Weekly Liturgy

MARY MOTHER OF JESUS INCLUSIVE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY

Interesting, Inviting, Involving, Inspiring

Welcome and Gathering

Lee: Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome. 

-We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says “All.” 

-All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers.

-Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Whoever you are,

Wherever you are,

Just as you are,

You are welcome at this table. (Integral Christianity by Paul Smith)

Let us now take a few minutes to collect ourselves as we prepare to focus our minds and our hearts on our knowledge that we are all one, brought together at this time to transform ourselves and our world through love; love for our Holy One, love for our neighbors, love for ourselves, and love for our planet.  Let us begin our liturgy by expressing this love through song.  

Gathering Song: Tear Down the Walls by the Many https://youtu.be/5wlDivQhDFY 
 

Opening Prayer

Kathryn: Oh Holy One, we are delighted to gather with you and one another today as we share this our collective sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you.  You told us on many occasions to “love one another, as I love you.”  In this time of great turmoil on our planet, we need to more fully embrace and act upon your words.   As we gather today, may we be ever more mindful of our call and responsibility to Be love for one another.  We give thanks for our Brother Jesus, who being both fully human and divine, showed us how to Be love; how to tear down walls; and how to “get used to different”.  We rejoice that you have given us all we need to bring the true kin-dom of our Creator on Earth.  It is in our hands now, and we are ready. We live with the comfort of knowing you walk with us on our journey and that you continue to teach us through Spirit Sophia, Holy Wisdom.  And to this, we say, AMEN.

A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller

Liturgy of the Word

Kathryn: First Reading:  Excerpt from the book, “We Make the Road by Walking” by Brain McLaren –

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN – A NEW IDENTITYMatthew 5:1–16 

Cheryl: IMAGINE YOURSELF IN GALILEE, on a windswept hillside near a little fishing town called Capernaum. Flocks of birds circle and land. Wildflowers bloom among the grasses between rock outcroppings. The Sea of Galilee glistens blue below us, reflecting the clear midday sky above.

A small group of disciples circles around a young man who appears to be about thirty. He is sitting, as rabbis in this time and culture normally do. Huge crowds extend beyond the inner circle of disciples, in a sense eavesdropping on what he is teaching them. This is the day they’ve been waiting for. This is the day Jesus is going to pass on to them the heart of his message.

Ann: Jesus begins in a fascinating way. He uses the term blessed to address the question of identity, the question of who we want to be. In Jesus’ day, to say “Blessed are these people” is to say “Pay attention: these are the people you should aspire to be like. This is the group you want to belong to.” It’s the opposite of saying “Woe to those people” or “Cursed are those people,” which means, “Take note: you definitely don’t want to be like those people or counted among their number.” His words no doubt surprise everyone, because we normally play by these rules of the game:

Do everything you can to be rich and powerful.

Toughen up and harden yourself against all feelings of loss.

Measure your success by how much of the time you are thinking only of yourself and your own happiness.

Be independent and aggressive, hungry and thirsty for higher status in the social pecking order.

Strike back quickly when others strike you, and guard your image so you’ll always be popular.

Lee: But Jesus defines success and well-being in a profoundly different way. Who are blessed? What kinds of people should we seek to be identified with?

The poor and those in solidarity with them.

Those who mourn, who feel grief and loss.

The nonviolent and gentle.

Those who hunger and thirst for the common good and aren’t satisfied with the status quo.

The merciful and compassionate.

Those characterized by openness, sincerity, and unadulterated motives.

Those who work for peace and reconciliation.

Those who keep seeking justice even when they’re misunderstood and misjudged.

Those who stand for justice as the prophets did, who refuse to back down or quiet down when they are slandered, mocked, misrepresented, threatened, and harmed.

Cheryl: Jesus has been speaking for only a matter of seconds, and he has already turned our normal status ladders and social pyramids upside down. He advocates an identity characterized by solidarity, sensitivity, and nonviolence. He celebrates those who long for justice, embody compassion, and manifest integrity and non-duplicity. He creates a new kind of hero: not warriors, corporate executives, or politicians, but brave and determined activists for preemptive peace, willing to suffer with him in the prophetic tradition of justice.

Our choice is clear from the start: If we want to be his disciples, we won’t be able to simply coast along and conform to the norms of our society. We must choose a different definition of well-being, a different model of success, a new identity with a new set of values.

Ann: Jesus promises we will pay a price for making that choice. But he also promises we will discover many priceless rewards. If we seek the kind of unconventional blessedness he proposes, we will experience the true aliveness of God’s kingdom, the warmth of God’s comfort, the enjoyment of the gift of this Earth, the satisfaction at seeing God’s restorative justice come more fully, the joy of receiving mercy, the direct experience of God’s presence, the honor of association with God and of being in league with the prophets of old. That is the identity he invites us to seek.

That identity will give us a very important role in the world. As creative nonconformists, we will be difference makers, aliveness activists, catalysts for change. Like salt that brings out the best flavors in food, we will bring out the best in our community and society. Also like salt, we will have a preservative function—opposing corruption and decay. Like light that penetrates and eradicates darkness, we will radiate health, goodness, and well-being to warm and enlighten those around us. Simply by being who we are—living boldly and freely in this new identity as salt and light—we will make a difference, as long as we don’t lose our “saltiness” or try to hide our light.

Lee: It’s hot in the Galilean sunshine. Still, the crowds are hanging on Jesus’ every word. They can tell something profound and life-changing is happening within them and among them. Jesus is not simply trying to restore their religion to some ideal state in the past. Nor is he agitating unrest to start a new religion to compete with the old one. No, it’s abundantly clear that he’s here to start something bigger, deeper, and more subversive: a global uprising that can spread to and through every religion and culture. This uprising begins not with a new strategy but with a new identity. So he spurs his hearers into reflection about who they are, who they want to be, what kind of people they will become, what they want to make of their lives.

Cheryl:  As we consider Jesus’ message today, we join those people on that hillside, grappling with the question of who we are now and who we want to become in the future. Some of us are young, with our whole lives ahead of us. Some of us are further along, with a lot of hopes left and not a lot of time to fulfill them. As we listen to Jesus, each of us knows, deep inside: If I accept this new identity, everything will change for me. Everything will change.

These are the inspired words of Brian McLaren and we affirm them by saying:  All.  Amen.

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID5UGWcS6Ws

Gospel: The Calling of Matthew is an episode in the life of Jesus which appears in all three synoptic gospels, Matthew 9:9–13, Mark 2:13–17 and Luke 5:27–28, and relates the initial encounter between Jesus and Matthew, the tax collector who became a disciple.

Homily Starter – Kathryn Shea

Community Sharing

Communal Statement of Faith

Lee and ALL: 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 God’s Word, bringer of God’s healing, heart of God’s compassion, bright star in the firmament of God’s prophets, mystics, and saints. 

We believe that we are called to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God’s love, a source of God’s wisdom and truth, and an instrument of God’s peace in the world.

We believe that God’s 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 of and for the Community

Kathryn: We now bring our prayer intentions to the Table

Our response is: All: Holy One, we know you hear our prayers.

We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Joan shares)

Our response is: All: Holy One, we know you hear our prayers.

For what else should we pray?

Our response is: All: Holy One, we know you hear our prayers.

Kathryn: Holy Mystery may we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in loving prayer and solidarity. Amen

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Michael: Gracious Wisdom, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness.  You are always with us…you living in us and we living in you.  As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, our call to tear down the walls of hatred in its many forms, and our call to be different.  In this festive meal, your Spirit is poured out on each of us, your anointed disciples, gathered together in this time and place.  We also ask that your Spirit be spread to those of our community who are not with us today.

Let us rejoice as we sing:

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller

(adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)

Cheryl: We thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history — and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, his life burned with the vision of his mission on earth. Through the example of his life – his teachings and actions – he showed us not only how we should live, but also what was worth even dying for.

Lee and All: When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave us his life for 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 people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died.  And the spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise made to all of us too who live the new story.  Jesus is with us today and he will be through the end of time.

(With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.  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 body, 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. 

           [short pause]

Mary AL: 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.

Lee: 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 prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.

Kathryn and All:  Jesus has died.  Christ is risen.  The Divine Presence lives in us and through us in the world today.

Mary Al: God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world. We, your people, ask for your grace that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society. They are all our brothers and sisters, members of your Blessed Family.  We remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially….(mention names here, if you would like to..)

Anna: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we could ever ask or imagine.  We believe that it is through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever. 

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller

The Prayer of Jesus

Lee and ALL: Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 

O Holy One, you are 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 your 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    Adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS

Sign of Peace:

Ann C: Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.”  Let us now extend a sign of peace to one another by saying, “Namaste, Namaste, Namaste”.

Lee: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:

Lee and All:

Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. 

Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Michael: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to Christ’s table.  

Cheryl and All:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives.  As we share communion, we become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.                          

Please receive/share Eucharist now, saying: “You are the bread of life.” And “You are the cup of compassion.”

Communion Song:  I Am For You by Rory Cooney, Gary Daigle, and others   

(With Seth accompanying)

I Am For You

There is a mountain, there is a sea.  There is a wind within all breathing.  There is an arm to break every chain.  There is a fire in all things living.

There is a voice that speaks from the flame,

I Am For You

I Am For You

I Am For You

Is My Name

There was a woman, small as a star, full of the patient dreams of her Nation.

Welcoming in an angel of God, welcoming God’s cold invitation.

Let it be done, she sang unto me;

I Am For You

I Am For You

I Am For You

Let it be

There was a man who walked in the storm, caught in between the storms and the lighting,

Sharing his bread with those cast aside, feeling by touch the lost and the dying.  Sending us forth, he says to his friends,  

I Am For You

I Am For You

I Am For You

To The End

We are anointed, servants of God.  We have been born again of Sprit. We are the Word God speaks to the world, freedom and light to all who can hear it. 

So let us be the Word of the Lord,

I Am For You

I Am For You

I Am For You

Evermore

There is a world that waits in the womb. There is a hope unborn God is buried.

Though the powers of death fill the night, there is a day our God is preparing.

Sing of the joy we sing in our Lord,

I Am For You

I Am For You

I Am For You

We Are One. (Repeat)  

Introductions/Thanksgiving/Announcements

Community Blessing

Kathryn: Please raise your hands in blessing: And together with our arms extended to one another we say:

May our lives radiate the love of the Holy One.

May we live justice and equality in our church and our world.

May we have the courage to tear down the walls of oppression and stand with those who are persecuted and marginalized.

May we be a blessing in our time.

ALL:  Thanks be to God.  Alleluia!

Closing Song:  Go Make A Difference by

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to jmeehan515@aol.com

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.

Please support our community, send your check to: Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community % St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328


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