Friday, February 27, 2015

"Seeing in a New Light" Homily for Second Sunday of Lent by Rev. Judy Lee, RCWP

https://judyabl.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/seeing-in-new-light-rev-judys-homily-for-the-second-sunday-in-lent-312015/

In Sunday’s Gospel we see that as we climb to the mountain top we see God in a new light.  Mountains are special places in the Holy Scriptures and they are also special places in many of our lives. Last week we saw Jesus in the wilderness (Mark 1:11-12), an arid desert place with high mountainous points. There Jesus struggles with gaining perspective and clarity on his mission and ministry and the difficulties that would lie ahead.  He deals with the deceptions of power- political power, religious power and even magic power so that his own human needs would be met. Jesus laboriously sorted out those distractions from his purpose which was to proclaim that the kin(g)dom of God has arrived, he preaches that it is time to turn our lives around and to give our lives for God’s inclusive love and justice for all. Jesus often went to the mountains to pray and to commune with Abba God. He also preached in the hills and mountains. All three synoptic Gospels record Jesus taking Peter, James and John up the Mountain where they experienced who he was and saw his divinity in a new way. Mark 9:2-10, our Gospel for this Sunday is Mark’s account of this encounter. It is a centerpiece of Mark’s Gospel. The other sources are Matt 17:1-9 and Luke 9: 28-35.
Mountains are the favorite places of many who seek both challenge and perspective including my life partner and co-Pastor Judy Beaumont. Her memories of touring the Canadian Rockies and mountain climbing in Colorado are among her most cherished. As part of an executive leadership group from Hartford, Connecticut the Colorado Rockies was a magnificent place to learn new skills and build working relationships. This secular group was moved to prayer as they climbed a high mountain and, surrounded by crisp clear beauty, saw Pike’s peak in the distance. When we lived in Connecticut she liked to take me up to the top of Avon Mountain and point out all we could see below, including the city of Hartford. Our work with the homeless in Hartford was difficult and trying at times and the perspective of seeing the whole city before us somehow opened new ways to think about concerns.  Through her I learned that one can be especially close to God in the mountains. When we visited Medellin in Colombia, South America we were thrilled to see the city below from the top of the mountain and the contrast was stark between the busy, crowded very modern city and the rural path to the top of the mountain.  The very air was different. Similarly when we traveled upward to the Salt Cathedral in Bogata, Colombia the mountains provided a totally new view of the world below.
Sadly, many of our people born and raised here in Florida have never seen a Mountain. Florida is extremely flat. When we took our teens to Washington DC a literal highpoint was climbing the hills of Arlington Cemetery to the Custer-Lee Mansion where there was a beautiful and profound memorial to free blacks and to the slaves of George and Martha Washington. Metaphorically this was a place of new light for our African-American teens.  But standing on the precipice of the high hill looking down on Washington D.C. was an equally new and exciting experience. One of the teens felt dizzy at the height but after some nausea she made herself look down despite her fear.  She was delighted at what she saw. All but one who was fearful also loved seeing the world from the height of the Washington Monument. We seek our own heights in buildings and towers when they are not presented to us naturally.
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In the Scriptures God’s holiness and purposes are often revealed to God’s prophets on the Mountain top. We see the prophet Moses communing with God on Mt. Sinai described as the holy mountain (Exodus 19:28) and the God- symbols of a thick cloud and thunder and lightning and smoke frightened the people while giving  Divine authority to the Law Moses gave them (Exodus 20). In Sunday’s reading from Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18 we follow Abraham up the mountain at Moriah with his beloved child Isaac. Ultimately here Abraham is willing to give that which he loves most to God and God is not accepting a human sacrifice. But Abraham’s love of God and his faithfulness is rewarded with a covenant from God that Abraham’s descendants shall be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands on the seashore and all nations on earth will be blessed through them (Gen 22: 17-18). Indeed adherents of the three faiths springing from Abrahamic roots are “like the stars in the sky”.
In Mark 9:2-8 Jesus is presented in divine light and connected to Moses and Elijah who suffered greatly even as they led God’s people. Jesus is seen on par with them and as the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets.  He looks different.  His very appearance is radiant including his clothing, indicating their perception of his divinity. The disciples are amazed and frightened. Then in the cover of the cloud they hear God’s voice affirming Jesus as also happened in Jesus’ baptism:  “This is my beloved, my Own. Listen to this One.” Now there is divine authority to do what Jesus asks, to follow him.
In Mark 8: 31-33 Jesus predicted his death and resurrection. He then invites his followers to “take up their crosses and follow him” (Mark 8:35). This is a heavy invitation to accept, and one for which the disciples need to be strengthened. The trip to the mountain top is to give them just the surety and strength they need to take Jesus up on this invitation. As they descend the mountain the disciples are talking about what “rising from the dead” means (Mark 9:10).  Earlier (Mark 8) Peter just rebuffed Jesus for saying such a thing. Now, they try to understand what this means because they see him in a new light.  Whether experienced in a dream or another type of experience, they have new vision of Jesus, the Christ.
This is what Pope Francis said about the Transfiguration:
“We need to go to a place of retreat, to climb the mountain and go to a place of silence, to find ourselves and better perceive the voice of the Lord. We cannot stay there, however. The encounter with God in prayer again pushes us to come down from the mountain and back down into the plain, where we meet many brothers and sisters weighed down by fatigue, injustice, and both material and spiritual poverty.”
Angelus talk on the 2nd Sunday of Lent, March 16, 2014
When we have those wonderful mountain top experiences in life, times that all seems clear and we are close to God, when we feel awe and new purpose, we long to stay there. Yet, like Jesus and the disciples, we must come down from the mountain and continue the work God has given us to do-to be faithful to the Gospel of love and inclusion and justice no matter how hard that is to pursue with those who have the greatest material and spiritual needs. Let us then, seek to follow Christ whether to the top of the mountain or to the cross and grave, for we too shall rise, and do rise daily with Christ.
Thanks be to God.
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP
Co-Pastor Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community
Fort Myers, Florida
February 27,2015
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Homily for Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Second Sunday of Lent, B, March 1 by Beverly Bingle, RCWP


What we hear in Genesis today is another true story
that didn’t actually happen.
Like so many other stories in our tradition,
this one was true for our ancestors in faith,
and it is still true for us today.
Abraham, living in a society that practices
ritual sacrifice of children to please the gods,
goes against the cultural norm
and refuses to kill his firstborn son.
Our ancestors in faith would have heard the meaning of this story
as the end of human sacrifice.
Some scholars conjecture that Abraham actually killed Isaac
and that later scribes changed the story
to teach the moral principle of respect for life.
__________________________________________
Today, when we hear Genesis tell us
that “God put Abraham to the test,” we ask, “What test?”
Is that God? Is that what God does, how God acts?
Is it God who tells us to do violence, to shed blood,
just to see if we will obey?
No, we say.
That’s not a God we can believe in.
So what’s true for us here?
One truth revolves around Abraham’s action
in turning away from the violent cultural norm
toward what has become
the foundational principle of Catholic Social Teaching,
that human life is sacred
and that the dignity of the human person
is the basis of moral vision for all humankind.
__________________________________________
Here at Holy Spirit we read the signs of our times,
just as Abraham and Sarah did,
just as Jesus urges us to do,
and we see environmental destruction
as an attack on human life and dignity,
the greatest moral issue of our time.
Today’s climate issue is connected to the killing of children,
as it was for Abraham and Sarah—
the innocent victims of war and poverty
and super storms and sex abuse and trafficking.
Today’s climate issue is connected to oppression,
as it was for Jesus—
no longer the oppression of the Roman Empire
but military and economic exploitation of the many by the few,
the degradation of the planet’s ecosystems for profit
by the rich and powerful.
__________________________________________
In our Gospel we hear of the transfiguration of Jesus,
another true story that didn’t actually happen.
The Jesus Seminar scholars note
that the entire passage came out of Mark’s community.
Its meaning looks back to Jesus as his disciples remembered him:
a man whose aura was holy,
their friend who was transformed in prayer.
They remembered him
as the teacher of the law of justice—the new Moses—
and as the voice of prophecy—the new Elijah.
Just as Abraham discerned the voice of God on the mountain,
telling him to spare Isaac’s life,
so the disciples discern the voice of God on the mountain,
telling them to listen to Jesus.
__________________________________________
Like the apostles, we don’t always see
the importance of an event at the time.
We don’t always understand at first,
but later we remember.
We get a glimpse of transcendence in a friend—
an understanding that causes us to pay attention—
and later we remember and ask ourselves what it means.
We’ll recall an aura, a snippet of a sentence, a dream.
__________________________________________
A dozen years ago, when I was working at St. Martin de Porres,
Janice and Rob Thomas’ son Ryan would run up to the choir
while we were at coffee and doughnuts and play on the piano.
No sheet music. No training. He was three years old.
We thought he was cute.
Now he’s 16, guest soloist last Sunday with the Toledo Symphony.
We look back and remember,
and we tell the story of how that glimpse of talent
was shining even when he was a toddler.
When Malala Yousafzai was 11, she wrote an anonymous blog
about the importance of education for girls in Pakistan;
when she was 12 she began to speak publicly about it;
when she was 15 she was shot;
when she healed, she continued to speak.
She was asked why she continued to speak out
after the death-threats.
She said “I had really two options.
One was not to speak, and wait to be killed.
And the second was to speak up, and then be killed.
I chose the second one.”
And older folks—we see them at church,
or in the neighborhood, or at PTA meetings,
then something happens and our memories coalesce
and we see clearly the pattern of those earlier vignettes—
like our new Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson,
suddenly in the spotlight with people asking
where she gets her compassion and wisdom
and calm demeanor.
Looking back, they remember
her determined trek through law school,
the wise administrative decisions in jobs she held,
the kind and gentle woman grounded in her Baptist faith.
Now she’s Mayor by tragic accident,
and people remember from before,
and understand why she’s so very capable now.
__________________________________________
That’s the lesson for us today, the meaning in these readings:
we live, we work, we pray, we listen, we watch,
and from time to time along the way
we have experiences that lift us above the ordinary
and leave us transformed in some deep way.
We are compelled to take a stand
for justice, for peace, for life…
no matter what...
because, as Paul tells the Romans,
“If God is for us, who can be against?”

_______________________________________________
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturday, February 28, 4:30 p.m. at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Sunday, March 1, 5:30 p.m. at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)
www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
419-727-1774

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"50 Shades of Grey About Abuse of Power Not Sex" A Movie Review

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/50-shades-grey-about-abuse-power-not-sex

"....50 Shades of Grey" is not a movie about kinky sex. There is hardly anything sexual about the movie. It is about abuse of power and its aftermath. Christian, a wealthy, handsome young man at the peak of his manhood is incapable of developing an intimate and meaningful relationship with a beautiful young woman who tries everything (including becoming somewhat of a sex slave) to get to Christian's soul. What she did not realize was that her boyfriend’s soul had been murdered as a child and, as a result, he could not emote as most normal human beings can...."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP shared "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" with Presbyterian Congregation at Siesta Key Chapel, Siesta Key, Florida

Great questions and comments after viewing film from Presbyterian Community at Siesta Key Chapel in Siesta Key, Florida tonight. We had quite a large groups of people attend this gathering.




 Thanks to Margert Towner, first ordained Presbyterian woman in Presbyterian Church who introduced me and to  Bob Kuck and Pastor Kathi for coordination and hospitality. A special thank you to all who shared a delicious supper before the showing of Pink Smoke Over the Vatican. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
www.marymotherofjesus.org

New Article and Book by Roy Bourgeois:" From Silence to Solidarity" -Story of Former Maryknoll Priest Roy Bourgeois' Journey to Advocacy for Women Priests, Available as a download

When you open the link below, go to "Fr. Roy in the media" and
you will see the link to the article on top line.
In it Roy integrates his life experience with the unfolding of
the voice of his conscience to work for justice. 
"The poor  also introduced me to the importance and meaning of the word “solidarity” in the faith community. In Bolivia, it meant “to accompany” and “to walk with.” To be in solidarity meant to make another’s struggle for justice, peace, and equality your struggle."
Roy covers all the theological, moral and humane reasons for the ordination of women.
"We are again grateful for this Spirited and fiery prophet who walks with us." 
Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP

http://www.roybourgeoisjourney.org/book/book.pdf


From left to right, Ree Hudson, RCWP, Donna Rougeux ARCWP, Roy Bourgeois, Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP



ARCWP Orlando 2015 Ordination of 1 Priest, Rita Lucey, red stole below, 3 deacons, Mary Catherine White, left,Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, red vestments, Deacon Kathryn Shea ARCWP  and Deacon Jim Marsh ARCWP

Peace and Justice demonstration Janice Sevre-Duszynska ARCWP in purple stole
Saint Priscilla's catacomb in Rome
Woman priest in "orans" position robed in vestments, Mary other of Jesus on right in same vestments as bishop on right at ordination of woman priest
Bridget Mary's Response:
I am grateful for Roy Bourgeois courageous solidarity with our Roman Catholic Women Priests' Movement for gender justice in the Roman Catholic Church! Roy is a modern day prophet speaking truth to power. The full equality of women in all areas of the church including at the altar is the will of God in our times.  Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
www.marymotherofjesus.org





Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Matthew Fox will speak on "Being a Mystic in Today’s World" on March 16th at 7PM at St. Andrew UCC in Sarasota, Fl. at 7PM

Matthew Fox at St. Andrew UCC in 2014
Teachings from the Wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen and Meister  Eckhart
Monday, March 16, 2015
St. Andrew United Church of Christ, 6908
Beneva Rd, Sarasota
Free Will Offering-Suggested donation $25-cash or check to CTA
Questions? Call 941-922-7595
6:30-7pm Book sales in church vestibule
7-8:30pm Presentation, question & answer, free will offering
8:30-?? Book sales & signing in front of sanctuary
—————————————————————————————————
Dr. Matthew Fox is a visionary and a spiritual theologian. He is a leader
and powerful voice for the ®evolutionary Creation Spirituality
movement which is based in ancient Judeo-Christian tradition,
supported by leading-edge science, and bears witness for social,
environmental, and gender justice. He is a creative and prophetic voice
of our times!
—————————————————————————————————
Sponsored by: Call To Action, GodTalk Foundation, Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic
Community, St. Andrew United Church of Christ, Venice Area Voice of the Faithful
Directions to St. Andrew UCC: From Interstate 75, take exit #205 (Clark Rd). Drive
west for about 3 miles to Beneva Rd. Turn left (south) and drive for about 1 mile to Gulf
Gate Blvd. Turn right (west) at the Gulf Gate light. Go one and turn right on
Curtiss. St. Andrew is one-half block on the right.

Photos from 2014 Celebration with Matthew Fox and Inclusive Liturgy




Sheila Carey leads liturgical dance at Liturgy in 2014
Bridget Mary Meehan leading Recessional dance at Liturgy

www.marymotherofjesus.org
www.arcwp.org



Interview with Matthew Fox on his new book: Meister Eckhart/ Matt Fox will speak in Sarasota on March 16th/St Andrew UCC, 7PM

Interview with Matthew Fox  on his new book: Meister Eckhart: A Mystic Warrior for our Timeshttp://www.unity.fm/episode/WorldSpirituality_012715?utm_source=Unity+Online+Radio&utm_campaign=be43b2ffba-UOR_02_01_20152_23_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_45e1842c61-be43b2ffba-61152781
Matthew Fox in 2014

 Matthew Fox will speak in Sarasota on March 16th/St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd. at 7PM
www.arcwp.org
www.marymotherofjesus.org

YouTube Video Link "The Priest Sings Song at Wedding"/Fr.Ray Kelly

http://www.chonday.com/Videos/pristwedingh2#.VEmXV7epy5g.email

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sister Joan Chittister - The Divine Feminine: The Foundation of the Abrahamic World



Two frames for this lecture: (1) our pictures of God and (2) the influence they have on our lives: national, cultural, international, personal. How have we come to see and accept the natural denigration of women as the will of God? What is this saying to us so called “religious” people? The fundamental relationship to all of the women’s questions is the subject of the feminine dimension of God. What we think of the Divine Feminine will determine what we think about everything else in life.

Four questions about the Divine Feminine that need to be dealt with:

1. Why is the concept of the Divine Feminine important? (Can a woman really image God?)

2. Where does all of this talk about a Divine Feminine come from?

3. What are the signs and proofs, if any, of its authentic role in the spiritual life?

4. What does that have to do with us?

Clearly language affects what we see.



The names we give God, the way we see God, determines how we see ourselves
.

A Rocking Nuns Choir Sings: "I Will Follow Him"/ Conducted by Andre Rieu

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=FcLF5wopyjo
When I was a postulant, we presented a musical program and sang:" I Will Follow Him," but we sounded nothing like this group of nuns! Maybe, if Andre Rieu directed us... but nah, I don't think so! Besides my permanent spot was in "crow row!"
Enjoy! 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

"God is nuts about you and if you want to change your life, spend 10 minutes each day with God" Homily at Free Spirit Inclusive Catholic Community, Greenville, North Carolina by Ann Harrington, ARCWP

Ann Harrington, ARCWP presiding at celebration of Eucharist on First Sunday of Lent in Greenville, North Carolina

            Last month those who attended our liturgy each put their name on a candle holder and placed it on the altar with their prayers.  At the end of the service we each took a holder with someone's name, not our own.  I had done this on retreat and thought it was a great way to encourage prayer.  I hope it did.  I suggest those of you who did take a candle last time may want to write a card or email  the person you prayed for and tell them what you prayed for them and  what it was like praying for your person.   I have decided to give one of my cherished books to the person I prayed for.   We are building community here.  Community is built on prayer.  To quote Alfred Lord Tennyson:  “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

            In the season of Lent, holy mother church, reminds us to renew our prayer life.  Thus I thought it a good idea to center our reflection time around prayer.  The first prayer experience I remember was my Dad teaching me the Sign of the Cross and the Hail Mary.  We never prayed as a family, not even before meals.  Years, later when I was in my agnostic phase, I was friends with a lovely couple who were Catholics in the Charismatic Renewal movement,  Rose Mary and Jim.  Jim said a beautiful blessing at a meal and I was very touched by the poetry of the words and the intimate way that he spoke to God.  So prayer seemed to me to be a conversation, at least as he was praying.  Around the same time I had a conversion experience and returned to church and started going to Jim and Rose Mary's prayer meetings and I learned to pray like them.  In the same time frame a wonderful priest mentioned this in  a homily.  

God is nuts about you and if you want to change your life, spend 10 minutes each day with just God.  Go to a quiet place and just be.  I knew my life had to change, I felt something longing inside me, something wanting to emerge, so I did as Fr. Valentine suggested and started praying everyday when the boys were napping.  I read a book on Centering Prayer and did that as best I could.  More times than not I fell asleep.  But I read where Teresa of Liseux said that was OK.  The intention was to be in God's presence.  Everyday at 1pm or so, I turned off the phone and sat quietly.  More and more I felt like I was getting the hang of it.  Not that it was easy, but I found it did something profound.  It revealed  a thirst for God or maybe I just got in touch with God's longing for me.  Eventually I did attend a Centering Prayer retreat and learned more of this technique.  And it did lead to radical changes in my life. good life enhancing changes.  

In Spiritual Direction we encourage people to find that thing that brings them to that deeper level of existence, those "aha" moments.  We have talked about these before.  I hope this Lent you will spend more of your time being in those prayerful places.  Perhaps you even want to explore a new prayer practice, there are many to choose from.  Let the Spirit be your guide.

Reflection question:  What is your experience of prayer?


Sunday, February 22, 2015

1 Thessalonians 2 "Every time we think of you, we thank God for you."

If we were to follow Paul's advice to thank God for the people we think about,  just imagine how it could change our lives and even change our world!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

Recommend Abbey of the Hearts Spirituality Site

http://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2015/02/18/letting-go-during-lent-seeing-death-as-our-friend/

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates the Second Sunday of Lent, Priest Maureen McGill, ARCWP and Deacon Jim Marsh, ARCWP Co-Preside







Liturgy for Lent

GATHERING SONG AND GREETING

Presider: In the name of God, Midwife of Grace, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit, our Liberator. ALL: Amen

Presider: My sisters and brothers, God loves us infinitely and is with us always. ALL: and also with you.

PENITENTIAL RITE

Presider: As we pray, fast, and give alms, may we be midwives of grace by living Gospel compassion, Jesus, you are compassion. ALL: Jesus, we live compassion.

Presider: Jesus, your death reminds us that God is always on the side of those who suffer. Christ, you walk with us in our sufferings. ALL: Christ, we walk with others in their sufferings.

Presider: Jesus, in your dying and rising, you show us the path to liberation from structures of domination, Jesus, you are liberator. ALL: Jesus, we are liberators and doers of justice

Presider: Let us pause now for reflection. Place your hand over your heart and breathe in God’s compassionate love for you…be aware that God forgives, frees and heals you and all…Let go of guilt … live justly.. love tenderly… You are the face of God, a midwife of grace, in our world… (Extend hands and recite prayer of General Absolution)

ALL: God, the Father-Mother of mercies through Jesus you have reconciled the world and sent the Holy Spirit among us to experience forgiveness and healing. Through the ministry of the Church, may God give us pardon and peace, and may we absolve each other of our sins in the name of God, the Father-Mother, and of Jesus, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

OPENING PRAYER

Presider: God of Love, Midwife of grace, during Lent you call us to renew our bodies, minds and spirits. May we experience your grace drawing us to new life in the depths of our mystical souls and in our prophetic call to live justly, love tenderly and walk with integrity in your presence. We ask this, one with our brother Jesus, through the power of your Spirit. ALL: Amen.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading

Responsorial Psalm

Second Reading

Gospel Acclamation: Praise, honor and glory to our God. Be compassionate as God is compassionate, praise honor and glory to our God.


Gospel: Reader: A reading from the Gospel according to . . . ALL: Glory to you O God.

Reader: The good news of Jesus, the Christ!

ALL: Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!

HOMILY: Dialogue

Profession of Faith: ALL: We believe in God who calls us to be compassion in our world. We believe in Jesus, whose death and resurrection reveals that God’s liberating love overcomes all oppression, including death and evil. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to live Gospel equality in inclusive communities. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who inspire us to live holy lives. We believe in the love that does justice and heals our world.


GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

Presider: That we may live compassion and mutuality, letting go of all patterns of domination we pray.

Response: God of all ages, inspire us!

Presider: That those bound by hatred, hostility, and violence will be set free, we pray. R.

Presider: That the sick may be healed, especially (mention names), we pray. R.

Presider: That the dead may dwell forever in God's presence, we pray. R. (Other Intentions)

PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS

Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation.

ALL: Blessed be God forever.

(All come around the table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer, background music may be played)

Presider: God is with you, proclaiming liberation ALL: and also with you.

Presider: Lift up your hearts that Jesus proclaims healing, justice and peace for all people.

ALL: We lift them up to God.

Presider: Let us give thanks to our God.

ALL: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

Voice One: Lifegiving Love, You have called us to be midwives of grace, radiant reflections of your holy presence on earth. United with You, we are one with all beings in the community of creation as we celebrate the new life occurring in our expanding cosmos. And so we join the angels and saints as we say:

ALL: Sung “We are holy, holy, holy, you are holy, holy, holy, I am holy, holy, holy” chant by Karen Drucker



Voice Two: Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast that celebrates your boundless love in the universe. As midwives of grace we are Your hands, lifting up those who suffer, the vulnerable and excluded in our world today



Voice Three: We especially thank you, Holy One, for Jesus, the Compassion of God, who came to show us a new vision of community where every person is loved and all relate with mutual respect. As midwives of grace we welcome all God’s family into the Circle of Life at the Banquet of Love.

Voice Four: Jesus threatened the religious and political leaders of his time and so they put him to death. Like Jesus, the holy ones throughout the ages have been executed for their prophetic witness by the oppressive systems they challenged. As midwives of grace we speak truth to power and work for justice and equality, no matter what the cost.

All: (please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together)

Let your Spirit come upon these gifts as we pray:

On the night before he died, Jesus took bread into his hands and said:

This is my body, he said. Take it and eat of it. Do this in in memory of me.

Pause

At the end of the meal Jesus took a cup of wine, raised it in thanksgiving to you, and said:

Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life in you. Do this in memory of me.

Presider: Now then, let us proclaim the mystery of the Christ Presence made new again through you:

ALL: In every creature that has ever breathed, Christ has lived; in every living being that has passed on before us, Christ has died; in everything yet to be, Christ will come again!

Voice Five: We honor the holy women and men who have revealed your compassion and justice in our world. We thank you for ordinary people in our lives who show us how to love tenderly and have revealed the heart of our God, especially (pause to remember and name some of these holy women and men).

Voice Six: And so, liberating God, Midwife of Grace, we hold our religious ministers and political leaders in the light of Christ Sophia, Holy Wisdom. We pray for our pope and bishops, the young and the elders, and all God’s holy people.


Voice Seven: We remember those who are sick and suffering. May they be healed and comforted. We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdala, Peter, Paul, Junia, our patron saints and all the saints and angels who surround us with loving prayer each day. We remember our loved ones and all those who have died, that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace of our compassionate God.


ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.



THE PRAYER OF JESUS

ALL: Our Father and Mother . . .and forever. Amen.


THE SIGN OF PEACE

Presider: Let us pray for the peace of Christ in our world as we sing and hold hands in a community prayer for peace (Peace is flowing or other appropriate hymn)



LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD

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 live as Your presence in the world. We will do so.


Presider: This is Jesus, who called women and men to be partners and equals, and who liberates, heals and transforms our world and us. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.


ALL: Jesus you make us worthy to receive you and become you for others. We are the Body of Christ.

Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ! ALL: Amen.


PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Presider: Life-giving God, Jesus showed the way to overcome all oppression through his death and resurrection. Through the power of the liberating Spirit at work within us, and our world, we will comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable by living as the Compassion of God the Gospel values of justice, peace and equality in our lives and communities. ALL: Amen


CONCLUDING RITE

Presider: Our God is with you.

ALL: and also with you.

BLESSING

(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)

ALL: Holy One, Midwife of Grace, we bless one another as we, like Jesus, live Your generous service to all especially the least and the last. Amen.

DISMISSAL

Presider: Go, bring forth life as midwives of grace in our world. Let the service begin! ALL: Thanks be to God.


CONCLUDING HYMN


God, A Midwife: Psalm 22:9-10 “Yet You drew me out of the womb, you nestled me to my mother’s bosom; you cradled me in your lap from my birth; from my mother’s womb, you have been my God.”



Liturgy written by Bridget Mary Meehan

Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/

www.arcwp.org