and for justice so that all may reap the beauty and bounty of Creation in equal measure. Jesus lived to incarnate your justice for all the world according to your covenant with Israel. In solidarity with Jesus, and with all the faithful women and men who have gone before us, we lift up our hearts and sing:
Holy, Holy, Holy: Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy
Suzanne B & All: We are ever aware of your Spirit in us and among us at this Eucharistic table and we are grateful for this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in the world.
Beth P & All: We join the lineage of Your prophets of justice and peace and as Your daughters and sons, we continue to work with Your grace as we walk forward in the footsteps of our compassionate brother, Jesus.
Suzanne B & All: On the night before he died, Jesus showed us how to love tenderly when he washed the feet of his friends.
Community lifts the bread
Bridget Mary and All: 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.
Community lifts the cup
Peg & All: Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying: Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you.
Bridget Mary: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.
ALL: Nurtured by your Word, nourished by your food, called anew to be your people, we share your blessings.
Peg & All: Inspire our leaders, both religious and political to work for economic justice for all especially those who are in need of the basic necessities of life and all living beings and our planet may thrive.
Bridget Mary & All: You have gathered us around this table in friendship, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the apostles, and all the saints. May all who are suffering in any way be strengthened and consoled by your Presence. You bless all who have gone before us and bring them into the lasting joy and peace of your presence.
All lift cup and plate
Peg & All: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ may your Holy Spirit working through us and through all, bring abundance and justice to those in need. May we reflect your generous, loving care for all.
The Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller
Prayer of Jesus
Bob F: Let us pray the Prayer of Jesus
All: O Birther! Father - Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us - make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now -
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts' simple ties to each other.
Don't let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos. May it be so.
Translation by Neil Douglas-Klotz
Sign of Peace
Peg: Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You. My peace I give You.”
As we share our joy, let us share God’s abundant peace. Let us now extend a sign of peace to one another by saying,
Peg & All: Namaste, Namaste, Namaste
Bridget Mary: Please join in praying the prayer for the breaking of the bread:
Bridget Mary & All: Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity.
All lift bread
Peg: This is the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing. How blessed are we who are called to this Table.
Peg & All: Jesus, you affirm our worthiness and by your word, we will heal the world.
Receive the Bread and the Wine and pray the words:
The Spirit in me sees the Spirit in you.
Communion Song: Bread On Every Table – Monks of Weston Priory
Prayer after communion:
Peg: Holy One, we are aware of your Spirit within us and our community, the same Spirit that filled Jesus. And is through following his life and teaching, his loving and healing that we honor You and each other. Amen.
Bridget Mary: Introductions/Thanksgivings/Announcements
Peg: Let us raise our hands and bless each other.
Bridget Mary & All: May we be blessed with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.
Peg & All: May we seek truth boldly and love deeply.
Bridget Mary & All: May we continue to be the face of the Holy One, and
Peg & All: May we be a blessing in our time. Amen.
Our closing song: "I Hope" sung by Meah Pace with The Resistance Revival Chorus – Lyrics added
This Liturgy was written by Bridget Mary Meehan. Special thanks for inspiration, music and a reading on economic justice by Mary Theresa Streck.
If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to
www.marymotherofJesus.org where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
% St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328