Saturday, January 16, 2016

Homily Starter and Liturgy for Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community on Jan. 16, 2016 "They Have No Wine, You Have To Act" by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Cana by Giotto di Bondone
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Homily: “They Have No Wine, You Have to Act”
In the Gospel Mary and Jesus are at a wonderful wedding celebration.
I don’t know about you, but I love wedding celebrations especially Irish weddings because all the relatives gather and there is so much fun, laughter, story- telling and most of all dancing! The “Siege of Ennis”, a fast Irish folk dance, can last at least 20 minutes! I bet there are some youtube videos you can see for yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_bishBer5U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2ObTI5HAX0
Jim  Marsh ARCWP

 In this story, we meet an assertive Mary, who is a mover and a shaker. She takes charge, mobilizes Jesus into action, gets the job done, and then, its back to the party! Does anyone know women like that in our community? I sure do!
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Community Prays Eucharistic Prayer

 Bishop John Shelby Spong wrote the following in his book: The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic: (P82)
“There are six stone jars present that are meant to be used for the Jewish rites of purification. The mother of Jesus stands at the nexus between the shortcomings of the ritual activity of the Jews and the celebration of the new life that Jesus came to bring—new life that is symbolized by the marriage ceremony. The “old wine” has been spent. There is no more for the celebration.”
Theresa Rodriguez and Bob Ferkenhoff greet each other before liturgy begins

 The time for new wine has come!

In her reflection, theologian Elizabeth Johnson writes that Mary’s prophetic words echo down through the centuries:
Joe Adler and Bridget Mary Meehan converse


 “They have no wine…no food, no clean drinking water, no housing, education or health care, no employment, no security from rape,  no human rights.” (Elizabeth Johnson, Abounding in Kindness, p. 299)

Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Jim Marsh ARCWP share before liturgy


One example on the news this week is the residents of Flint Michigan have no clean drinking water.

In this Holy Year of Mercy, we are called to be new wine to the poor, outcaste and heavily burdened! “We Christians are called to go out of ourselves to bring the mercy and tenderness of God to all…No one can be excluded from God’s mercy” Pope Francis said as he promoted the Year of Mercy. 
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP


  In order to bring mercy and tenderness to all, the hierarchy of the institutional church must begin by asking forgiveness for its spiritual abuse of the people of God, and bring the new wine of spiritual renewal and reform to transform oppressive structures and laws. As a way forward, Pope Francis could ask forgiveness for centuries of sexism and pour the new wine of love and healing by lifting excommunications against all Catholics who follow their consciences including women priests and our supporters!


Jim Marsh ARCWP and Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP co-preside at Liturgy

“Based on her need to stand against humiliation, the interchange between Mary and Jesus resembles the interchange between Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr, on an ordinary day in Montgomery.  By refusing to give up her seat on the bus, or give in to one more instance of the humiliation of her people, Parks provoked a moment in history, and she provoked King’s entry into that moment as its vital wine and its transforming agent…And that response became the first of King’s unforgettable signs, moments of memorable light in a ministry in which he lived as John’s gospel says Jesus did, offering powerful signs in very ordinary human situations. (Nancy Rockwell, “Cana an Unexpected Time”)


So too, today, like Mary and Jesus, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., we, in the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement and in Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, are pouring new wine into new wineskins to promote gender equality in our church. We are definitely breaking some rules and unjust laws! And we are trying, trying to provoke the hierarchy to act to transform the church into a more inclusive home where all are welcome.  
Bridget Mary Meehan,, ARCWP and Jim Marsh, ARCWP co-preside at liturgy


In our struggles for justice and loving inclusivity, we are living Jesus vision of the kindom , a word that translated from the ancient Aramaic means a companionship of empowerment.  Here, at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, we welcome all to join us in sacred circle of disciples and equals to celebrate Eucharist at the Banquet Table of God’s extravagant love. The Feast has begun! The wine is flowing. Abundance is ours.
Left to right: Mary, Jack and Marge share Eucharist

Like Rosa Parks , Martin Luther King and Mary, Mother of Jesus, we are prophets of justice who know that they have no wine and we must act! 

Left to right, Mary Al, Mary, Jack and Marge

Shared Homily Reflection Question.
1.     In what situations, relationships do we experience abundance, “new wine”?

2.       How are we prophets and advocates for justice, announcing there is no wine for the poor, refugees, women in the world and church? 
  
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community review budget at annual meeting of 501-c-3
Sally Brochu ARCWP, treasurer of MMOJ non-profit shares budget information

Kathryn Shea, ARCWP shares birthday cake with community in celebration of Bridget Mary's birthday
Bridget Mary Meehan blows candle on delicious chocolate birthday cake


Liturgy: Celebrating New Life as Midwives of Grace



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: Let us pause now for reflection. Place your hand over your heart and breathe in God’s passionate love for you…breathe out God’s, extravagant love for everyone….

Open yourself to Spirit energy within the depths of your soul, healing and empowering you…



Now let us praise God by singing Glory to God…



Song of Praise: Glory to God, glory. O praise Glory alleluia.
Glory to God, glory. O praise the name of our God. (x2)

OPENING PRAYER

Presider: God of Love, Midwife of grace, we experience your grace drawing us to new life in the depths of our mystical souls and in our prophetic call .We rejoice with our brother Jesus, through the power of your Spirit. ALL: Amen.



LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading

Responsorial Psalm

Second Reading

Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia

Gospel:

Reader: The good news of Jesus, the Christ!

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

HOMILY



Profession of Faith: ALL: We believe in God who is compassion in our world. We believe in Jesus, whose death and resurrection reveals God’s infinite love. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to live Christ’s presence. We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends, who inspire us to live holy lives. We believe in the church as the people of God, living in faith, hope and love.



GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

Presider: That we may bring new life into our world, we pray

Response: God of all, love through us

Presider: That we may foster healing of our Earth, we pray. R.

Presider: That the sick may be healed, we pray. R.

Presider: That we may be forever one with our beloved dead in the communion of saints 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. (hold up bread and wine)

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, abounding in love

ALL: and also with you.

Presider: Lift up your hearts in Christ who lives and loves , heals and empowers through you.

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: Life-giving Love, You call all persons to be friends of God. 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. We join the angels and saints as we sing:



ALL: Sung “We are holy, holy, holy 3 x Karen Drucker

Spirit Divine, Come to me

Feeling Love, Healing me

Open my heart, Allow me to see

Beauty and love, lives in me.



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



Voice Four:

Jesus threatened the religious and political leaders of his time and so they put him to death. As God raised Jesus to new life, we trust that your promise of faithful love will be with us in our suffering and raise us up to fullness of life.



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



*While sharing a feast at table, Jesus took bread,
blessed you, God of Compassion. Jesus broke the bread, and along with the cup,
shared it among friends and said:
Take this all of you: eat and drink;
this is my body …
After the meal, Jesus took another cup,
poured out in a spirit of solidarity and empowerment.
Jesus gave thanks and handed the cup to those at table saying:
Take this all of you and drink from it;
this is the cup of my life-blood,
the life of the new and everlasting covenant.
In prophetic solidarity, it is poured out for you and for all in love beyond imagination.
Sustain one another in sacred memory.

*Adapted from Diarmuid O’Murchu



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 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. We remember our loved ones and all those who have died, that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace of our gracious 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: Behold the Body of Christ. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.



ALL: Jesus we are 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, You come to birth each day in our universe through suffering death and new life. Your Spirit is moving in us as we love passionately, and extravagantly to bring your shalom to everyone equally especially the marginalized.

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 serve others with loving kindness .



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.”

Bridget Mary Meehan

Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/ 

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
www.arcwp.org 

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
www.marymotherofjesus.org


Friday, January 15, 2016

"Guatemalan authorities arrest SOA-trained officers for massacres, disappearances" ,by Linda Cooper, James Hodge in National Catholic Reporter

http://ncronline.org/news/global/guatemalan-authorities-arrest-soa-trained-officers-massacres-



"In a daring and historic move just one week before a new president takes office, Guatemalan authorities arrested 18 former high-ranking military men Jan. 6 for massacres and forced disappearances during the bloodiest years of the dirty war that particularly targeted indigenous populations.
Most of the arrests resulted from an investigation that exhumed the remains of 558 people -- 90 of them children -- buried in clandestine mass graves on a military base in Cobán, formerly known as Military Zone 21. DNA testing identified victims who were killed or disappeared by the military in the 1980s. Many of the bodies were blindfolded, bound or dismembered.
Guatemala Attorney General Thelma Aldana called it "one of the biggest cases of forced disappearance in Latin America."
Records show that 12 of the 18 arrested were trained at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas (SOA), highlighting the sordid U.S.-support for the war, which spanned from 1960 to 1996 and claimed the lives of some 250,000, many of them women and children."

Last week, eighteen former military officials were arrested on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in one of the largest mass arrests of military officers Latin America has ever seen. Twelve of them were trained at the SOA. The arrests happened one week before the January 14th inauguration of newly elected President Jimmy Morales, of the National Convergence Front (FCN).

Morales, whose party has close ties to the military, faces pressure in the face of the current developments. Morales' right hand man, Edgar Justino Ovalle Maldonado, who is also the FCN party co-founder, newly elected congressman, and retired colonel, is also facing similar charges, though he was not arrested because of his immunity as a congressman. Guatemala's Attorney General, however, has requested the Supreme Court look at the case to strip him of his immunity. Ovalle Maldonado, who is also an SOA graduate, is linked to massacres and disappearances during the 1980's.


"Black student leaders across the University of California (UC) increased pressure on Wells Fargo this week to divest from private prisons.

"Students from the Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC), an alliance of black student groups on nine UC campuses, released a statement Monday demanding Wells Fargo sell its shares in private prisons and end all business relations with the companies by Feb. 20. According to the statement, if Wells Fargo fails to do so by the deadline, ABC will continue to pressure the UC to divest its $425 million invested with Wells Fargo. ABC pressured UC to divest from private prisons in December, prompting UC to sell approximately $25 million in private prison shares.
Nia Mitchell, UCSB Black Student Union Political Chair and fourth-year environmental studies major, said black students remain upset that the UC invests in Wells Fargo despite selling its shares in private prison corporations. Mitchell said she believes Wells Fargo contributes to private prison funding.
“We cannot be complacent with the fact that our tuition is being invested, either indirectly or directly, to the incarceration of our people,” Mitchell said.
ABC spokesperson Anthony Williams, citing research conducted by Enlace’s Private Prison Divestment Campaign, said Wells Fargo is financially invested in private prison corporations such as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and The GEO Group (GEO) in several ways.
According to Williams, Wells Fargo owns 1.5 million shares in GEO and CCA, acts as an issuing lender on CCA’s $900 million line of credit and serves as bond trustee to GEO’s $300 million corporate debt.
“They are funding private prisons,” Williams said. “Wells Fargo is completely complicit in private prisons and what they do and how they treat people, which is horrid.”
According to Wells Fargo spokesperson Ruben Pulido, the bank bears no financial investment in either GEO or CCA. Pulido said Wells Fargo Funds, owned by the funds’ investors and not Wells Fargo, currently holds a small position in the companies through a passive index fund.
“Wells Fargo holds no investment in either The GEO Group or the Corrections Corporation of America,” Pulido said in an email. “We have no seat on either company’s board of directors, and we do not dictate their policies or business models.”
UCSB economics professor Henning Bohn said Wells Fargo provides passive index funds for customers to invest in other companies, which is a product that “any random financial firm” would offer to its customers. Bohn said Wells Fargo customers own the shares in private prison corporations, not Wells Fargo.
“From an economic perspective, I would say [Wells Fargo] doesn’t really hold an economic interest because the interest is held by their customers — those are the beneficiaries,” Bohn said.
Bohn said if Wells Fargo were to end all investments in private prison corporations through index funds, the bank would first have to withdraw all index fund products, and would only offer funds investing in companies in which the bank wants clients to invest.
“That’s something that Wells Fargo is probably not going to do,” Bohn said.
Mitchell said she does not believe the distinction between Well Fargo and Wells Fargo Funds makes a difference.
“It’s still Wells Fargo,” Mitchell said. “You can separate it however you want bureaucratically, but it is the arm of the same system.”
According to Mitchell, black student leaders want UC and other “financiers” to divest from for-profit prisons because of how incarceration oppresses black people.
“Private prisons literally make a profit off of the incarceration of people, who, within a system that’s rooted in white supremacy and capitalism, are for the most part black and brown bodies,” Mitchell said. “Their system of mass incarceration has not helped the black community.”
Williams said the business model of private prisons requires they lobby for criminal justice and immigration policies to incarcerate as many people as possible. Williams also said these policies generally lead to the disproportionate number of racial minorities in the prison facilities of corporations like GEO and CCA.
“Their business model is getting as many people incarcerated as possible and having contracts, and if they can’t do that, then how are they going to make money?” Williams said..."

CITIZEN ACTIVISTS ARRESTED ON U.S. CAPITOL STEPS URGING PRESIDENT OBAMA TO DELIVER A REAL STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTING INCOME INEQUALITY, MILITARISM, RACISM & CLIMATE CHAOS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2016

We of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance gathered in the Capitol early Tuesday morning to deliver the Real State of the Union. We were encouraging the President to talk about the real ills in our society. We spent around six hours in the Capitol Police Jail and were released by 10 p.m.

CITIZEN ACTIVISTS ARRESTED ON U.S. CAPITOL STEPS URGING PRESIDENT OBAMA TO DELIVER A REAL STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTING INCOME INEQUALITY, MILITARISM, RACISM & CLIMATE CHAOS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2016
Contacts: Joy First 608 239-4327 or joyfirst5 at gmail.com, Malachy Kilbride 301-283-7627or malachykilbride at yahoo.com,  or Max Obuszewski 727-543-3227 or mobuszewski at verizon.net

WHO:  Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) and associates have been speaking out against the illegal actions of the United States government since 2003.  They have organized numerous actions across the country involving nonviolent civil resistance in order to speak out publicly against government policies. For example, on September 22, 2015 fifteen citizen activists were arrested at the White House while trying to deliver a letter urging President Barack Obama to listen to Pope Francis and end income inequality and militarism and to take action to mitigate the effects of climate chaos.

WHAT:  Most recently, members of NCNR wrote a petition to President Obama, which is available upon request, urging him to deliver a Real State of the Union.  Traditionally, Obama and other presidents fail to address all of the problems faced by the United States when delivering this annual message. If the president doesn’t address the need for drastic policy changes, then wars, poverty, the climate crisis, racism and systemic violence will continue. 


Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court Police would not allow two killer drone replicas to be placed on the sidewalk directly in front of the courthouse.  This was symptomatic of what is happening around the country.  As surveillance of US citizens broadens, First Amendment rights are eroding.  So instead about 50 peace and justice activists gathered for a rally on the sidewalk some 100 feet away from the courthouse.  Several speakers addressed a myriad of ills plaguing our society-- the unending wars, the bloated Pentagon budget, mass incarceration, torture at the prison in Guantanamo, Islamophobia, killer drone strikes, and government support of the despotic Saudi Arabian monarchy which decapitates more people than ISIS.
Finally, the group did a march to the U.S. Capitol, and a delegation asked a Capitol Police representative if the petition and a list of alleged U.S. war crimes could be delivered to the office of the vice-president.  The representative denied the request, but indicated he would grant a permit to demonstrate in an area away from the Capitol steps.  He was informed that the demonstration was completed, and now the group wanted the petition to be delivered.  Because the citizen activists were being denied their First Amendment rights, they gathered on the lower steps holding a banner which read STOP THE WAR MACHINE EXPORT PEACE and sang the traditional “WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.” Thirteen of them were then arrested and charged with “incommoding and obstructing.”
WHEN AND WHERE: January 12, 2016 at 3:30 PM on the steps of the U.S. Capitol facing the Supreme Court

WHY:  President Obama was to deliver his final State of the Union address at 9 PM. So the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance hoped to have the petition delivered to Joe Biden’s office some six hours before the oration.  Possibly if Biden’s office had the petition and delivered it to the president’s office, then Obama might forego a speech with empty platitudes.  Possibly his conscience could be pricked and he would have eloquently outlined all of the problems facing this nation and its people. Then he could have asked our elected officials to deal with the problems.

Instead President Obama failed to address the issues raised in the petition. For example, the NCNR message to the president included this: “A real State of the Union would be a frank speech which would condemn our country’s addiction to economic inequality, racial injustice, warmongering and the destruction of our planet.  After being honest about our failures, you would then urge our elected officials to go in a new direction, based on a democratic ideal for we the people, and not for we the wealthy.   Tell them to listen to the people, and not the corporations.  You could inform them that you will utilize diplomacy and other peaceful means.  You could tell them to listen to the scientific community and not the fossil fuel industry.”
In an authentic democracy citizens have a right to access their elected officials. A representative government should produce a budget that would benefit all and not a tiny minority of wealthy individuals and powerful corporations, and that is hurtful to the poor. But, this is not the case.  Since our government is under the grip of the elite and unwilling to represent the 99 %, NCNR members and associates went to Capitol Hill to express their vision for a just society.  However, the group was denied accesse, and thirteen of them were arrested--Carol Gay, from New Jersey, Martin Gugino, from Buffalo, Joy First and Phil Runkel, from Wisconsin, Malachy Kilbride, a Maryland Quaker, Linda LeTendre, from Saratoga Springs, New York, Joan Nicholson, a Pennsylvania Quaker, Max Obuszewski, Baltimore, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, from Kentucky, Trudy Silver & Alice Sutter, from New York City, Brian Terrell, Iowa, and the venerable Eve Tetaz in a walker, Washington, D.C.  They are to be arraigned in D.C. Superior Court at 11 AM on February 3, and the citizen activists look forward to their day in court.  They will argue their constitutional right to petition the government and remind the court that the Capitol belongs to the people.
Other groups across the country planned solidarity actions on January 12, including at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada and Beale Air Force Base in California. Five anti-drone activists were arrested outside the Beale base.   In addition, solidarity actions were planned at the CIA in Virginia on January 9 and at Volk Field in Wisconsin on January 26.

The Best Wine for the Wedding: A RC Woman Priest’s Homily for Jan 17,2016

https://judyabl.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/the-best-wine-for-the-wedding/

God loves God’s people with the passion of a spouse for the beloved, and this IS a transforming love. The readings for today have many meanings but God’s transforming love is the common denominator.  And how thankful I am for this transformation and its possibilities for everyone. If you recall the times of deep love in your life, especially when it was new, or newly reaffirmed   and remember the many ways that your own most powerful love transformed you, you will have a sense of how God works in our lives. I remember being filled with joy and nearly dancing down the street. All of the common sights were made new and I noticed the beauty in everything. Every task was elevated to something important and done with greater care. My energy was uncharacteristically so heightened that people smiled and were lifted in our interactions. Nothing was ordinary, nothing was dull, and nothing was too hard or too simple to do. I was alive and the whole world was alive with me.  I was on fire and setting the world around me on fire. The transformations of love, of being loved and of loving, of reciprocal love-what an untapped power!
Such transforming love is for lovers, for spouses, for parents of all types (biological, adoptive, foster and others), and it is for teachers and pastors, priests, and preachers and dear friends, it is for community workers of all sorts, including those whose love activates and animates a community. This may be a community of faith, or a community that stands together to make the changes for justice that must be made, even in adversity. This is the love that is prophetic, often charismatic, and strong enough to precipitate change. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday is celebrated on January 18th and whose dream was to build the beloved community,   was a prophet who was motivated and transformed by such love. The love of his “Precious Lord” motivated King (his favorite hymn was “Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand….”).  His experience of God’s love was transformed into his love for his African-American people and for all oppressed and poor people. It gave him the courage to inspire others, to  lead a Movement and to die for the dream of justice and equality for all.  In this he followed Jesus, the Precious Lord he loved.
Who or what do you call “precious” in your life? Partner, spouse, family, friends, co-workers, pets, neighbors, church members?  Or is it the thingsyou love, house, car, jewelry, expensive electronic devices? What is precious to you can transform you-one way or the other.
The first reading is Isaiah 62:1-5 where God’s love for Jerusalem changes her name from “Forsaken” to “My Delight is in Her” and “Espoused”…. “Your land will be joined with God in wedlock” –“Your Builder will marry you”….  “As the newly married couple rejoice over each other, so will YHWH rejoice over you”. (Various translations, TIB, NIV, NAB, ICEL).  Clearly, in any translation, God’s love transforms completely.  When this love is reciprocal, we rejoice in God and God rejoices in us and we rejoice each other. God’s transformative love is the love of the Beloved Community, where justice and compassion are the order of the day. And we are empowered to be builders with God of this community.
To do this God gives us many varied gifts (I Corinthians 12: 4-11). God’s Spirit produces a wide variety of gifts and distributes them at will so that we can all help to build the Beloved Community with God. As the Psalm (96: 1-3: 7-10) says “Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.” The Beloved Community, based on Justice, is to be inclusive of all. And the song we sing must be a new song! (PS 96:1).  I often hear our kids say: “That is the same old, same old”. And, no one is listening to “the same old, same old”. But, when we are full of the passion and fire of Love the song IS a new song. And we sing it with energy, joy and conviction.  We are back to the wedding theme, praying that our love with God does not grow old and stale but is kept new, as new as a young couple rejoicing in one another, and like the new wine in the Gospel.
The Gospel for Sunday, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, (John 2:1-11) is a segway from the special feast days of Christmas, Epiphany and the Baptism to the works of Jesus, the Christ, God’s Beloved, the Anointed One. Accounts of Jesus’ works are called Ordinary Time by the church, though what Jesus does and says is anything but ordinary. Jesus and his Mother Mary and probably his friends and other family members are at a wedding in Cana. It is a joyful time for the community.  But the music will soon stop as the host has run out of wine. This is shameful for the host and will certainly disrupt the celebration. Mary brings this problem to her son, and she expects him to do something about it, instructing the stewards to do whatever he says to do. Jesus has not planned to start his ministry this way (John 2: 4), but he takes the opportunity to show God’s abundant love and, in a passage rich with symbolism, to let the community know that something new is about to happen. The six huge stone water purification jars are standing there in disuse, quite empty.  If people wanted to fulfill washing rituals they would not have been able to do so. Jesus has these huge jars, each holding from 15 to 25 or 30 gallons, filled with water then turns it into wine. Probably a whole town could not consume so much wine-it is wine in great abundance. And it is described as “the best wine”, “the good wine”, “choice, wine” that has been “kept until now”.
Jesus moves the religious symbolism of the day from purification to abundant love, from a religion based on laws governing everything including when and how to wash to a religion based on God’s abundant love for all. The wedding is an apt metaphor for this, even as it was in Isaiah 62.  On another level, Jesus is the new wine. He has faith that the new wine can be contained in the old vessels, but this is yet to be determined by the response of the people to the Way taught, lived and exemplified by Jesus. Jesus not only saves the host from shame but he brings life to the party. In the context of a wedding party, Jesus invites us to dance with the Beloved. Here’s to the dance! And, here’s to building the Beloved Community with the Beloved! Get on up now!
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP
Co-Pastor Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community
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Homily for Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 2 OT, C Jan. 17, 2916 by Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Today's scriptures bring us a clear message:
The times, they are a-changin'!
Some of us who were around 52 years ago
heard that message in our society and in our church.
It was January 13, 1964,
when Bob Dylan's prophetic song was released.
It spoke to the mood of the times,
reflecting protests across America.
And in our church the Second Vatican Council was half over,
calling for a change to
the way our Church had been doing things.
We heard ourselves called the “people of God.”
We heard about Catholicism's long tradition of social justice
based on the right and dignity of all people.
We were called into dialogue with other Christians,
a call that continues
as we begin the Week of Christian Unity tomorrow.
________________________________________
Today we hear Isaiah prophesy,
after the Jewish people returned from exile:
God is in charge, he reminds the people,
and justice will shine forth!
And we hear, in John's Gospel,
with its highly developed Christology,
about the Cana wedding.
Two weeks ago we heard about the epiphany—
the manifestation of God among us—
in the star over the stable.
Last week we heard about the epiphany I
n the voice over the waters at Jesus' baptism—
another manifestation of God among us.
Now we have a third epiphany
as the water of ritual purification
turns into the good wine of celebration,
sign and symbol of the hope
that what has gone wrong with the tradition
can and will be renewed to become even greater.
________________________________________
Each of these manifestations of God, these epiphanies,
reveals a foundational truth.
As the International Theological Commission put it last year,
“the faithful have an instinct for the truth,
which enables them to recognize and endorse
authentic Christian doctrine and practice,
and to reject what is false.”
So the magi follow the star.
Jesus listens to that inner voice telling him he is a child of God.
The disciples see the meaning of the wine out of water and begin to
follow him.
Throughout the scriptures,
throughout all the religions of the world,
the observation holds:
God can and does speak to each and every person.
________________________________________
First century Judaism
sprouted a good number of variant communities
because people could see the contradiction
between what they knew to be holy
and what they saw and experienced
in some of their Temple leaders and civic rulers.
What happened to Jesus' disciples to give them strength to go on—
in spite of the crucifixion and the persecution—
was their experience of God's presence in their lives.
Jesus' way made sense to them.
Why?
It was their instinct for the truth,
their sensus fidelium—the sense of the faithful.
________________________________________
These days people are walking away
from the Roman Catholic Church and other mainline religions.
Why?
It's their sensus fidelium.
People living in this 21st century world,
with 21st century science and 21st century society,
find themselves in a 15th century religion.
The world is real.
Their religion becomes more and more unreal.
People experience God in their lives—like Jesus did—
and God in other people,
sometimes Catholics but also in other Christians
and in people of other faith traditions
and in people of no organized faith at all.
And in their patriarchal, hierarchical Catholic Church
people sometimes find too little celebration of,
or even recognition of,
the validity of their own experience of God
and too many rules
aimed at celebrating someone else's experience of God.
________________________________________
Even so, many of us stay.
We believe, as our tradition teaches—
from Augustine to Hans Küng to Pope Francis—
ecclesia semper reformanda—
the Church is always reforming.
We have hope.
And we try to live the change we hope for.
________________________________________
People who are seeking authentic religion
are listening to the prophets of real faith,
theologians like Ilia Delio and Elizabeth Johnson;
ecclesiologists like Rick Gaillardetz;
pastoral folks like Jim Bacik and Joan Chittister;
and here in our Holy Spirit Community,
spirit-filled and spirit-driven people—
each one of you,
with your unique gifts and charisms
and open minds and open hearts.
________________________________________
God is good.
And we are the people of God.

--
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sun City Celebrates Liturgy with Anointing of the Sick on January 14, 2016, Katy Zatsick, ARCWP, Presider

All present read the prayers of anointing for Caroline.
After the liturgy Paddy asked for anointing and the community anointed him and also prayed for the healing of his back.
Theresa anointing Caroline for healing.  All present anointed Caroline




Maria receiving communion from Connie

left to right: Katy and Elana


Front Row Theresa, Paddy Cooney (host of MMOJ at SCC) 

Left to right  Elana, Roman, his sister Connie, Marie Mary Lou Hamilton, Katy, Suzanne, Caroline

All: In the name of God the Beginning of all creation; our Brother Jesus who
is our Sun and Sofia gifting us with growth in wisdom.  Amen


All: Opening Prayer: 

O God we stand at the beginning of our new year.  We know you journey with
us each day of our lives. May we experience fully the meaning of being a man
or a woman on our journey home to you, our Beginning and our Destination.
Be with us in our joys and sorrows, our comings and goings, our beginnings
and endings this year 2016. Amen.



First Reading: Farewell and Hello by Jan P

Farewell to arms, to terror, and crimes against nature.

Farewell to half truths, deception, political subterfuge.

Farewell to jealousy, fear, pressure to be, to do,

to behave this way and that.

Farewell to pettiness of logic and laughter,

to wishing it were otherwise,

to pretty soon, any day now, almost ready.  



Hello to yes, to this is the time.

Hello to I deserve this, I created this,

I make all things new.

Hello to abundance begins with myself,

to this is my one life,

to these are my holy and precious hours.

Hello to saying what is true,

knowing what is mine.

Hello to this is what I am called to do.

This is why I came.

 

Sixty-six times I have stood

at this threshold,

I have seen this happen:

there is a door, a light in the distance,

a slight trembling in my legs,

the taste of the unknown,

and always the question,
coming at me like a wind 

Do you mean it this time?

Are you coming?
By Jan Phillip



This too is an Inspired Word

All: Thanks be to God



Psalm Response: Psalm 136, from Psalms for Praying -An Invitation to
Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill



All: Your Love creates and sustains us

O sing praises to the Beloved,

Whose Love sustains us;

Yes, give thanks to the Heart of all hearts,

And bow down before the Most High,

Whose Love sustains us!

All: Your Love creates and sustains us



To You, who call us to repentance and rebirth,

To You who accompany us as we face our fears,

Your Love sustains us.

To You who liberate us to live into our birthright,

Who sends the Counselor to lead us on paths of peace,

Who comforts us in times of sorrow and loneliness,

Your love sustains us.

All: Your Love creates and sustains us



To You, who instruct us in truth and justice

To You who open our hearts to the cry of the poor,

You call us to radiate your Love to the world,

All: Your Love creates and sustains us


Second Reading  Christopher Fry his play "A Sleep of Prisoners"


"Dark and cold we may be, but this is no winter now,

The frozen misery of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move.

The thunder is the thunder of the floes, the thaw, the flood, the upstart
Spring.

Thank God our time is now, when wrong comes up to face us everywhere,

Never to leave us till we take the longest stride of soul men (and women)
ever took.  Affairs are now soul size.  The enterprise...is exploration into
God."

This too is an inspired word.  All: thanks be to God  

(Taken from "Abounding in Kindness" Elizabeth A Johnson. Pg 34.)





Gospel Reading:  Taken from the scriptures


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...

Human kind was created as God's reflection: in the divine image God created
them; female and male, God made them. (Gen 1:1, 27)



In the beginning there was the Word; the Word was in God's presence, and the
Word was God...The Word was present to God from the beginning.  Through the
Word all things came into being, and apart from the Word nothing came into
that has come into being.  In the Word was life, and that life was
humanity's light---a Light that shines in the darkness, a Light that the
darkness has never overtaken.   (John 1:1-5)



Here begins the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God: as it was written in
Isaiah the prophet: to prepare your way, a herald's voce in the desert,
crying, 'Make ready the way of our God.  Clear a straight path.'"  (Mark
1:1-3)



From the beginning of Creation, "God made them male and female.  This is why
one person leaves home and cleaves to another, and the two become one flesh"
(Mark 10:6-8)



Nation will rise against nation and empire against empire; there will be
earthquakes throughout the world and famines---yet this is only the
beginning of the labor pains...Say whatever is given to you at the time, for
it will not be you speaking, but the Holy Spirit."  (Mark 13:8, 11)



I too have investigated everything carefully from the beginning and have
decided to set it down in writing for you...(Luke 1:2)



(On the way to Emmaus Jesus appeared to two disciples) Then beginning with
Moses and all the prophets, Jesus interpreted for them every passage of
scripture which referred to the Messiah. (Luke 24:27)



The way in which I (Paul) was raised as a child, beginning among my own
people and later in Jerusalem, is well know among the Jewish community.
They have known fro the beginning and could testify, if they were wiling,
that I have lived the life of a Pharisee... (Acts 26:4-5)

:

This is the Good News of Jesus our brother.

All: Praise to you our brother Jesus



Dialog homily:

What new beginning do you see for yourself in 2016? Family, community?

-emotionally, spiritually, physically?

What may you have to leave behind as change comes as Jan writes in her poem?


How might you deepen your relationship with God in 2016? To begin again?
How might your relationship with God change?



Anointing for Caroline 



Prayers of the community

Response: All: God calling us to begin, hear our prayer.



Offertory:

Co-Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation, through your goodness we
have this bread to offer which earth has given and human hands have made.
This bread is our faith community seeking knowledge, consciousness and new
beginnings in faith.  May we individually and as a community live your
vision of peace and healing for all.  This will become for us the bread of
life.

All:  Blessed be God forever.

Co-Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation.  Through your goodness we
have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. This
drink is our desire to bring new beginnings to all and to your earth.  This
wine and juice will become our spiritual drink.

All:  Blessed be God forever.

My sisters and brothers let us pray together that our gifts may be
acceptable to God our Creator and soul's beginning.

All:  May God accept these gifts from our hands, for the praise and glory of
God's name, for our wisdom and the knowledge of all the People of God.

Co-Presider:  Ever gentle God, We give you thanks for the blessing of
worshiping you as a community.  Accept our gifts and our worship.  By
offering ourselves may we be filled with your Spirit Source of new
beginnings-spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  We ask this through
Jesus Christ, our brother.   Amen.



Eucharistic Prayer from sheet

Our father/mother recited by all:

Sign of Peace...sung, Peace is flowing...Love is flowing...Alleluia,
alleluia...



The bread is broken.

All: This is the Creator of our past, present and future.  Our God of
Evolution is the source of all who calls each of us to nourish all
beginnings in Jesus our Brother.  How blessed are we who are called to the
supper of Jesus.  May we be who we are--the Body of Christ.  May we be what
we eat--the Body of Christ. Amen

Passing the bread "We are the Body of Christ."

Passing the wine "We are the Blood of Christ"



Prayers of thanksgiving and final thoughts



Closing Prayer All:

We give you thanks in calling us together at the beginning of our new year.
May we journey with each other, sharing our lives and your compassion.
During the coming year, in times of beginning and ending may we experience
your loving presence with us. As always we pray in the name of Jesus, our
brother and your beloved son. Amen.



Blessing. Raise hands in mutual blessing

All: May our evolutionary God of Wholeness bless all gathered here and all
those in our families and community.  We ask for God's Healing Presence for
all in the name of our Creator, in the name of our Brother Jesus, and in the
name of God's Spirit Sofia as we minister to one another as the People of
God. Amen 



Co-Presiders: Go in the peace of Christ, let our service continue!  May this
new year bring the happiest of beginnings for ourselves, our family and
friends.

All: Thanks be to God.

____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________




Anointing of the Sick

January 14, 2016



We are gathered to anoint Caroline our sister in faith.  She has asked for
our prayers as Caroline continues to receive treatment for her illness.



A reading from James 5:13-14

Are any of you in trouble? Then pray.  Are any of you in good spirits? Then
sing a hymn of praise.  Are any of you sick? Then call for the elders of the
church, and have them pray over those who are sick and anoint them with oil
in the name of Christ.



A reading from Luke 7: 19-23

When the disciples of John came to Jesus they said, "John the Baptizer sends
us to you with this question: "Are you He who is to come? Or do we look for
some one else?"...Jesus gave this response, "go and report to John what you
have seen and heard.  The blind recover their sight, cripples walk, lepers
are cured, the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the poor have
good news preached to them. 



Presider: Let us bless this oil by raising our hands and asking the Spirit
to be present.

All: Life giving and healing Spirit Sofia the Consoler enter this precious
oil, this soothing ointment, this rich gift, this fruit of the earth.  May
this oil be a healing balm for our sister Caroline.  Bring her body healing
freeing her from all illness. Holy Spirit fill her heart, mind and soul with
healing comfort. Blessed be God who heals us in Christ in whom we trust.  As
always we pray in the name of Jesus our brother and your Beloved Son.  Amen



Presider: My brothers and sisters, in our prayer of faith, let us appeal to
God for our sister Caroline.



Come and strengthen her thorough this holy anointing we pray:

All: Loving God hear us.



Free Caroline from all harm we pray

All: Loving God hear us



Assist all those who are dedicated to the care of Caroline in her illness we
pray

All: Loving God hear us.



Give life and health to our sister Caroline whom we anoint this day in your
name, we pray.

All: Loving God hear us.



Anointing with oil takes place



Closing prayer by all

May our loving God of Wholeness be with you to protect you Caroline.

May God guide you and give you strength

May our Loving God watch over you, keep you in God's care,

and bless you with the peace of Jesus our brother.

May our Loving God bless Caroline and each of us.  Amen