Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rejoice! Blessed is the One who comes…Two Roman Catholic Women Priests reflect on Palm Sunday



https://judyabl.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/10239/




Churches all over the world will be adorned in palm branches this Sunday commemorating the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem seated on the back of a donkey. In our church as in many Roman Catholic and other churches, people will gather,carrying palms and singing Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest, as was done for the first time by the crowd welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem. Here we present my Palm Sunday reflections along with that of Rev. Chava Redonnet of Oscar Romero Mission Church in Rochester, New York.

This year the Gospel of Luke 19:28-40 will be read and we will see Jesus enacting the prophecy about the coming of Zion’s ruler in Zechariah 9:9-10. “Rejoice in heart and soul….Shout with gladness daughter of Jerusalem! Look! Your ruler comes to you: victorious and triumphant, humble, riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”(TIB) The NAB translation of this verse read: “Shout for joy…See, your king shall come to you; a just savior he is, meek and riding on the foal of an ass”. The Peshitta (Near Eastern translation from Jesus’ Aramaic) reads “…he is righteous and a Savior, lowly and riding…upon a colt, the foal of an ass”. The fulfillment of this prophecy about the Messiah is why Jesus sent his disciples to get the colt he would ride on into Jerusalem. To ride on a donkey in that age was more a sign of humiliation than royalty, for only the poor rode on donkeys. Royalty rode on fine horses or in transport pulled by powerful steeds. So, here is Jesus the king of the poor and outcast, for he had loved them, healed them, taught them and won their hearts, now welcomed by them with great joy. They spread their cloaks on the ground before him and the “whole multitude of his disciples”praised God for the mighty things they had seen. They shouted “Hosanna” which means “Save” in Hebrew but is a song of praise. Matthew’s Gospel says “the whole city was stirred up” at his arrival.

The account of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem is in all four Gospels. John’s Gospel (Ch 12) adds that the people recalled the raising of Lazarus and thronged around him. “Look, the whole world has gone after him! (12:19b). In Luke’s (Ch 19) account Jesus was asked by the Pharisees to quiet his disciples. He said that if they were quiet even the stones would cry out! This was a time of acclamation and joy, the universe itself was in accord. I think that the joyful shouts of acclamation filled Jesus’ heart and even for a short while he knew that despite what lied ahead, and he had already predicted that, he had accomplished his mission- the ordinary, the poor, the sick and the outcast along with his other disciples, men and women and children, knew who he was and would carry on his work. This deep knowledge and his always close Abba, Amma God (Papa, Mama) gave him the strength to face what was ahead of him.

And, then as he drew close to Jerusalem , Jesus wept for Jerusalem(Luke 19:41) and the people as they did not accept the prophets before him, or him-“you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you”- and destruction not peace would come to them. The oppressors would win after all in Jerusalem and for this, he wept. Then, he entered the Temple and further enraged the authorities by throwing out the money changers and the sellers of animals, doves and others, for sacrifice. In essence, He set those birds and animals free and put the place where God was supposed to live back into God-perspective. God doesn’t want any form of animal or living sacrifice, God wants lives and hearts full of justice and love for everyone. This is to be a house of prayer! The ensuing parable of the tenants in the vineyard ( Luke 20:1-19) where the owner has to send his son because the others collecting the debt were killed and the son is also killed tells us what will happen next.

On Palm Sunday I like to stop a while and savor the victory with Jesus. Let us take time with Jesus to deeply feel the affirmations of those we have come to serve and of those who love us. Take time to feel the love. Take time to feel the joy of the moment when we too fulfill what we have come to do and when all is well. Do not rush ahead to when the price we pay for living the Gospel and the inevitable troubles of life weigh heavy on us. Jesus’entire ministry is about loving relationship as he shares his loving Abba/Amma God with all around him in his every action and word that says ‘all are welcome, come closer’.

Jesus’ joy was short- lived because his work was not done-he got off that little donkey and kept on going with his actions and his teaching that angered the establishment. I think the strength of the heartfelt Hosannas propelled him on. I also think that it may well have been a different crowd that shouted “crucify him” while his loyal group of lowly folks, lowly like him, lowly like we are, were overwhelmed by the greater powerful interests of the religious establishment and the Roman Oppressors.

The Roman Catholic Liturgy for Palm Sunday really rushes Jesus’ moments of victory as once the palms are placed down, the entire Passion is read for the Gospel (this year Luke 22:14-23;56). Some have explained that because so many of the”faithful” will not attend the events of Holy Week but will return on Easter, this is the only chance to share the events of “Holy Week” that precede Easter with them. How sad, but how human to choose to miss the events of self-emptying on Holy Thursday and the Passion of Christ on Good Friday. How like us to want the joy of Palm Sunday and Easter without a reminder of the inevitable suffering that life has for Jesus, and yes, for all of us. For those of us stricken with major illness or life altering loss this year, and that is real once again for me, and for many in our congregation, and those who work tirelessly for justice and peace when it is so slow to come, the Jesus who weeps for the people and who loves and forgives even from the cross (Luke 23: 34 and 43) is the Jesus who knows and abides with us in suffering. We are not alone, no matter how sad, frightened or frustrated we may become. To me, the rising from the dead makes no sense without the anguish of service and suffering. It is anguish and suffering we rise from , not only after death, but in all of the small deaths that life may bring us. The life given us is blessed by God as good and beautiful from its inception and from our birth. But for so many there is so much difficulty as we proceed to live in the worlds and skins we have been born in. We need a Christ who can understand and be with us in the real world.

Yes, Jesus will be killed in a brutal and slow tortuous way. But even there he will make a statement of victory. When we rely on the English translations from the Greek alone we may miss this shout of victory from the Cross. In Matthew 27:46 we have Jesus saying the Aramaic words “Eli, Eli, L’mana Sabachtani.” In English that is translated “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” It is phrased as a question and is taken to mean the abandonment of God. But Aramaic scholar Rocco Errico (Let There Be Light, pp. 12-13) points out, it can also be understood as a declaration: “O God! O God To what (a purpose) You have kept me!” or “O Sustainer, O Sustainer! To what a purpose you have left me.” “Left” does not mean abandoned but it means spared to fulfill an end or destiny”. God never forsook or abandoned Jesus, and God will never forsake us. It is a cry of “I have accomplished it” (Like the “it is finished” in other accounts). The Lamsa version of the Aramaic translates, “for this was my destiny!” In other words, in addition to the words of forgiveness and inclusion (for the thief) from the Cross we have a sense of completion of Jesus’ work -only to be topped by the resurrection! And that indeed is the conclusion of Holy Week and of the holy weeks of our lives-rising from the dead!

Amen to the Victory of Palm Sunday and the Victory of the Cross-God is with us until the end, and will raise us up! Amen!!!

Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP

Co-Pastor Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Fort Myers, Florida

http://www.goodshepmin.org

And now we present Rev. Chava Redonnet’s 2014, Reflection on Palm Sunday.

On Palm Sunday I think of something Dom Helder Camara of Brazil said once,
that he imagined himself in the Triumphal Procession into Jerusalem… and he
was the donkey. That’s a lovely image for us as church: to be God-bearers
for each other, bringers of love. We don’t have to be perfect, we don’t
have to get everything right: we can be humble bearers of the love of God.
I guess I was a God-bearer for a man I met this week who remembered the
joy of communityfrom the past, too, because it gave him so much
joy to learn that I was there, too. He ended his recitation of what we’d
done on those marches, holding out his arms to me and saying joyfully, “And
YOU were there, TOO!”Another day this week, I met a different man. This other man had cut
himself off from everyone in his life. Everyone he was related to, he spoke
of with anger and disgust. When I asked about God, he said, “There is no
God!” I listened to his litany of anger and rejection, and finally said,
“Sounds like a lonely life.” Tears filled his eyes. This man seemed to me
like a cell without water,unable to connect with anyone around him, not
even God. He didn’t want prayer but I told him I would send good energy his
way. He liked that. Maybe that’s a little crack of openness to love in his
soul. I hope so.Lastly, a story from our Sunday Mass at St Romero’s last week. We were a
very small group. Just as we were about to share Communion, he left the
room, using his telephone. I was surprised but went on,serving communion
and praying, then just waiting for him. Finally he came back. “I just
remembered,” he said. “Jesus said if you’re mad at someone you need to
reconcile before you come to the altar. So I had to call someone and
apologize before I came to communion.”Look for God wherever you are, this week! May we all be God-bearers for
each other, carriers of love and hope. Have a blessed Holy Week.Blessings and love to all,
ChavaOscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Community of Liberation, Justice and Joy
Worshiping in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph’s House of Hospitality
402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620

HAVE A BLESSED PALM SUNDAY!

Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Vigil of Palm Sunday, Presiders: Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Lee Breyer, Music Minister, Mindy Lou Simmons






Theme: The Path and the Price







Welcome and Introduction to the Palm Sunday Opening and Music Preparation





Gathering Prayer



Presider: Let us pray as we come together to break bread and share the blessings we have received from our God through the example of Jesus on earth. Through the Holy Spirit, may we learn to love as he did, everyone he met. May we open our hearts to the planet on which we live, wherever we are - and the people we encounter, whoever they are - in this one world.

All: Amen.

All: This is the day that our God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!



Presider: Please hold your palms at an angle towards the middle aisle.



Blessing of the Palms



Presider: Loving God, we ask you to bless these palms, the plants to which you gave life and now we use to herald the entrance of Jesus to the holy city, Jerusalem. May we receive the joy that his followers experienced on that day; and may we walk with him in our days ahead. We ask this of you, through Jesus our Brother, and the Spirit our Wisdom. Amen.



Entrance/Processional Hymn: Hosanna to the Son of David #138



Opening Prayer



Presider (when at the front and the candle and gospel book are in place): Let us pray.



All: God of life, wholeness and holiness, you who direct all creation to its fulfillment in Jesus, the Christ - open our hearts to the message of the Gospel so that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice may guide our lives. Loving God, bless all of us gathered here and all those of our community who are not with us today. We ask this of you, our brother Jesus, and our sister Sophia. Amen.




Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness



Presider: Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden. We ask you to send your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will and that we may be worthy to be called your blessed people.

All: Help us to prayerfully hear Wisdom’s messages, to faithfully understand them, and to continually receive the strength to follow them in all lives.



Presider: Christ Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in goodness and caring for ourselves, for others, and for our planet earth.

All: Help us to extend your forgiving presence in us to all those with whom we live, with no exceptions.



Presider: We join with you, Jesus the Christ, believing that the insight, direction, and strength of the Holy Spirit will lead us to deeper dedications to justice, equality, peace, and nonviolence. And together, as the family of God and sisters and brothers of one another, we pray:

All: (with an outstretched arm): God, the Father and Mother of mercy, through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, he bonded the world to you. He sent the Holy Spirit to move among us and all creation. May that Spirit give us the wisdom to love you - and the strength and compassion to love one another. Merciful God, teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to forgive our failures to care for one another and for our planet Earth. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our brother and of the Holy Spirit, our healer and comforter. Amen.



Glory to God



All: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all God’s people on earth. Creator God, heart of the universe, we thank you for the breath of the Spirit sustaining everything that exists, everywhere in the cosmos. Through the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, you gave us the grace to know that you are always among us – and that we can experience you in our brothers and sisters. We give you glory and praise through Jesus Christ, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.



Liturgy of the Word



First reading: Wisdom 11: 22-12:1 All: Thanks be to God.

Psalm 90: Responsorial: In every age, O God, you have been our refuge (2x) #791

Second reading: Colossians 1:12-20 All: Glory and thanks to our Savior, Jesus the Christ.

Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia

Gospel: Luke 19:28-40



Shared Homily/Community Reflection



Discussion starter: The path, the price. Jerusalem, my destiny. Calculations and outcomes.



Profession of Faith

All: We believe in God, the Creator of the universe, whose divinity infuses all that exists, making everything, everywhere, sacred. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who leads us to the fullness of humanity. Through him, we become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Wisdom who keeps the Christ-vision present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives – and the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our spirits may grow weary in our journeys. We say: Amen to courage, to hope, and to truth. We say: Amen to the partnership and equality of all people of different genders, races, and faiths. We believe in a world of justice and peace for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this, we surely believe.



Prayers of the Community



Presider: We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We are always mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for all of us. And so, we bring the needs of people - throughout the world - to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, respond: Compassionate God, hear our prayers.



Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. We ask you to strengthen us in our caring for one another and in our works for justice, equality, and peace in a world without violence. As always, we make this prayer in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.





Offertory Procession “As We Gather at Your Table” #314, verses 1,2,3



Preparation of the Gifts



Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, this grain that the earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

All: Blessed be God forever.



Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, this fruit of the vine that human hands have made. It will become for us our spiritual drink.

All: Blessed be God forever.



Gathering of the Gifted



Presider: Jesus, who has sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his family table. Everyone is welcome around the table of our God

ALL: Merciful God, we are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who proclaims your mercy to all those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. May we live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel, supported by the vision of Jesus and the wisdom of the Spirit. Amen.



Presider: God dwells in each one of us. All: Namaste!

Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.

All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.

Presider: Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at our family table.

All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all your creation.

Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.

All: We lift them up to the Holy One, living in us and loving through us.

Eucharistic Prayer



Voice 1: Ever present and always caring God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. In you we live and move and have our very being. Your Spirit dwelling in us gives us the hope of unending peace and joy with you. Your gift of the Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven.



Voice 2: We thank you, God, for the gift of Jesus in history - and the gift of Jesus in faith. You raised him up from among your people to baptize us in your Spirit. He was moved by his vision of your constant presence among us. He burned with insight and truth, revealing you in his life well lived. He showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may die.



Voice 3: When his time had come, Jesus suffered for the values he deeply believed and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death. And then, as a model of this insight for the ages to come, he opened wide his arms and died. The Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, showed us that life is eternal and love is immortal. Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.



All: O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts that we gathered from the fields and placed on our table -- this simple wheat and wine. May she have them become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.



(With an outstretched arm as we pray the consecration together. We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died. He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it. This bread is you; this bread is me. We are one body, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me. [Pause]



In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this, all of you, and drink it. This wine is you; this wine is me. We are one blood, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me.



Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.



All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives in us and through us in the world today.



Voice 4: In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this life-giving bread and this saving cup. May all who share this sacred meal be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus move freely in our lives as well.



Voice 5: God, remember your church throughout the world, help us grow in love, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your people everywhere - especially those who live on the margins of church and society. Remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts. We remember especially….(mention names, if you would like to).

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. Amen (sung).



All: Our Father and Mother ……..Amen.



All: Lord God, we have prayed that your kindom may come among us. Open our ears to hear it, our hands to serve it, and our hearts to hold it. Amen.



The Sign of Peace



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 and ….



All: … grant us your peace. O 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.



Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another.



Litany for the Breaking of Bread



Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for peace and justice. We will live justly.



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



Presider: Loving God...All: you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk humbly with you.



Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. All: We are the Body of Christ.



Pre-Communion Prayer



Presider: Lord 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, 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 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.



During Communion “Holy, Holy, Holy”



After Communion Hymn “All I Ask Of You” #491 (all verses)

Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion



Presider: Eternal God, may this Eucharist in which we always share Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and our unity with one another. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, the Wisdom. All: Amen.



Community Prayers of Gratitude and Announcements



Closing Prayer



All: May our hearts be glad on our journey as we dream new dreams and see new visions.



May we all live and work for peace, justice, and non-violence in our hearts for ourselves and our brothers and sisters - whoever they are and wherever they are.



May we learn to bless, honor, and hold in reverence the Earth and one another. Amen.



Closing Community Blessing



Presider: Our prayer as we anticipate Easter is that we may recognize and actively acknowledge the presence of the sacred in all those places on this earth that we are reluctant to search or simply overlook: in the stables of our own lives; among the downtrodden who live on the edges of our society; in immigrants especially but also in people who are “different” from us. And we pray -- (with an outstretched arm in blessing)



All: May we realize Emmanuel, God-in-us, and give generous expression to this wonderful gift that we all share. May our nurturing God bless us all gathered here and all those in our communities. We ask this in the name of the Creator, in the name of Mary’s child, and in the Name of our Wisdom as we minister to one another as the People of God. Amen.



Closing Community Commisioning and Hymn “Jerusalem, My Destiny”



Presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ, let our service continue in all that we do.

ALL: Amen.



Jerusalem, My Destiny

Refrain:

I have fixed my eyes on your hills, Jerusalem, my Destiny! Though I cannot see the end for me, I cannot turn away. We have set our hearts for the way; this journey is our destiny. Let no one walk alone. The journey makes us one.



Verse: See, I leave the past behind; a new land calls to me. Here among you now I find
a glimpse of what might be. (Refrain)

Verse: To the tombs I went to mourn the hope I thought was gone, Here among you I awoke
to unexpected dawn. (Refrain)

Friday, March 18, 2016

HOMILY for the PROCESSION with PALMS by Beverly Bingle, RCWP




We started this Lenten journey
reminding ourselves that we are made of stardust
and will return to stardust.
We set about fine-tuning our habits
to bring our lives more closely in step
with the Way that Jesus teaches.
Now, as we begin the ritual celebrations
of this holiest week of the year,
we hear that, if we, as followers of Jesus,
do not proclaim the word,
the very stones will cry out.
We must proclaim our experience of God.
We must give witness to our life in God.
So here we are this afternoon—
living stones singing out in praise and petition,
ready once again to be radically transformed
through the power of God’s spirit
alive among us and with us and in us.


HOMILY for the MASS

Starting April 7, Fr. Jim Bacik
will present a series of lectures over at the Franciscan Center
on the pictures of Jesus that we get from each of the Gospels.
His titles give us an important clue about our scriptural tradition:
--in Mark's Gospel, Managing Our Demons.
--in Matthew's Gospel, Reforming the Church.
--in Luke's Gospel, Working for Justice.
--in John's Gospel, Improving our Personal Relationships.
Fr. Jim's titles point out that our scriptures,
written down 40 to 70 years after Jesus died,
document very different ways
that Jesus' followers understood him
and interpreted his teachings
according to the needs of their communities.
___________________________________________
What we know for sure about our Palm Sunday Gospel reading
is that Jesus went to Jerusalem,
came to the attention of authorities there,
was arrested, and was put to death.
After that, Jesus' disciples experienced his spirit still with them,
and they tried to tell others about their experience.
In today's way of speaking,
we'd say they tried to process what had happened,
to make sense of it.
And in order to do that,
they followed the pattern of their own ancestors in faith,
finding patterns in their holy writings
that made sense of Jesus' life and teachings and death,
and their experience of his presence among them afterward.
___________________________________________
The lesson for us is not, as some have erroneously put it,
that God sent Jesus to die to ransom us from our sins.
The lesson is that we are called to live the way that Jesus taught.
That is, we are to pray and discern.
We are to live in the conviction that God is in charge.
We are to take action for justice.
We are to speak the truth about oppression,
no matter what the powerful say about it.
We are to keep at it,
no matter what.
___________________________________________
As followers of the Way,
we are ready to stick with Jesus,
all the way from here to Calvary.
So we're resolved to lay down our lives for one another
by living the way Jesus lived
as best we can.
___________________________________________
Living in Ohio, or Michigan, these days,
it's not very likely that we'll be killed
for stepping up or speaking out,
for honoring our beliefs and persevering
in spite of any personal cost.
We know from the evening news
that some people here in the U.S.
are more likely than others to be attacked, even killed—
black people gathering for Sunday service,
or transgender people walking down the street,
or Latinos working in the fields.
And in some other countries,
people who stand up and speak out
are routinely gunned down or blown up or just “disappear.”
___________________________________________
Here, most of us don't face that kind of risk.
We aren't likely to be martyred for doing what's right.
Along the way, we might lose a friend.
Or a promotion at work.
More likely we'll give up some money
that we could have spent on ourselves
or saved for our kids to inherit.
Or we'll give up some time
that we could have spent having fun
instead of helping others.
We'll do
whatever we can
where we are.
We'll give up our lives following the Way of Jesus,
spending ourselves in works of peace and justice,
And when, eventually, we return to stardust,
we will shine for ever.

--
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Holy Thursday, March 24, 5:30 p.m.
Holy Saturday, March 26, 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

"I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin

The Real Irish-American Story Not Taught in Schools by Bill Bigelow

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"To support the famine relief effort, British tax policy required landlords to pay the local taxes of their poorest tenant farmers, leading many landlords to forcibly evict struggling farmers and destroy their cottages in order to save money. (Sketch: The Irish Famine: Interior of a Peasants Hut)
“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.” That pretty much sums up the Irish-American “curriculum” that I learned when I was in school. Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing.
Sadly, today’s high school textbooks continue to largely ignore the famine, despite the fact that it was responsible for unimaginable suffering and the deaths of more than a million Irish peasants, and that it triggered the greatest wave of Irish immigration in U.S. history. Nor do textbooks make any attempt to help students link famines past and present.
Yet there is no shortage of material that can bring these dramatic events to life in the classroom. In my own high school social studies classes, I begin with Sinead O’Connor’s haunting rendition of “Skibbereen,” which includes the verse:
… Oh it’s well I do remember, that bleak
December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came, to drive
Us all away
They set my roof on fire, with their cursed
English spleen
And that’s another reason why I left old
Skibbereen.
By contrast, Holt McDougal’s U.S. history textbook The Americans, devotes a flat two sentences to “The Great Potato Famine.” Prentice Hall’s America: Pathways to the Present fails to offer a single quote from the time. The text calls the famine a “horrible disaster,” as if it were a natural calamity like an earthquake. And in an awful single paragraph, Houghton Mifflin’s The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People blames the “ravages of famine” simply on “a blight,” and the only contemporaneous quote comes, inappropriately, from a landlord, who describes the surviving tenants as “famished and ghastly skeletons.” Uniformly, social studies textbooks fail to allow the Irish to speak for themselves, to narrate their own horror.
These timid slivers of knowledge not only deprive students of rich lessons in Irish-American history, they exemplify much of what is wrong with today’s curricular reliance on corporate-produced textbooks.
First, does anyone really think that students will remember anything from the books’ dull and lifeless paragraphs? Today’s textbooks contain no stories of actual people. We meet no one, learn nothing of anyone’s life, encounter no injustice, no resistance. This is a curriculum bound for boredom. As someone who spent almost 30 years teaching high school social studies, I can testify that students will be unlikely to seek to learn more about events so emptied of drama, emotion, and humanity.
Nor do these texts raise any critical questions for students to consider. For example, it’s important for students to learn that the crop failure in Ireland affected only the potato—during the worst famine years, other food production was robust. Michael Pollan notes in The Botany of Desire, “Ireland’s was surely the biggest experiment in monoculture ever attempted and surely the most convincing proof of its folly.” But if only this one variety of potato, the Lumper, failed, and other crops thrived, why did people starve?
Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy’s Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry—food that could have prevented those deaths. Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad.
The school curriculum could and should ask students to reflect on the contradiction of starvation amidst plenty, on the ethics of food exports amidst famine. And it should ask why these patterns persist into our own time.
More than a century and a half after the “Great Famine,” we live with similar, perhaps even more glaring contradictions. Raj Patel opens his book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System: “Today, when we produce more food than ever before, more than one in ten people on Earth are hungry. The hunger of 800 million happens at the same time as another historical first: that they are outnumbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight.”
Patel’s book sets out to account for “the rot at the core of the modern food system.” This is a curricular journey that our students should also be on — reflecting on patterns of poverty, power, and inequality that stretch from 19th century Ireland to 21st century Africa, India, Appalachia, and Oakland; that explore what happens when food and land are regarded purely as commodities in a global system of profit.
But today’s corporate textbook-producers are no more interested in feeding student curiosity about this inequality than were British landlords interested in feeding Irish peasants. Take Pearson, the global publishing giant. At its website, the corporation announces (redundantly) that “we measure our progress against three key measures: earnings, cash and return on invested capital.” The Pearson empire had 2011 worldwide sales of more than $9 billion—that’s nine thousand million dollars, as I might tell my students. Multinationals like Pearson have no interest in promoting critical thinking about an economic system whose profit-first premises they embrace with gusto.
As mentioned, there is no absence of teaching materials on the Irish famine that can touch head and heart. In a role play, “Hunger on Trial,” that I wrote and taught to my own students in Portland, Oregon—included at the Zinn Education Project website— students investigate who or what was responsible for the famine. The British landlords, who demanded rent from the starving poor and exported other food crops? The British government, which allowed these food exports and offered scant aid to Irish peasants? The Anglican Church, which failed to denounce selfish landlords or to act on behalf of the poor? A system of distribution, which sacrificed Irish peasants to the logic of colonialism and the capitalist market?
These are rich and troubling ethical questions. They are exactly the kind of issues that fire students to life and allow them to see that history is not simply a chronology of dead facts stretching through time.
So go ahead: Have a Guinness, wear a bit of green, and put on the Chieftains. But let’s honor the Irish with our curiosity. Let’s make sure that our schools show some respect, by studying the social forces that starved and uprooted over a million Irish—and that are starving and uprooting people today."
© 2015 Zinn Education Project

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

The Fast Life: A Lenten Prayer


Fast from judging others;
Feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness;
Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute;
Feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent;
Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger;
Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism;
Feast on hope.
Fast from negatives;
Feast on encouragement.
Fast from bitterness;
Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern;
Feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion;
Feast on truth.
Fast from gossip;
Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm;
Feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from anxiety;
Feast on faith.

Author Unknown

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer, Happy St. Patrick's Day!


The ancient Celts believed in "thin times" and "thin places" where our world and the spirit world would come close. The Christian Celts adopted this spiritual awareness to the Communion of the Saints. Saints Brigit and Patrick and all the saints, including our beloved family and friends who have passed over, are close to us and offer blessings and help. On this St. Patrick's Day, may we rejoice with our heavenly friends, including the patron saints of Ireland, Patrick and Brigit! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
(born in County Laois, Ireland)




(St. Patrick's Church, Dublin, Photos by Mary Theresa Streck, Celtic Pilgrimage)


Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me.
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. 
I arise today
Through the mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation. 
Breastplate of St. Patrick

Downpatrick, Ireland

St. Brigit's Holy Well, Kildare, Ireland

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Celtic Woman Video Highlights, Emjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QnCHBVM6Y0

"Walk Beside Me" , Celtic Woman

Wisdom Commentary Introduces Feminist Interpretation of Every Book of the Bible

http://ncronline.org/preview/wisdom-commentary-introduces-feminist-interpretation-every-bible-book

Hans Christoffersen, publisher of academic and trade markets at Liturgical Press, and Dominican Sr. Barbara Reid, coordinator of the project, pose with the first books in the Wisdom Commentary series. (Provided photo)

"We want to illustrate that there's no one feminist way of interpreting the Scripture and that, just like other biblical scholars, feminist biblical scholars have more than one way of understanding the text as well," she said, adding that in some instances, a single volume of the Wisdom Commentary will highlight dissenting viewpoints."

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jesus Scholarship by Richard Rohr

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTrmneioXiQ&ebc=ANyPxKoKqyolJcf6I1SOE7L3ADdCwko-rCwjvnLRLrTbjfHGvuS6kyc6TV3Jp3Zp5f7f4KWEzqLQ2Vh-qxEvyGEF0t0vl4LwIw


"We became occupied with the container, but no the contents!"
Jesus didn't even speak Greek, so why would knowing the exact Greek help you understand Jesus.
All this fighting over what Jesus actually said was not his concern.
It is on the life level, the love level that opens us to Jesus.
Almost all interpretation of scripture done by white, celibate males in the RC tradition. 
How could this group understanding the feminist, womanist perspective?
White men read did not read scripture from the lens of the poor or uneducated people, African theology, gay people, Jewish people.
Jesus was not a Christian. He was trying to reform Jewish religion and all religion.
We need to understand how culture works. How was Jesus worldview influenced by his culture?"

"The New Mind" with Richard Rohr, Developing a Contemplative, Open Spirituality

https://youtu.be/iP2KCLNfwJQ

"Pope Francis Restores the Good Sense of Jesus" by Leonardo Boff, Theologian- Philosopher, Earthcharter Commission


"Pope Francis' speeches are not framed either by the doctrines or dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. It is not that he does not appreciate them, but that he understands that they are theological works created during different historical times. Those doctrines and dogmas provoked religious wars, schisms, excommunications, the burning of theologians and women (such as Joan of Arc and the women considered witches) at the stake of the Holy Inquisition. That lasted for several centuries and the author of these lines had a bitter experience in the cubicle where the accused were interrogated in the forbidding building of the former Inquisition, located to the left of the Basilica of Saint Peter.
Pope Francis has engendered a revolution in the thinking of the Church, returning to the praxis of the historical Jesus. He is restoring what is now called "The Tradition of Jesus", that precedes the present Gospels, written 30-40 years after His execution on the cross. The Tradition of Jesus, or as it is also called in The Acts of the Apostles, “the path of Jesus”, is grounded more on values and ideals than on doctrine. The essentials are  unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness, justice and preference for the poor and the outcast, and a total openness to God the Father. Jesus, to put it bluntly, did not intend to found a new religion. He wanted to teach us how to live. To live with fraternity, solidarity and caring for each other.
What stands out most in Jesus is His good sense. We say that someone has good sense when that person has the right word for each situation, appropriate behavior, and the ability to quickly identify the gist of a question. Good sense is linked to the concrete wisdom of life.  It distinguishes the essential from the secondary. It is the capacity to see and put things in their rightful places. Good sense opposes exaggeration. This is where the madman and the genius, who are so close in many aspects, are fundamentally distinguished. The genius radicalizes good sense. The madman radicalizes exaggeration.    
Jesus, as the Gospels witness, manifested Himself as a genius of good sense. A matchless freshness runs through everything He says and does. God in His goodness, a human in his frailty, society with its contradictions and nature with its splendor, appear with crystal clear immediacy. Jesus neither preaches theology nor appeals to superior moral principles. Jesus does not get lost in tedious and heartless questions of right and wrong. His words and attitudes go directly to the point where reality bleeds and the human must make a decision for himself and before God.
His warnings are incisive and direct: “first be reconcĂ­led to thy brother” (Mt 5,24). “Swear not at all” (Mt 5,34). “Do not fight back against evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right check, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5,39). "Love thy enemies, and pray for those who spitefully use thee and persecute thee” (Mt 5,44). “When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” (Mt 6,3).
This good sense has been missing from the institutional Church (popes, bishops and priests), but not from the Church of the bases, especially on moral questions. The institutional Church is hard and implacable. Humans with their pain are sacrificed to abstract principles. The institutional Church is ruled by power, rather than mercy.  As the saints and wise men and women warn us: where power prevails, love vanishes and mercy disappears.
How different is Pope Francis. The principal quality of God, he tells us, is mercy. He often repeats: “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful” (Lk 6,36). And Pope Francis explains the etymological meaning of mercy: miseris cor dare: «give the heart to the miser», to those who suffer.  In his Angelus talk of April 6, 2014, he said in hushed tones: «Listen well: there are no limits at all to the divine mercy offered to all». And asked the multitude to repeat with him: «There are no limits to the divine mercy offered to all».
He reminds us as a theologian that Saint Thomas Aquinas affirms that, where practice is concerned, mercy is the most important virtue «because it overflows to the others and also succors them in their weaknesses».
Filled with mercy in the face of the dangers of the zika virus epidemic Pope Francis opens a space for the use of contraceptives. It is about saving lives: «to avoid a pregnancy is not  an absolute evil», the Pope said in his visit to Mexico on February of the current year. To the new cardinals, he admonishes them with the words: «The Church does not condemn forever. The punishment of hell used to torment the faithful is not eternal». God is a mystery of inclusion and communion, never of exclusion.  Mercy always triumphs.
This means that we must interpret the Bible references to hell not in a fundamentalist way, but pedagogically, as a way to lead us to do good. Logically, we do not enter in any form into the Kingdom of the Trinity. We must first pass through the purifying clinic of God, until we emerge, purified, into the blessed eternity.
This message is truly liberating.  And Pope Francis'  apostolic exhortation confirms "The Joy of the Gospel”.  This joy is offered to everyone, including non-Christians, because it is the path of humanization and of liberation. "         
Leonardo Boff
 03-04-2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

An Evening with Matthew Fox - 21st Century Spirituality



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKXd7qiLBdI&feature=youtu.be

Some notes: This lecture took place in Ireland. 
The intellectual life in the Celtic perspective is important, but what we do with it is just as important! The importance of spiritual practices, finding one's center must be integrated into education. 
Celtic people integrate mind, heart and spirit! 

Two Questions: 
Are we destroying the earth as we know it?
Are we honoring the souls of our young people?

We are part of a whole, we are related to all the other creatures.
Authentic spirituality needs to inspire the young. 
Awe is the beginning of wisdom.
We must shift from knowledge to wisdom.
We must awaken to something greater than ourselves, into the realm of the Sacred.
Paul thinks that all Christians should be mystics.
Now that would shut down most of our seminaries! 
We need to know about nature based mysticism that fed Jesus and the rediscovery of the Cosmic Christ.
We need to get to know our own tradition better.
Ever place you go in the Celtic tradition, we find the Cosmic Christ.

AWE:
Ancestral Wisdom Education: AWE

Knowledge can be dangerous. Thomas Berry said that 95 percent of the destruction of the planet comes from people with PhDs.
Wisdom brings heart and mind together. Wisdom is feminine.
An educational system committed to patriarchy has neglected Wisdom and denigrated the feminine.
Ancestral embraces 14 billion of years of life. 
Begin education with awe! Education is lighting a fire! We are set up for mystical experiences. Sadly, mysticism was ridiculed by the Enlightenment. In the East, salvation meant divinizing the universe, not staying out of hell. 
Contemplation: our capacity to be still, take ten minutes a day to "make silence," calm the reptilian brain, goes from action to reaction. Important to learn how to meditate to bring compassion to our planet.
Community,
Creativity: Rap began in the ghetto. Celts have profound capacity for creativity. "Soul is a place where the imagination lives" as John Donoghue said. In the U.S. focus is on preparing kids for exams. 
Chaos: All nature has chaos, chaos is messy and a prelude to birth. We need to recognize the positive role of chaos in the creative process.
Role of Ritual: Liturgy means the work of the people, not a canned system. Ritual should empower. We should be imaginative about ritual. 
Real ritual should include the body and the imagination. Matt Fox and others have been doing the Cosmic Mass!
Spirituality is about lighting a fire! New alliance of young and old.
The fate of ritual, music and reinventing education is to fall in love with existence and all of life!  








"A Call to Action, Women, Religion, Violence and Power" Interview with Jimmy Carter on Diane Rehm Show

http://youtu.be/ea0ivpLqd4w



Former President Jimmy Carter on why he believes bias against women is the world's most serious unaddressed challenge. He describes how social acceptance of violence and selective religious interpretations serve to reinforce discrimination and abuse, and what he believes can be done to right this long-standing wrong.

"Heaven is so close to us." by Caroline Myss, Videos about St. Teresa of Avila

http://youtu.be/kCO5C6gTIA4

"When we need help from heaven, it actually shows up."
Daniela Marinkovic interviewed Caroline Myss in Assisi - integral video


The  interview (In English) begins about 3 mins into video.







Sunday, March 13, 2016

"A Cruel and Broken Immigration System, Part 1 by Silvia Brandon Perez, ARCWP

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/03/13/1500438/-A-cruel-and-broken-immigration-system-Part-I

"The year ended not with a bang, but with a whimper... I spent three hours on the 30th of December in immigration court (San Francisco) and watched a judge with a reputation for it, order the deportation of three separate respondents...  This judge has an 87% rate of denials, and although I asked for a 10-day extension, he denied that too... He did allow me to speak up in the case, as a member of the community helping the respondent, and speak up I did, vigorously, but although he thanked me, in the end he was unwilling to grant this man any favors...
The man who was ordered to be deported, who has been in the US since 1995, was gainfully employed prior to his arrest, and has two US born children.  After more than a year in prison waiting to be tried, he had finally plead guilty to a DUI misdemeanor, despite the fact that at the time of his arrest he was sleeping in a parked car… the police had to wake him up to take him out of the parked car… The police officer that had arrested him was out on disability, and in fact never showed up to speak at the trial, so technically, the public defender should have been able to file a motion to dismiss… but this was an immigrant.
His “Honor” found that he did not meet the requisite good moral character and also did not meet the requirements of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" for purposes of qualifying for cancellation of removal under the 1996 immigration law.  The 1996 law changed removal proceedings for what was formerly known as deportation proceedings, and "cancellation of removal" became the new name for "suspension of deportation."  Cancellation of removal can provide relief from deportation for those persons who can prove a number of years of continuous physical presence in the U.S., good moral character, and hardship to family members.  Prior to the 1996 law, the physical presence standard was 7 years, which the new law increased to 10.  The ‘hardship’ requirement went from "extreme hardship" to "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship."  
The legislative history of the 1996 indicates that "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" means that a person undergoing removal proceedings must provide evidence of hardship to his qualifying spouse, parent or child which is "substantially beyond that which would be expected to result from the alien's deportation."  Even under the old law, it was very difficult to prove simple "extreme hardship," although deportation for most people is the equivalent of cruel and unusual punishment…
In 1952 Congress discussed the concept of "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" and stated that “[T]o justify the suspension of deportation the hardship must not only be unusual but must be exceptionally and extremely unusual.  The bill accordingly establishes a policy that the administrative remedy should be available only in the very limited category of cases in which the deportation of the alien would be unconscionable.” 
It is useful to look at legislative history, because the discussion while a bill is being considered, as gathered in congressional records, shows us what legislators were thinking about and what they meant to do.  The discussion shown above equates exceptionally and extremely unusual hardship with unconscionable treatment.    
The Board of Immigration Appeals later rejected the 1952 standard in Matter of Monreal (2001).  The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) as previously indicated made it even more difficult to obtain relief from deportation, and hardship, which prior to IIRAIRA could be hardship to the alien applicant, now referred only to members of the applicant’s family, such as a spouse or children.  But the new law included no definition of what would constitute “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship."  Accordingly, that earlier legislative discussion continued to apply.
Judges have talked about IIRAIRA changing the parameters of the definition of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" but that is a fiction.  There are over forty years of case law that show that the IIRAIRA hardship standard is unconscionable hardship.  We continue to destroy families and creating a whole class of people who are practically orphans, widowers and widows who lose a father or mother or spouse because humanitarian leniency has almost disappeared.
We are deporting at least 1,000 people per day, and because one of the last acts of a Bush appointee before he left office was to state that the right to counsel does not apply to non-citizens, these men and women are held without legal representation unless they have thousands of dollars to pay for help.  As I stated recently at an immigration town hall, almost no one wants to emigrate out of their country of birth, but our predatory and imperialist economic policies make life impossible for most people south ‘of the border.’
When I went up to the lockup to speak to the person I was helping, and to have him sign a notice of appeal, there was a woman in line with two small babies and a suitcase, weeping unabashedly, while the father of her babies was getting ready to get on that plane back to his country...
Until next time, keep protesting.
P.S.  HRC has promised she will not deport any children, although she previously stated the opposite.  Some of the children who have been deported have been killed upon arrival at home.
It is noteworthy to remember that we turned back a ship with Jews fleeing Hitler, and that many of them were presumably later killed when they reached Germany.  In other words, our immigration system and policies have not worked, in general. "

"Always Our Sister, A Critical Look at Mary in the Catholic Tradition" , Adult Spiritual Enrichment Course offered by People's Catholic Seminary with Bridget Mary Meehan, D. Min.

On Saturday, March 12th we  discussed  "A Critical Look at Mary in the Catholic Tradition" from Elizabeth's Johnson's book,
Abounding in Kindness
Thirty people attended one or more sessions of Introduction to Contemporary Theology with facilitator Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan. 


Below is the Study Guide for Session 4:  “Mary, Mother of Jesus, Always Our Sister, A Critical Look at the Marian Tradition.

For more information about courses  or programs offered by People's Catholic Seminary:
http://arcwp.org/peoples-seminary/


Session 4 MMOJ members discuss "Mary, Mother of Jesus, Always our Sister"
on March 12, 2016 at St. Andrew UCC in Sarasota, Fl.

Study Guide - Session 4: Contemporary Theology for the People of God

 “Mary, Mother of Jesus, Always Our Sister, A Critical Look at the Marian Tradition”

With Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, D. Min.

Text: Abounding in Kindness by Elizabeth A. Johnson


     Thousand Faces of Mary, George Tavard, The Thousand Faces of the Virgin Mary

A.    Jewish woman, Miriam of Nazareth
B.     Mother of Jesus
C.    Immaculate Conception, Pius IX connection to papal power 
        P. 289.
D.    Our Lady of Fatima, Cold War with Russia
E.     Our Lady of Guadalupe, Caesar Chavez, struggle for justice of migrant workers P. 289.


II. Mary, our Sister, friend of God, Prophet with Communion of Saints P. 290

A.    Mary, not the maternal face of God

1.      Mary took over titles, shrines, icons, power of Great Mother Goddess
2.      Mary, symbol of mercy and intimacy with God in response to God as angry ruler, Jesus as a judge and Holy Spirit as obscure. “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy…”
3.      Marian theology developed divine qualities to compensate for patriarchy.
4.      The issue is Mary is not divine.
5.      Demonstrates need for female images of God, balance of male and female images of God P.291.
6.      Let God have own maternal face. Julian of Norwich, God is our mother, Pope John Paul I, God is our mother. P. 291.


III Mary, not the ideal woman, no eternal feminine

A.    John Paul II linked virtues of Mary as a role model for all women.  Emphasis was and embodiment of eternal feminine with the focus on self- sacrificing love, gentleness, non-assertive, non-competitive attitude which leads to the subordination of women P. 292
B.     Hans Von Balthasar argues that “in the church there is the Marian principle of holy obedience, complementarity to the petrine principle of orderly hierarchical rule.” In this understanding of complementarity, women are nurturers, divesting themselves of self-will in order to be obedient to God.  John Paul II wrote two encyclicals on the “Mother of Redemption” and on the Dignity of Women” linking the virtues of Mary with the vocation of women.” P. 293.
C.    Need for women to develop “critical intellect, capacity for righteous anger, inoculate passivity and other characteristics of a mature personality. Living femininity can be dangerous to one’s health and life inculcating passivity in abusive and violent situations.” P. 293.
D.    Feminist theologians are critical of a racist and classist view of women. “Aint I a woman” Sojourner Truth, P. 293. “Nobody ever helps me into carriages or over mud puddles or give me any best place.”


IV. Yes, truly our sister in the communion of the saints. Mary as woman of faith, friend of God and prophet

Mary was a Jewish woman of faith, lighting the Sabbath lamps, following Torah and festivals of faith

A.    Mary lived in a rural village where poverty prevailed in an occupied, violent state.

B.     Mary lived in community. She was present in the midst of the disciples at Pentecost, Acts 1:13 

C.    Mary, sister to marginalized especially women in oppressed situations.

D.    Mary’s life is reflected in so many poor women today.

1.      Journey to Bethlehem, displaced from  ancestral home because of debt and taxes
2.      Flight into Egypt , movement of refugees to avoid being killed by military action
3.      Loss of son executed by unjust state

E.     Mary did not live “ peaceful, middle class life, robed in royal blue” P. 298
1.      Asked questions, Pondered what God was doing
2.      Wedding Feast of Cana: “they have no wine, you have to act.” “Far from being receptive to the wishes of the leading man, she contradicts and persuades him otherwise. Far from being passive, Mary acts. She takes charge, organizing matters so that a bountiful abundance soon flows to those in need.” P. 299.
3.      Mary’s words are prophetic. Her words echo today. “They have no wine. People in need continue her observation, which is also a judgment and a plea: no food, no clean drinking water, no housing, education or health care, no employment, no security from rape,  no human rights.” P. 299.
4.      “Just as her words propelled Jesus into action at Cana, her challenging words address the conscience of the church, the body of Christ, in the world today. Even though people in wealthy nations might prefer not to be informed, her voice reverberates through the centuries saying: “they have no wine…you have to act.” P. 299
5.      Mary, who was “poor, female and endangered in a violent society” awakens “courage to struggle for a just and peaceful world in which all humans and the earth flourish.” P. 299.
6.      “Mary’s grief for her dead son places her in solidarity with mothers of children dead by state violence everywhere…it empowers the church’s women and men to say “Stop It”
7.      “…the memory of Mary near the cross abides, inspiring non-violent action to stop the violence as a profoundly compassionate expression of faith in God.’


V. Mary, mother of Jesus, is a “partner in hope in the company of all the holy women and men, who have gone before us to redeem the power of her memory for the flourishing of suffering people, and to draw on the energy of her memory for a deeper relationship with the living God and stronger care for the world.” She is “truly our sister, a woman in the cloud of witnesses cheering on the people of God today.” P. 301.