Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy for the Second Sunday of Advent. All are welcome to participate in our liturgies on Zoom. Please unmute when you share and then remember to mute again when you are finished. Our theme is prepare the way of love.
Lighting of the Wreath
Prayer Leader: Elena Garcia
"I Hope" sung by Meah Pace with The Resistance Revival Chorus –
Cheryl: Called to see our own shadows or dark sides, we recognize our complicity in creating a world invested in money, white privilege, angry culture wars, competition and violence.
Jim and All: Transform us Holy One
Opening Prayer: Bridget Mary
Emmanuel, God -with-us, we long to quiet our minds and recognize your endless disguises in the people we encounter each day. May we, like John the Baptist, live in right relationships, love passionately, do justice, and follow the inclusivity that Jesus models.
A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 11:1-10
A flower shall come out from the root of Jesse, a wild shoot shall grow out from the roots.
The spirit of God will be at work in that flowering, the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and strength,
the spirit of knowledge and wonder.
The joy of that child will be in God.
Not by appearance will the child judge, nor by hearsay decide.
Instead, you shall judge the poor with justice,
and defend the meek of the earth with equity.
Righteousness shall be the belt around your waist, and faithfulness will gird your loins.
The wolf will nestle with the lamb. The leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a young child will lead them.
The cow and the bear will graze in the same pasture,
their young lie down together.
The lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child put its hand on the adder’s den.
None will hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain.
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of God, as the waters fill the sea.
On that day, the flower of Jesse will be a sign for all peoples.
All nations will seek it out, and it will be glorious.
These are the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah and we respond by saying
All:. May it be so.
O Love, O Love, grow inside of us.
O Love, make your ways.
O Love, show the world that it bears your holy name.
A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans 15:4-13
Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by perseverance and by encouragement from the scriptures we might have hope.
May the God of perseverance and encouragement grant you live in harmony with one another, in keeping with the spirit of Christ Jesus, so that together you may, with one voice, glorify the God and Creator of Jesus the Christ.
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ Jesus has welcomed you.
Do so for the glory of God.
For I tell you that Jesus became a servant to the circumcised, the Judeans, to confirm the truth of God's promises to their ancestors; and he became a servant to the Gentiles, so that all might glorify God for the divine compassion shown to all.
As it is foretold in scripture,
"I will confess You among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your Name"; and again, it says,
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with God's people" and again,
"Praise the Holy One, all you Gentiles, Let all the peoples praise the Holy Name"; and again, Isaiah says,
"The root of Jesse and Ruth will sprout. The one who will rise up and call forth the Gentiles will come. In that One, the Gentiles shall hope."
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
These are the inspired words of the Apostle Paul and we respond by saying:
All: Thanks be to God. May it be so.
Alleluia: Jan Phillips
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 3:1-12
“A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of God, make straight the paths.’”
While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert of Judea saying, “Repent, for the kin-dom of heaven is at hand!” It was of John that the prophet Isaiah had spoken:
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time, Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to John and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their offences.
When John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to receive his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but after me comes one who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
These are the inspired words attributed to Matthew, and we respond to them by saying:
All: Thanks be to God. May it be so.
As we prepare the way of Love, we reflect on impossible dreams of universal reconciliation, healing and justice. Isaiah envisions a time when wolves lie down with lambs, leopards with goats, calves with lions, babies and vipers play together.
The Gospel of Matthew depicts John the Baptist as an eccentric prophet – living in the desert- dressed in camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey and attracting large crowds from all walks of life who came to hear him and to change their lives. His message of repentance challenged everyone to take responsibility for their wrong-doing and change their unjust, unkind and cruel behaviors. He excoriated religious leaders for their adherence to dogmatic laws and outmoded practices.
Like Isaiah we are called to dream new dreams of reconciliation and healing for everyone Like John, we are called to be passionate voices for justice and equity in a world that too often puts greed and profits over people and the planet. Like John and Jesus, we are called to challenge toxic teachings, policies and agendas that promote discrimination on the basis of race, class, caste, religion and gender.
In an interview published in America Magazine on Nov. 28, 2022, Pope Francis was asked if a woman can be ordained a priest. His response was: “And why can a woman not enter ordained ministry? It is because the Petrine principle has no place for that. “
Let's examine the meaning of the Petrine Principle in the Bible:
Scripture scholar John Meier concludes that Jesus gave his movement no authority structure. St. Augustine concluded that the Petrine Principle in Matthew16:18 -19 -referring to Jesus giving the keys of the kingdom to Peter and the passage on binding and loosening in Matthew 18:18- indicate that Peter is given the keys as a representative of the community. In the early gatherings of the followers of Jesus, the entire community had the authority to decide who to include and who to exclude. Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant, pp. 80-81.)
While Francis claims the Petrine principle, we claim the Mary Magdalene principle to promote the full equality of women and all genders as the will of God by ordaining women now in the Catholic Church. We are walking in the footsteps of Mary of Magdala, Phoebe, Priscilla, Junia, Theodora, Leta and many empowered women of faith through the centuries who were prophets and visionaries dreaming new dreams!
You, my sisters and brothers in our MMOJ community, are prophets living the inclusion that Jesus models where there are no limitations to God’s forgiveness, healing and transformation, and where- all who come are accepted, loved and invited -to celebrate sacraments as equals in Christ
We have been preparing the way of love as a community by making a yearly commitment to non-violence. advocating for the end of the death penalty, demonstrating for LGBTQ rights in our local area ,tithing to non-profits to care for the needy.
During the past 3 COVID years, we have become a Church without walls on Zoom no longer separated by physical distance. As we gather next week for our annual meeting to make decisions together about our future, let us pray for wisdom to discern the path ahead to prepare the way of love by living justice in a companionship of equals. In conclusion, we pray:
O Love make your way. O Love, grow inside us. O Love, show the world your love through us as we live in harmony with one another in the spirit of the Universal Christ. O Wisdom-Sophia, guide us. And "may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. May it be so. Amen.
As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring to this table our prayers and concerns for the community. Please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….”
(Spontaneous Prayers are offered.
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
Jim and All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.
Bridget Mary and All: Amen, may it be so.
Bob: God dwells among us.
Pat F and All: And in all people everywhere.
Pat and ALL: We lift them in the joy of Christ embracing all.
Pat F and All: Alleluia
Pat.: We gather during this Advent season to be bearers of good news preparing the way to celebrate Love Incarnate in our midst.
Bob: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in the message of John the Baptist, in humble shepherds, in a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, and in all who work for a more compassionate, peaceful and just world.
Bridget Mary: We ritualize the Christ Presence born anew each day in us and in the entire cosmos as we share the bread of life and lift the cup of blessing as we pray together:
(Community raises hands and prays the following Invocation of the Holy Spirit)
Bridget Mary and All: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine.
(Community holds bread and prays together)
All: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. Do this in memory of me.”
(Community holds cup up and prays together)
Cheryl and ALL: In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”
Cheryl: Let us proclaim the sacred presence dwelling among us:
Jim and All: Jesus, by your baptism in the Jordan, you invite us -like John- to be passionate and courageous in the face of ridicule, rejection and condemnation.
Pat F.: We are mindful of our call to serve those who come to us in need of comfort and strength. We are mindful of our call to challenge all forms of discrimination that oppress the poor and the unwanted members of society.
Bob F: We remember the prophet and saints who have gone before us: Mary, Mother of Jesus, Joseph, John the Baptist and all our beloved family and friends in the communion of saints whose lives have inspired us to love tenderly, live justly and walk humbly with our God.
(hold cup and plate up)
Pat F. and ALL:
Through Christ, in Christ, with Christ, in your Spirit, we celebrate your dwelling with- us and within us forever.
The Great Amen with Linda Lee Miller (Sung)
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
Bob and All: We pray together as Jesus taught us.
Our Father and Mother,
Source of all that is,
your vibrations radiate throughout the cosmos.
Make us a resonant space for your vibrations.
May your sphere of influence come.
May your heart's desire for unity and harmony
penetrate every part of the universe as it does on earth.
Give us what we need each day in bread and insight
Loosen the cords of mistakes and sins that bind us,
as we release the strands we hold of others' guilt.
Let us not be deluded by surface things,
but free us from what holds us back from our true purpose. Amen.
(English translation of the original Aramaic)
THE SIGN OF PEACE
Bridget Mary. Let us share a gesture of deep peace and justice with everyone in the circle of life as we sing
“Peace is flowing like a River” by Carey Landry
LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
Cheryl and ALL:
Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will do so.
Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will do so.
Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.
Bridget Mary: This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us forever. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.
Cheryl: Let us share the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing saying:
You are the Christ Presence in our world today!
COMMUNION Song: God is Holding Me Now by Michael Hatfield with Karen Drucker
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Protector of the Vulnerable, we awaken to your love born anew in lives characterized by justice, compassion and kinship. May we prepare the way of Love by living responsibly and lovingly in service to our sisters and brothers across all boundaries. Through Emmanuel, God-with-us,
ALL: may it be so, Amen.
Thanksgiving, Introductions, Announcements
Cheryl: Emmanuel – God with us – calls us to live compassionately, love tenderly and do justice.
Jim and ALL: Amen. May it be so.
(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing and pray)
Bridget Mary and ALL:
May Love grow inside of us.
May Love direct us to follow Jesus.
May Love guide us to dream impossible dreams.
Cheryl: Go in peace to prepare the way of Love in our world.
Jim and All: May it be so, Alleluia!
Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord-Godspell
This Liturgy was created by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
If you want to add a prayer intention to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to Joan Meehan -firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
St Andrew UCC,
6908 Beneva Rd,
Sarasota, Florida 34238