Friday, August 4, 2017

ARCWP Priests Visit Ireland: Day 4 at Glenstal Abbey with Mark Patrick Hederman, Former Abbot and Noirin Ni Riain, Newly Ordained Minister with One Spirit Interfaith Seminary

Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP, Noirin Ni Riain, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Joan Chesterfield ARCWP
Noirin Ni Riain, Mark Patrick Hederman, Bridget Mary Meehan and Joan Chesterfield

On August 4, 2017, we visited Glenstall Abbey in County Limerick, Ireland. Here we met with Mark Patrick Hederman and Noirin Ni Riain, a newly ordained minister with One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. She is the first woman from Ireland ordained by One Spirit.
Noirin warmly welcomed us to her home with coffee, tea and delicious baked goods. During our sharing we discussed Mark Patrick's philosophy and Noirin's seminary experience and future ministry. Bridget Mary, Mary Theresa and Joan shared our egalitarian, justice seeking model of a renewed priestly ministry with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. It was a joy to discover our mutual passion for the Divine Presence in our midst and the face of the Holy One in our relationships and world. Mark Patrick said that he thought the Holy Spirit had brought us together this day. We did too! It was a blessed, grace-laden experience. Mark Patrick is the author of numerous books including Walkabout: Life as Holy Spirit and Underground CathedralsNoirin Ni Riain's autobiography is Listen with the Ear of the Heart. Her beautiful music and books are available on amazon.com



Noirin Ni Riain and Former Abbot of Glenstal Abbey: Mark Patrick Hederman


Mark Patrick, Joan and Bridget Mary

Mark Patrick Hederman of Glenstal Abbey, County Limerick, Ireland


Day 4: ARCWP Priests Visit Ireland- Praying and Playing


The embrace of Mary Mother be yours.
The embrace of Brigit of flocks be yours.
The embrace of Patrick of courage be yours,
To be your companions on your journey for justice and equality. 

The embrace of Apostle Mary of Magdala and Peter be yours,
The embrace of Apostle Junia and Paul be yours,
The embrace of the angles and saints be yours,
To be your companions on your journey of hospitality and inclusivity.

The embrace  of the Compassionate One be yours,
The embrace of Christ, the loving, be yours,
The embrace of the Spirit holy be yours,
To bless and surround you with infinite love and kindness.
Bridget Mary Meehan inspired by Prayer of Protection in Carmina Gadelica #291, p. 271.)

Today we will be enjoying the sunshine and beauty of this land in our travels down the byways and tiny roads off the beaten path in County Clare. The wildflowers, fluffy clouds, sunshine and clouds fill us with joy. 

Glenstal Abbey





Thursday, August 3, 2017

Day 3: ARCWP Women Priests Visit Ireland: "Blessed and Beloved"

Last night the wind howled and the rain lashed against our windows. We went to bed and slept soundly, tucked warmly under our comforters. Today, the sun is shining and the children are outside playing. Mary Theresa is cooking salmon and an egg, spinach omelette.



Check out our facebook pages for more photos. Our internet  connection is spotty so we will share uploads of photos on either Mary Theresa Streck's or Bridget Mary Meehan's facebook pages. 


Bridget Mary Meehan, Mary Theresa Streck and Joan Chesterfield Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, www.arcwp.org



Blessed and Beloved

https://youtu.be/zDhH1MRWbfk

"open your arms, you will find the answer to the call."

St. Brigit's Table Blessing:
I should welcome the poor to my feast, for they are God's children. I should welcome the sick to my feast, for they are God's joy. Let the poor sit with Jesus at the highest place, let the sick dance with the angels.


House Blessing 
May Brigit bless the house wherein you dwell.
Bless every fireside, every wall and door.
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof.
Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy.
Bless every foot that walks it portals through.
May Brigit bless the house that shelters you.


Reflection:
Sit still for a moment and quiet your soul...
Breathe in deeply the tender love of God....
Breathe out compassion for all living things...
Realize that the love and affection of God is with you...
Realize that the love and affection of the angels surrounds you...
Realize that the love and affection of the saints surrounds you...
Realize that the love and affection of heaven is with you to guard you and to cherish you each day....


Closing Prayer
Saint Brigit, you were a woman of peace,
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace
cover those who are troubled and anxious,
and may peace be firmly rooted
      in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence
      all God has made.
Brigit you were a voice for the wounded.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quiet inner listening that heals.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness
in mind, body, and spirit. Amen. Solas Bhride, Kildare, 1997

Questions for Reflection and Discussion
1. Brigit was a woman of compassion. What challenges do we face in a world where 20 percent of the world’s population own and consume 80 percent of the world’s resources?
2. Brigit was a woman of hospitality. Who are the strangers whom we need to welcome?
3. Brigit was a woman of the earth. How can we protect and care for creation



From Celtic Prayers for Holy Delighting:
   Falling in Love with God Anew


 By: Bridget Mary Meehan

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Day 2: ARCWP Priests Visit Ireland- St. Brigit's Well, Liscannor, Cliffs of Moher, and Doolin

 Please see more photos on our facebook pages: Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck.
Our internet connection is spotty so we connect when we can.

My day began with an interview with Sarah McDonald for the Irish press.





We, Mary Theresa, Joan and I visited St. Bridget's Well in Liscannor and prayed that women who are called to ordination  in Ireland will come forward during our visit and join our movement to promote justice, inclusivity and hospitality in a renewed priestly ministry in grassroots communities in the Catholic Church. Needed are mystics, prophets, and celebrators of sacraments in a more open, compassionate, and just caring community model. The pyramid model needs to collapse into a circle of companions on a spiritual journey, following the example of Jesus in the Gospels. 




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Day 1; Women Priests Visit St. Senan's Mass Rock: Sign of Liberation from Oppression During Penal Occupation, Reminder of Struggle for Human Rights and Equality for Women in the Church



On our first day in Ireland, Mary Theresa, Joan and I were on our way to pick up groceries and saw a sign for St. Senan's Altar. So we wandered off the main highway to a tiny road with grass growing up the middle of it. Several times, we had to back up or other drivers backed up in order for two cars to squeeze by. Everyone was very gracious and waved when we met.

On our way, we saw stunning wildflowers, green fields and the Altar dedicated to St. Senan in memory of the Penal times when Catholic priests were not allowed to celebrate Mass in churches.  The priests secretly gathered with the local people outside in the fields and used rocks as altars where they celebrated Mass.

It is fitting as we start on journey on a quest for women called in Ireland, we found St. Senan's altar, a symbol of liberation from oppression rooted in Jesus' example in  Luke 4: 18-19. "The Spirit of God anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to heal the sick, to give sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free." 

In this time of struggle for human rights, for justice for women , we are called to work for social justice by transforming structures of oppression in the church and world.  The exclusion of women as liturgical leaders deacons and priests is one of the last bastions of male domination. Our international women priests' movement offers a new model of inclusiveness and table companionship that affirms the gifts of all the baptized in our church. and uses equal rites to create gender equality in grassroots  Catholic communities where people welcome women priests. 

Like the Irish priests who found a way to celebrate Mass when forbidden by the English, Roman Catholic Women Priests have found a way around the oppression of church law, that treats women as second class citizens in their own church, by ordaining them in apostolic succession in order to transform structures of injustice and lead the church toward gender equality and inclusivity. 

ARCWP Women Priests Arrive in Ireland: Settling in and getting connected~ Kilkee Day 1



Day 1: Arrival Kilkee, Ireland
We had a smooth flight, only a few bumps. When we were on runway in Newark, we saw a rose-colored plane with a huge sign on it with letters WOW! Of course, we took this as  a positive "sign"!! WOW stands for Women's Ordination Worldwide in our world! We were taking off and so was Women's Ordination Worldwide!
On our flight, there were 3 seats across that had no one was sitting on, (an opportunity we seized) so we spread out. Mary Theresa actually slept for several hours. Joan and I rested. I have never been able to do this on a plane in my life so this flight was unique. We arrived early due to strong tail winds, no surprise! MT and I were in back of plane and I could feel that wind bumping us along!
After getting our luggage in Shannon, we were told by the car rental company, Europecar, (after they saw us and our many bags) that they were giving us a bigger car with more trunk room at no extra cost!  Now this was yet another surprise and a great blessing! Mary Theresa drove and I watched the signs. We did not have GPS! I was it, but  I had an idea about where to go, and we did not get lost. I know some of you are chuckling as you read this!
Although it rained a little on our drive to Kilkee,  the sun broke through. We were able to fine Nolan's shop to get the key to the house. My cousin, Elaine, told me that John Nolan was a tall man and he would be in Nolan's shop. As we drove down main street,  no kidding, a tall man was walking into Nolan's shop. We followed and got the key that was on a shelf in an envelope waiting for me. By this time, we were chuckling at the coincidences!
A young woman coming out of the shop recommended a bakery down the street as the best place to get scones and homemade brown bread. So off we went. We also ordered a coffee to go. Then we found our lovley home in Ireland for the month of August up a hill overlooking Kilkee. This home belongs to my cousin, John Meehan from Portlaoise. By the time, we walked in the door, the sky was blue and the sun was shining brightly and I was able to take off my sweater!
How is that for a blessed and beautiful arrival in Ireland.
Joan cooked Irish sausage and eggs for breakfast and Mary Theresa set up out tech toys and hot spot. I unpacked and tried not to get in the way of progress!
Now it is time for a wee nap for all!
Bridget Mary, Mary Theresa and Joan reporting on day 1!




TUESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2017


https://youtu.be/XD6RdI1QqCg
The Call from Celtic Woman

Opening Prayer
O God of compassion and healing,
You gave Holy Brigit to us as a sign of your love.
You caress us with the warmth of the sun,
You encircle us in Love's embrace.
You are behind us and before us.
You are above us and beneath us.
I consecrate all that I am to You this day.
Delight of the Saints, may I fall in love with You anew. Amen.

Scripture Reading
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me@ (Mt 24:35 NRSV).

Response to God's Word
I will go in the name of God,
The hand of God keeping me,
The love of Christ in my veins,
The strong Spirit bathing me,
The Three shielding and aiding me,
The Three shielding and aiding me,
The hand of Spirit bathing me,
The Three each step aiding me.



From Celtic Prayers for Holy Delighting:
   Falling in Love with God Anew


 By: Bridget Mary Meehan 
+1-703-505-0004,
sofiabmm@aol.com

Sunday, July 30, 2017

On Our Way to Ireland, Monday July 31st: "And suddenly you know. It is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings" Meister Eckhart

left to right: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Mary Theresa Streack ARCWP, and Joan Chesterfield ARCWP (the power of three working as team!)
Schedule in Ireland:
http://arcwp-ireland.blogspot.com/2017/07/getting-ready-for-ireland-why-women.html


Our upcoming schedule in Ireland.

Arrival: August 1st

August 2-4th, Kilkee, County Clare

August 5th-7th, Dublin Liturgy on August 6th at St. Andrew Community Center, Rialto, 10:00 AM

August 7th--Drogheda..... An Crois, Carmel Boyle

Contact us sofiabmm@aol.com, text us at 703-505-0004

Mary Theresa Streck , Joan Chesterfield and I are looking forward to traveling around the Emerald Isle sharing the good news about  the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP). We look forward to many cups of tea and lively conversations along the way with women called to ordination and their supporters.


Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP
Joan Chesterfield ARCWP

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community , Sarasota, Florida 17th Week in Extraordinary Time July 29, 2017 Co-Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Lee Breyer Music Ministers: Mindy Lee Simmons and Russ Banner

Kathryn Shea ARCWP, Son, Seth, Lee Breyer, Mary Al, and grandsons

Theme:  The Pure Joy of God Within Us 
Welcome and Receiving the Stole
Centering Prayer
Co-presider:  Oh Holy One, gather us in and be with us as we share this sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you.  Help us learn to embrace with exuberant joy all that transpires in our world and our lives, knowing that nothing can separate us from your joy and your love.  Be with us as we walk each day in conscious awareness of our responsibility to bring forth your kindom on Earth.  Help us to emanate your joy in all that we do.  For this we pray. ALL:  AMEN.

Opening Hymn: “Gather Us In” #302, verses 1, 2, 4

Community Reconciliation

(Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in love with others and with creation.)

Co-presider:  Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden.  We thank you for sending your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will.  Through your grace, all peoples, wherever they may be on this earth, are one family …and you have made all of us – with no exceptions – worthy to be called your sacred people.

ALL:  Christ Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in understanding, compassion and caring for ourselves, for others, and for our planetary home.  We ask you teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to forgive our brothers and sisters, whoever and wherever they may be. Give us the strength to extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift – through us –  to all those with whom you share your unending love.  We ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.

Glory to God

Co-presider: Let us give glory to our loving Creator.

(Sung)  Glory to God, Glory, O praise God, alleluia.  Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God.  (3x)

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12       ALL: Thanks be to God
Responsorial: Psalm 420. All the Earth proclaim our God, sing your praise with joy!
Second Reading: Romans 8:28:30          ALL: Thanks be to God
Gospel Acclamation:              ALL: Alleluia (Celtic version)
Gospel:  John 15:1, 9-12        ALL: Thanks be to God

Shared Homily/Community Reflections

Profession of Faith

ALL:  We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery beyond all definition and 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 of the Community

Co-presider:  We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayer. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each of us.  And so, we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious God.  After each intercession, please respond: Compassionate God, we ask you to bless our petitions. (intentions)

Co-presider:  Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns and care for one another, here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world.  We ask this in your Holy name.  Amen.

Offertory Procession and Song: “We Are Called” #628 all verses

Co-presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer…this grain of the earth that human hands have made for our use.  It will become for us the bread of life.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Co-presider: Blessed are you, God of Love, through your goodness we have this wine to offer…this fruit of the vine that human hands have prepared for our use.  It will become for us our spiritual drink.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Gathering of the Gifted

Co-presider:  Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his.  Everyone is welcome to share in this meal. (The invitation is to everyone to join around God’s family table.)

ALL:  Loving and caring God, we – your people – are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus.  We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who shares your gift of compassion especially to all those who are marginalized and oppressed.  May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers.  May we live always as prophetic witnesses to the gospel of Jesus.  Amen.

Co-presider: Friends, let us recognize the presence of our God who is with us here now.
ALL:  Fill us with reverence for our Creator, for one another, and for all creation.

Co-presider:  Let us lift up our hearts.
ALL: We lift them up to the One who has gifted us with love so that we may be an expression of that love to all others, with no exceptions.

Co-presider: God dwells in each one of us.
ALL: Namaste!  Namaste! (twice)

Eucharistic Prayer

Co-presider:  As we prepare for the sacred meal, we lay our stoles upon the table as a sign that just as Jesus is anointed, so is each one of us. And we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns.    (Please feel free to voice your concerns beginning with the words, “I bring to the table…”)
Co-presider: O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you.  We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

Co-presider: Please  join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together:  (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane)

All: O Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future.

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.

May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny.

United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Loving God, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker
We are holy, holy, holy
We are holy, holy, holy
We are holy, holy, holy
We are whole…

You are holy, holy, holy… I am holy, holy, holy…We are holy, holy, holy.

We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world, we pray for peace in their names.

And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on – this great blossoming that is meant to grow and spread in all time – we pray for peace, in their names.

And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this, For the animals that have no voice in this, For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this, For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their names.

We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.

(Please extend hands over our gifts as we say together)

You pour out your spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we reflect more deeply the Christ Presence in our world

On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.

When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:

Take and eat; this is my very self.
(pause)

He then raised high the cup of blessing, said the grace, and offered them the wine saying:

Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life, for you and for everyone,
for liberation from every oppression. Whenever you do this, Re-member me!
(pause)

Loving God, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love.  We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation.

We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

For it is through our learning to live as he lived, and why he lived, and for whom he lived,
that we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to worship you truly, Life-giving God,
at this time, and all time, and in all ways. AMEN

Co-presider:  Gracious God, through us you have set the banquet table and invited all of us to the feast.  Here we celebrate your divine love beyond what words can describe.  Here your divine compassion connects us to the young and the old, the most and the least, the first and the last…your whole creation.

ALL: 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… (and everyone sings)…Amen.

ALL: (holding hands):  Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…

Co-presider:  God, we have just prayed that “your kindom may come among us.”  Strengthen in us your grace and love so that we may open our hearts to make it real – and our hands to serve one another.
The Sign of Peace

Co-presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.”  Look on the faith of those gathered here today and …

ALL: …. grant us that peace.  O Loving God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace throughout the world, to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions.  Amen.

Co-presider:   May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another as we join hands in a circle of love and sing  Let there be peace on earth   #532  using the following:
( “… with God as creator, family all are we …” and “With every breath I take, let this …” )

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread

Co-presider:  Loving God… All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will live justly.

Co-presider:  Loving God… All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of understanding and compassion, forgiveness and healing everywhere in your name.  We will love tenderly.

Co-presider:  Loving God… All: you call us to speak truth to power and live equality.  We will walk humbly with you.

Co-presider:  This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world.  He calls us, his sacred people to open doors that are closed and share our bread on the altar of the world.  All are invited to partake of this banquet of love.  ALL:  We are the Body of Christ.

Communion:  Instrumental

After Communion Song/Reflection:  “God Is” by Mindy Lou Simmons

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Co-presider:  Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our
oneness with you and with one another.  May we reflect, like Mary, your liberating, mothering
love for all your people everywhere.  And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with our knowledge, understanding and experience of your love and compassion in us, your sacred people. We ask this in the name of her Son, Jesus the Christ.   ALL:  Amen.

Introductions, Gratitudes, and Announcements

Closing Community Blessing
(Let us all extend an arm to one another in mutual blessings)

ALL:   May wonder and thanksgiving fill us.  May compassion so permeate our very beings that we may penetrate the numbness that continues to spread in so many of our society’s injustices. May we know that we are loved.  May we continue to be the face of God to each other and may our name be a blessing in our time!  Amen.

Closing Community Commissioning

Co-presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ and the joy of God, let us be the joyful people that God created us to be.  Let our service continue.

ALL:  Thanks be to God.  Let it be so!

Closing Hymn:  “Sing a New Church” #413 verses 1.4.5


Upper Room Liturgy on July 30, 2017, Co-Presiders: Lynn Kinlan ARCWP and Kathie Ryan ARCWP





left to right: Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP Kathie Ryan ARCWP, Co-Presiders



 Liturgy One---- Afire with Divine Presence

Songs:  #27 You are Mine page 7 --#44 Deep Within page 14---#82 All You Works of God page 30

Receiving the stoles
Opening song-
Welcome and Theme
Peace:



Kathie Ryan holding cup


Homily Starter for July 30, 2017: Kathie Ryan ARCWP

One of the best parts of co-presiding is praying and reflecting over the scriptures and then with your co-presider discover something you had not found before.  When Lynn and I sat down to plan for today the first reading was familiar and pretty self-evident.

 Solomon asked for a discerning heart, the ability to understand good from evil.  Great request and the Holy One grants his request and gives him additional rewards!
 Now we could interpret this and maybe we have at times, if we ask for the right or good thing we will receive a positive outcome.
 We have all asked God to heal someone from an illness, or to help a friend find a job, or to please mend a broken relationship. And we know we don’t always receive what we asked for.

 What can and often does happen though when we ask for the right thing is a change of heart. We become closer and more loving toward the person we are praying for, we pay attention to their needs in a way we had not done so before.  We become wiser because our hearts are in sync with the Holy One. And then we experience what we have heard  the kin-dom our treausre is here right now.

Let’s take a look at the gospel reading.   At first glance it sounds like the person who finds the treasure then hides the treasure and then goes and buys the field is doing something on the down low, sneaky. Finders keepers losers weepers mentality.
 And then there seems to be something not quite right with the merchant too. Not very practical -- sell everything for a great big beautiful priceless pearl?  Really?  What will he do with this pearl when it is time to feed his family or pay his rent?

So we know parables are not meant to be read literally.  Lynn and I turned this parable upside down and inside out, read some commentary and discovered another way of looking at it. 

The person in the field is working, going about his daily routine, earning a leaving and all of a sudden comes across a treasure. Isn’t this person just like us? Sometimes we are just going about our daily business, living our lives the best we can and we find a treasure.  Maybe the treasure is a new relationship, or a healing of an existing relationship. Maybe the treasure is the awareness of a daily blessing and we are very grateful.

The merchant on the other hand is a seeker an explorer and he is going about his life focusing on finding his treasure, the great pearl. Sometimes we are like the merchant, reading and studying and praying and reflecting, looking for answers to life’s big questions and then a light bulb goes on, an aha moment, and we understand something or someone in a way we never had before.

The merchant, the person in the field and Solomon all found their treasure, their kin-dom in different ways.   What are your treasures?  How do you find them
Irish Blessing: Sending Forth to Ireland: Mary Theresa, Joan and Bridget Mary

Blessing of Joan, Mary Theresa and Bridget Mary by Lynn Kinlan 
May the wind be always at your back, most especially on your red-eye flights. 
May your message of ordination equality be welcomed and taken to heart by all whom you meet.
May your journey be one of safety, enlightenment and the joyous love of the Holy One. Amen.