726 Let's Get Ready to Celebrate Tomorrow Sunday, March 13, 2022
Day 726: Saturday, March 12, 2022
Flare up like flame and make big shadows I can move in.
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Emmaus Liturgical Order of Service For Sunday, March 13, 2022
• Welcome to our evening liturgy: Dan and Nancy
Dan: Some years ago, a now well-known African American by the name of Barack Obama was inspired by a luminous vision for his election campaign, coining a slogan that echoed throughout our nation and the world…..and allowed him to win! “We can change. Yes, we can!” or, in other words, we can draw energy from a reliable source within us, which permits us to turn what seems to be an irreversible condition of discontent into something new, different, shared.
I find that the possibility to modify, to renew, to transcend the “given” of our personal and community lives is the core of our experience of transfiguration, the discovery that what we call matter, reality, fact, body, or self are not just fixed identities but are expressions of the enormous flux of becoming in which everything is figured, disfigured, and refigured.
Reality is a flow in which we are immersed, empowered to forge and to develop our personal self, to become active in the unfolding of the invisible in our personal, social, and global body.
In tonight’s liturgy, Nancy and I desire to evoke some possibilities that may be considered favorable spaces for a transfiguration, in the mountains or in the deserts of our daily life, like an enlarging spiral of the divine that incarnates itself in the eternal restlessness of becoming.
OPENING SONG: St HelenMusic Open My Eyes by Jesse Manibusan [2:53]
Opening Prayer: Nancy
Holy Spirit, fill the hearts
of Your faithful and kindle in us the fire of Your Love.
Send forth your spirit and we shall be created.
And you shall renew
the face of the earth.
O God, who by the light of the
Holy Spirit did instruct the
hearts of the faithful, grant
that by the same Holy Spirit we
may be truly wise and ever enjoy His
consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen
First reading: Hermine [excerpted from Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life]
Etty Hillesum, a young Dutch Jewish diarist in her late 20’s who refused to hide, offers us an insight and extraordinary compassion that collides with the terrible reality of where hatred of the Jews was leading. In a letter she wrote from the transit camp just two weeks before she was put on the train to Auschwitz.
“When I think of the faces of that squad of armed, green-uniformed guards – my God, those faces!” “I looked at them, each in turn, from behind the safety of a window, and I have never been so frightened of anything in my life. I sank to my knees with the words that preside over human life: ‘And God made humans after His likeness’. That passage spent a difficult morning with me.” But, to the end, this conviction – that human beings bear within them the image of God even if it becomes lost or buried – does not leave her. And rather than surrender to the hatreds of her times, Hillesum passionately grasps the deeper truth, that human beings belong together even across the divides of hatred and war.
In the place of hatred, which we use to deal with our pain and fear, Hillesum says we need to learn to sorrow. “Do not relieve your feelings through hatred”, she writes. “Do not seek to be avenged on all German mothers, for they, too, sorrow … for their slain and murdered sons.”
Sorrow crosses boundaries, and as you learn to sorrow you find yourself united with all sorrowing peoples, even your enemies. When I kneel, it is not to plead or intercede, it is to listen “to that hidden source within me”.
In her journey out of chaos into faith she has discovered that God is that which is “deepest and best in me”, and so listening becomes the primary mode of her knowing. She uses a German word, hineinhorchen, which can be translated as “hearkening unto”. “Truly, my life is one long hearkening unto myself and unto others, unto God,” she writes.
And this God to whom she learns to “hearken” is a vulnerable tender Presence who, she recognizes, “cannot help us”, but, must at all costs be defended. “You cannot help us” she prays, “but we must help You and defend Your dwelling place inside us to the last.”
Second reading: Luis “Go to the Limits of Your Longing” by Rainer Maria Rilke
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Gospel Reading: Patti Luke 9:28b-36
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him.
They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" --not knowing what he said.
While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"
When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
Reader: This is the Gospel according to Luke. All: Praise to you, Jesus the Christ.
The first hint of transfiguration that Nancy and I desire to evoke is the charm of creativity. We acknowledge that we are the word that God has assigned to us to embody the world. “You are my son and daughter, the beloved.” We can love and accept ourselves.
We can develop the gifts that we have received, embrace the lights and shades, the known and the unknown that surround us. We can give shape to the future and welcome it. We are invited to become father and mother of new life. We can open to the spiritual dynamism that inspires and illuminates us.
Nancy and I recognize a second transfiguring event in the compassionate glance, when our self-centered or indifferent look toward the other turns into something different. When we began to notice the presence, the weight, the gift, the pain of the other, what shines or moans in the eyes of the person we meet, letting fall the frozen walls of division to call forth something more, deeper, yearning for meaning or for joy.
Saints, wise men and women of all time and cultures, are the embodiment of this compassionate glance. In the same wave of the Spirit of Jesus, who tried to free from impediments the bodies of the persons he met, to let the divine light blossom freely through them.
Finally, we perceive a third movement of transfiguration in the ecological awareness. There is not only “I” and “we,” but we are interconnected and involved in a web of life that we are discovering more and more in all its expressions as Cosmos and biosphere, as waters and plants and animals. At the same moment we are trying to unite minds around the world in a global, telematics space, forged by the convergence of computers and telecommunications.
So our questions for our shared homily:
(1) What in your life has required you to risk a faith that embraces uncertainty and insecurity as conditions of creative emergence?
(2) How do you contribute to the transfiguration, the nonviolent transformation, of the whole human race?
Nancy: What do we bring to the table this evening?
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Dan: Etty’s refusal to hate the Nazis even as they murdered her people, and her insistence that, in spite of the horrors of the camps, ‘life is glorious and magnificent’, make the diaries of Hillesum, who died in Auschwitz in 1943 one of the most extraordinary testimonies of the twentieth century. And on that note, we give you:
Offertory Song: Hope Beyond All Hope – Alana Levandoski [stop at 2:38]
Mary: God is within us and God is among us.
Ed: Let us listen with our hearts,
All: We lift them up to the Mystery.
Mary: Let us be thankful for all the ways in which we feel God’s presence.
All: It is good to be grateful.
Ed: I discover myself sustained by a spirit that protects me and spurs me forward, relating and celebrating with you the joy and the sorrow: that is the meaning that we are here, gathered together in this Eucharist, to open ourselves to the Source of every transformation, urging us to strengthen our communion and trust.
Mary: We remember that Jesus brought the light of truth, though some refused to see it. We remember too, that those who loved the truth were drawn to the light of Jesus.
Ed: The night before Jesus was to give up his life so that we could share in that light, many who desired truth and love gathered with Jesus for dinner. Instead of merely sharing a meal, Jesus took the opportunity to share the truth, so that we could understand and remember the sacrifice.
Mary: Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, blessed it, broke it, and shared with those present, saying, “Take; eat. This is my body broken for you.”
Ed: After the meal was finished, Jesus took a cup of the fruit of the vine, gave thanks to God, blessed it and shared it with all, saying, “This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. When you do this, remember me.”
Both: So, we too gather here, to be fed and healed by the body and blood of our Savior. We ask that the Holy Spirit shine in each of us, that we may be witnesses to Your love and servants to all of humanity. We ask that these elements be transformed in a very real and personal way into the very essence of the healing, loving, forgiving body and blood of Your own blessed Child. Help us to feel Your presence in us.
Mary: For it is through Him, with Him, in Him In the unity of the Holy Spirit, All glory and honor are Yours, Almighty Father, Forever and Ever. Amen.
Ed: Taught by Jesus we pray (Based on the original Aramaic – source unknown)
Ed: O Cosmic Being who gives birth to all radiance and vibration! Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with your desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that binds us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
Dan: Kiss of Peace
Nancy: • Invitation to the Table:
On their own, the bread and wine are nothing. To become a foretaste and a promise of love made real and a world made whole, they need a story and a blessing and a people who believe…
It would not have been God’s table if they hadn’t all been gathered around it: the betrayer and the friend the power-hungry and the justice seeker the faithful and the fickle.
When Jesus poured the wine, and the bread was broken; when everyone could eat - the outcast and the beloved the arrogant and the gracious the wrong-doer and the wrongly done by - the table became a foretaste of love made real and of a world made whole.
Your company at the table will include the betrayer and the beloved the wrong-doer and the wrongly done by.
It would not be God’s table without them.
And the promise is that when you are together, when you tell the story and give the blessing when you break the bread and pour the wine you will discover a foretaste of love made real and of a world made whole.
— Cheryl Lawrie
Communion Song: Long Before the Night (This Ancient Love) by Carolyn McDade [5:00-9:40]
Closing Prayer: Denise
When We Listen by Rachel Naomi Remen
When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and others. That which is hidden.
In this culture, the soul and the heart, too often go homeless.
Listening creates a holy silence.
When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, You can know yourself in everyone. Eventually, you may be able to hear in everyone and beyond everyone, the “unseen” singing softly to itself and to you.
And the people of this beloved Emmaus community say: