467 Get ready for Tomorrow's Emmaus Celebration: "for this son of mine was dead and is alive again"
467 Get ready for Tomorrow's Emmaus Celebration:
The Fatherhood of God
"for this son of mine was dead and is alive again"
Tomorrow Join us for our celebration on ZOOM at 4:45pm
(We'll start with Announcements so please have those ready)
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Emmaus Sunday Celebration for June 27
The Fatherhood of God
Jim: Welcome. I would like to reflect with you this evening on our traditional title of God, the Father. Not to reject the concept of God as Mother. Just to go deeper into the fatherhood of God.
Let’s start with Jesus calling God “Father,” 65 times in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and more than 100 times in the Gospel of John. Was that historically conditioned? Yes, males ruled in His day. But Jesus broke that norm. He had women disciples, for example. He spoke with women in public. He even allowed women to be the first witnesses of His resurrection.
So what is Jesus trying to tell us about God as “Father”? We begin with God's relationship to creation. As the Creator, God is like a human father. A human father procreates a child distinct from and yet like himself. Similarly, God creates things distinct from and like Himself. This is especially true of man, who is the "image of God." And God cares for His creation, especially man, as a human father cares for his children. God the Father is begetter, provider, teacher, and guardian. But Jesus adds “Almighty Father” and “Father in heaven” meaning that unlike human fathers, with weakness and limited resources, God, the Father, can provide anything needed and offers unlimited love and protection.
Jesus goes on to call God “Abba” an Aramaic term of endearment, a more intimate term often used by children in the home. Our term “daddy” would be comparable.
Jesus becomes one of us to make us like himself, a child of the Father. And he models how we must act with all that love and protection.
Opening song – Abba Father
Jim: Father God, we wonder at your love so evident in us and all creation. We know your love especially in making us your children, filling us with love, and inviting us to procreate and share your love with our children. Help us to imitate your fatherhood by loving and caring for our family, our fellow humans and the natural world around us.
Thank you for your fatherly love and care in our lives. Your fatherly protection keeps us safe and your fatherly guidance shows us the path of truth and justice. You give us the roots and wings we need to become the one you call us to be. We adore you and love you, Abba, Daddy, for all that you are and for all that we are. Amen.
JoAnn: Our first reading is from Luke 10:21-22
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
(The Prodigal Son by Auguste Rodin)
Hermine: Second reading - Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11–24
Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
So, he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger. I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”
‘So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;
for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
Meditation song – Glorify Thy Name
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gr52cndnqxvv08m/Glorify thy name.mp4?dl=0
Jim McFadden: A Reading from Greg Boyle
Nearly eight o’clock at night. I pass the front of the emergency room at White Memorial Hospital. On the bus bench, all by himself, is Spider, a light-skinned huero (slang for a man who can pass for white or is white) wearing pastel blue scrubs. He’s just gotten off work. His hair rests in limbo between clean-shaven and pelon (bald) and looks ready to be trained by a dollop of Three Flowers pomade and the snugness of a nylon stocking, pulled tight over the scalp.
Not yet 19, Spider works in the hospital as an orderly, moving patients and equipment. It’s a job he secured through Homeboy Industries.
Spider is from a gang in Aliso Village Projects, where he and his sister mainly raised themselves, having been abandoned by their parents. I was never quite sure how they duped the Housing Authority into thinking there was a responsible adult around. I had only met him recently and came to know his story. He and his lady, with two small sons, now live in an apartment in Highland Park, several bus rides away.
“Get in, dog, I’ll take ya home.”
We speak of many things as we go. I question him about his bills and rent and how he’s faring. I’ve helped him get jump-started in this regard a few times already.
“I’m okay,” he says, then steers himself in a whole other direction. “You know what I’m gonna do when I get home right now? I’m gonna sit down to eat with my lady and my two morritos (little piggies).
But, well… I don’t eat. I just watch them eat. My lady, she gets crazy with me, but I don’t care. I just watch them eat. They eat and eat. And I just look at ’em and I thank God that they’re in my life. When they’re done eating and I know they’re full, THEN I eat.”
And the truth is, sometimes there’s food left and sometimes there isn’t. “Tu sabes,”[you know] he says to me, putting his hand on my shoulder as I drive. “It’s a father thing.”
Jim: We can only describe God with our human language and images. But since humans are created in God’s image, we can see God in us; in all creation, in fact. And since we are called to be co-creators with God, we can see human fatherhood reflecting God’s fatherhood. Although human fatherhood can and does have its faults, we most often see God’s love and care in the fathers in our lives. Let’s share now some of that with one another. Memories of our dad showing special love, care, or sacrifice for us and family or moments that we or our sons have reflected God’s fatherhood. Share a photo if you want. JoAnn loves to talk about her dad so she will start.
JoAnn: What do we bring to the table tonight?
Offertory Hymn: The Servant Song – Dana recording
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Jim: God is within us and God is among us.
Jim: Let us lift up our hearts,
JoAnn: We lift them into the Mystery.
Jim: Let us be thankful for all the ways in which we feel God’s presence.
JoAnn: It is good to be grateful.
Jim: We give thanks for Jesus of Nazareth, who loved so greatly and taught so clearly and courageously that he was able to set people free from images and ideas and religious practices that bound them into fear and a false sense of separation from the Spirit of all life. Through him we have learned how our loving is a sharing in the life of this Spirit. In him we see the Spirit of Life challenging all of us to make its presence on earth more visible.
JoAnn: We remember the night Jesus spoke of his love for his friends, when he took bread, mindful of God’s presence in his life, gave thanks for that presence, and shared the bread with his friends, wanting them to remember his own faithful love and his belief in the bond between human and divine love.
Jim: We break and share this bread, as Jesus broke and shared it, and we give it to one another as our pledge of openness to the Spirit of Love in our midst and as our remembrance for the life of Jesus, who enlightened our minds and hearts and who was ready to die for what he believed.
JoAnn: This cup of wine and drink is symbolic of the cup of life. As you share this cup of wine and drink, you undertake to share all the future may bring. May you find life’s joys doubly gladdened, its bitterness sweetened, and all things hallowed by true companionship and love.
Jim: We take this wine and drink, as Jesus asked his friends to drink, mindful of a relationship of love and trust between ourselves and the Spirit of Life, believing, as Jesus believed, that to live in love is to live in God and to have God live and love in us. Amen.
We remember - recording
Tom: The Greatest Prayer - John Dominic Crossan
O Cosmic Householder,
Source of our wisdom, protector and provider,
embracing all that dwells in the heavens,
naming all for holiness and justice,
in the companionship of empowerment,
spread throughout the entire creation,
as willed by holy wisdom.
In justice, may all be sustained by daily food,
and relieved of the burden of crippling debts.
Lead us not into collusion with any type of violence,
and deliver us from all forms of violent oppression.
For yours is the empowering desire to radiate on earth
the non-violent justice of enduring hope.
Sign of Peace
Jim: Let’s offer one another the peace and love of God, our Father.
Invitation to Communion:
JoAnn: This evening we pray that we will allow the life and teaching of Jesus to motivate all that we do so that what we profess to have seen in his life and heard in his teaching might be evident in our living and loving. And in that spirit of a Beloved Community, “we extend the invitation of Jesus to each and every one of you to take and eat, to take and drink. Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is a caravan of love and Jesus is offering us his table.
Communion song - ONE BREAD, ONE BODY
One bread, one body, one life for all.
One cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth,
we are one body in this one love.
Jim: We give thanks for the treasure of fathers who have cared, shared and dared, fathers who have held us, who hugged us, who helped us to grow and to be strong.
We give thanks for fathers here and for fathers everywhere, and we pray that in all the seasons of life, we may continue to be blessed by fathers. To this the Emmaus Community gives a joyful and grateful, AMEN.
JoAnn introduces our closing song – Faith of Our Fathers
Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free;
How sweet would be their children’s fate,
If they, like them, could die for thee!
Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.
Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.