|Katy Zatsick, ARCWP and Pat MacMillan|
|Music Ministers: Mindy Lou Simmons with guitar and Cantor Cheri McDonough|
Gathering Song #430 Be not afraid” Verses 1 and 2
Co-presider: In the name of God our Love, Christ Sophia our Wisdom, and the Holy Spirit our Liberator. All: Amen
All: O Lover of All, in this journey into the heart of mercy, we celebrate your compassionate love unfolding in the healing and wholeness of everyone and of every living thing. You call us to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to warmly welcome everyone who comes through our doors as the face of God. In communion with Jesus, our brother, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will live your love poured out each day. Amen.
PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION AND PEACE
Co-Presider: God of tender compassion, you are our peace.
All: Now and forever, we will be your peace.
LITANY OF PEACE by Dan Schutte
Our sung response is “Let us be your peace”
- God of all creation…let us be your peace
God of every Nation…let us be your peace
2)God beyond our knowing, let us…
God who walks among us, let us
3)God of great compassion, let us…
God of tender mercy, let us…
4)As we work for justice, let us…
With our hands and voices, …
5) With hope and healing, let us …
With light and loving, let us …
6)Here and all times, let us…
Now and forever, let us be your…
Gloria All: (sung 3 times) Glory to God, glory. O praise God Alleluia.
Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Acts 5:12-16
Psalm 118 All: #814 “This is the day that our God has made; let us rejoice and be glad; for this is the day that our God has made; alleluia, alleluia!”
Second Reading: Revelation 1:9-11, 12-13, 17-19
All Sing: Alleluia! Alleluia!
Gospel Reading: The Good News of Jesus the Christ from John 20:19-31
All: Glory to you O God
Reader:…….This is the Good News of Salvation!
All: Glory and praise to you Jesus the Christ!
St. Thomas by Pat MacMillan
I am St. Thomas. I am sometimes the “doubter” (where is God?) but more often the “ believer”, ( “My Lord and my God.”). In reading about Thomas, I learned that he is characterized as being somewhat gloomy and easily discouraged. While he was considered a pessimist, he was, indeed, a full believer in Jesus and a very loyal follower through His life. His loyalty and love is depicted in John, Chapter 11, when the disciples were worried about going with Jesus to Judea (because the Jews had previously tried to stone Jesus there), Thomas encouraged them to stick with Jesus, who wanted to return to the area to help his friend Lazarus, even if that meant being attacked by Jewish leaders there. Thomas says in verse 16: “Let us also go, that we might die with him.”
Thomas was the one disciple who was not present on Easter Sunday, the day of the resurrection. Jesus knew why. He knew that Thomas was in deep mourning over his death. So, Jesus returned several days after the Resurrection- He returned for Thomas. Not to be little him for being a non-believer (“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” No, Jesus didn’t come back because of those words, not at all. He returned so that Thomas, who was suffering, could see and be healed. He knew Thomas loved HIM, he wanted Thomas to know HIS love.
And, isn’t that what we all need in our hours of greatest despair?
Reflection for April 2 by Katy Zatsick
When the doubts come
Today we celebrate the God of Love who died in Jesus has been raised from the dead. As Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead now he himself is raised and is present throughout the ages to all who believe. In our Gospel Thomas struggled to understand and accept that Jesus lives.
How many experiences have we had like Thomas? We know there is a God but…and it is a BUT in the struggles of life we doubt, we hesitate in knowing our Higher Power, our Brother Jesus loves us unconditionally and is present to us.
Two years ago I asked your prayers for my grandson James Charles then a junior at Jesuit High School in Tampa. He was experiencing a life-shattering emotional, spiritual and physical breakdown. JC has an uncle who is diagnosed schizophrenic and has lived a life of suffering. We did not know the possibilities for JC’s future. His mother took care of JC’s physical needs and found a nutritionist and a therapist. And the members of MMOJ prayed for his healing along with myself.
As JC completed his senior year at Jesuit he created this watercolor as a project. For me, it is the story of Thomas. From sufferings including depression, will come new life to bloom in fullness of living. My doubt about JC’s healing and God’s loving presence was transformed into rejoicing at his new life. May Jesus continue to heal JC as Thomas was healed, as I was healed.
Jesus is risen and is with us NOW., accompanying us as unconditional Love the energy of spiritual evolution.
We believe in a God of extravagant love who dwells within us, rejoices with us in our blessed selves and who weeps with us in our struggles, losses and sufferings.
We believe that we are one with all creatures great and small in a dynamic, evolving cosmos.
We believe in Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection, shows us how to live fully and joyfully and to serve others especially the outcaste and heavy burdened.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who works through us for justice and peace and to overcome oppression of all kinds whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race or class.
We believe that we are called to live in mutual respect as disciples and equals in inclusive communities of empowerment.
We believe that we are forgiven, healed and whole in the heart of divine mercy.
We believe that we are united forever with all who have gone before us in the communion of saints.
Prayers of the Community
Co-Presider : With hearts filled with loving compassion and trusting in your Love we lift up the needs of our community at this time
Response All: Jesus, God of compassion love through us.
Co-presider: That those bound by hatred, hostilities and violence will be set free, we pray. R:
Other intentions from the community
Co-presider We hold these and all our unspoken intentions in our hearts as we gather around your banquet table today.
Preparation of the Gifts.
Song: ”There is Only Love” from back sheet
Co Presiders: 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.
(Please gather around the altar, do sit in the front pew if you cannot stand.)
Presider: God is with us, loving and healing through us.
Presider: May we lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up in tender love, open to serve.
Presider: Let us give thanks to our God.
All: It is our joy to give God thanks and praise
Voice One: Gracious Wisdom, You embrace us with extravagant affection in our blessedness and brokenness. We thank you that in this festive meal, your Spirit continues to be poured out among the circle of disciples gathered here in our giving and receiving forgiveness and offering the gift of your shalom/peace. We join with the angels and saints and people of every race, faith and nation to glorify your presence as we sing:
ALL: “We are holy”-3 times, “you are holy”-3 times, “I am holy” 3 times, “We are Holy” 3 times
Voice Two: Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast of unending delight. Here we celebrate divine love beyond all words can describe in our evolving cosmos. Here your divine compassion connects us to the young, the old, the least and the last, to everyone everywhere on our journey into the heart of mercy.
Voice Three; We especially thank you, Nurturing God, for Jesus, God’s anointed, who shows us how to love with a peaceful and courageous spirit. In Jesus, you show us how to care for those who face illness, and grief and how to help those who experience rejection and marginalization.
Voice Four: God of tenderness, Jesus showed us the heart of mercy when he preached good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, healing to the broken. Jesus called women to be apostles and disciples and treated them as equals in his circle of companions.
Voice Five In response to people’s sufferings, Jesus broke rules and violated religious taboos. He shared meals with women, saved a woman from being stoned and said that prostitutes would enter heaven before religious leaders. He healed the sick and comforted the lonely. He challenged the priestly class and political leaders of his time and so they ridiculed, tortured and put him to death.
Voice Six: In faithful love, the Spirit of God, raised the crucified Jesus, radiant and glorious to new life. Like the holy ones throughout the ages, Moses and Miriam who led their people from oppression to freedom, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection shows us how to live freely and joyously in the midst of injustice, darkness, evil and death.
(Please all extend hands as we recite the Epiclesis and Consecration together)
All: May your Spirit Sofia, present in these gifts and in us, fill us with a new outpouring of love that makes us more deeply one Body in the Cosmic Christ living the fullness of your compassion.
Presider: On the night before he was betrayed, Jesus gathered with his friends for a meal. he took bread into his hands, broke it and said
All: Take this all of you. This is my body. Do this to remember me.
Co-Presider: In the same way after supper, Jesus took the cup, raised it with love beyond all telling. Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with those at table and said:
All: Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of my life blood, of the new and everlasting covenatnt. Every time you drink of it, remember me.
Co- Presider: Now then, in sacred memory, let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:
All; In every creature that has ever breathed, we see your tenderness; in every living being that has passed on before us, we see your goodness; in everything yet to be, Christ will come again! In our breaking of the bread of earth, Christ of the Cosmos is being re-membered!
Voice Seven: Holy Spirit, your evolutionary energy of Love is always moving within us and working through us. We give thanks for all holy women and men who have been the face of God in our lives. They showed us how to forgive self and others, let go of guilt, refrain from judging others and see the good in people who irritate us. Let us pause to remember and name some of these holy women and men aloud or in the silence of our hearts.
Voice Eight: God, who opens doors and hearts, enlighten our religious ministers and political leaders. May they welcome refugees, transform poverty into plenty, and work for human dignity and justice for all. We pray for our pope and bishops, especially Bridget Mary, all ARCWP bishops and all God’s holy people.
Voice Nine: We remember those who are sick and suffering. May they be healed and strengthened, and filled with every blessing in your loving presence. 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 into the embrace of our loving God.
(Presiders lift up the bread and wine)
All: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ all praise and glory are yours, God of Love through the power of Sofia your Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Prayer of Jesus: (Please hold hands and sing together)
All: Our father and mother….
The Sign of Peace:
Co-presider: God grant us peace and unity beyond all words can express.
Let us join hands in a circle of love and extend to the world by singing
All: “Peace is flowing like a river…Love is flowing…hope is flowing..Alleluia
Prayer before Communion
Co-Presiders; Loving God, as we come to share the richness of your table, we cannot forget the poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters.
Men: We cannot eat this bread and forget those who are hungry. O God of Love, your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment for your people.
Women: We cannot drink this wine and forget those who are thirsty. O Loving God the very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice.
All: We cannot listen to your words of peace and not grieve for the world at war and the destruction of life on your planet.
Litany for the breaking of the bread
All: Loving God, you call us to live mercy, we will do so.
Loving God, You call us to live justice, we will do so.
Loving God, You call us to live equality, we will do so.
Presider: This is Jesus, who calls us to open doors that are closed and share our bread on the altar of the world. All are invited to eat and drink at this sacred banquet of love.
All: Jesus we are worthy to receive you and to be your compassion for all the world. We are the Body of Christ.
Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ! ALL: Amen.
Music during reception of Communion
After receiving communion “The More I seek You” from sheet.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Co- Presider: O God of Compassion, Jesus showed us how to love one another and heal our hearts. Through the power of the liberating Spirit at work within us, we will give and receive forgiveness, live joyously, and work for healing, justice and equality for our earth and for all God’s holy people. All: Amen
Communal prayers of Thanksgiving
Co-presider: Our Risen God is with you.
All: and also with you.
(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL: May the God of Abraham and Sarah,
the Blessed One of Jacob and Rachel,
Sophia, Holy Wisdom,
walk with us and all created life
on our journey into the heart of mercy! Amen.
Presider: Let us go in the peace of the risen Christ. May our service continue as we minister with each other and all the People of God.
All: Thanks be to God Alleluia!
Recessional All: “Room at the Table for Everyone” by Carrie Newcomber, from sheet.
Adapted from “Journey into the Heart of Mercy”
by Bridget Mary Meehan, Bishop ARCWP