• David Carlson

Day 363: Sunday at Emmaus: A story of 2 Franks Preparing for today's liturgy:


Day 363: Sunday at Emmaus: A story of 2 Franks

Preparing for today's liturgy:


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Imagine 800 years ago.

It was 1219 – during the 5th Crusade


A horrible time filled with destruction, pillage and pain. Francis of Assisi and his companion Brother Illuminato crossed the battlefield into enemy territory. They were bound in chains and presented to the Muslim leader al-Kamil. At that time 800 years ago the hatred between Christian Crusaders and Muslims led the two sides to slaughter each side -- believing all the while that these murders were sanctioned by their God. Each side demonized the other – Christians were not human according to the Muslims and vice versa. Easy to kill someone you don’t consider human.


But Al-Kamil didn’t kill Francis. Rather he realized that this man was different – maybe a bit carzy. He unshackled him and sat with him seizing the opportunity for both men to learn from each other.


St. Francis understood the uselessness of war. was reaching out to “the other” for the sake of peace, reconciliation and harmony. It’s an invitation to each one of us to leave our "comfort zone” and build bridges – and, on a personal level, to forgive those who have wronged us.


Hope tells us we can move beyond hatred and violence to achieve peace. St. Francis went across the war zone in an attempt to encounter the other. This week Pope Francis did the same with his historic visit to Iraq. He invited everyone he met to begin to encounter “the other” - to recognize the divine spark within each human heart, to rekindle the spirit of kinship. Francis said:


If God is the God of life – for so he is – then it is wrong

for us to kill our brothers and sisters in his Name.


If God is the God of peace – for so he is –

then it is wrong for us to wage war in his Name.


If God is the God of love – for so he is –

then it is wrong for us to hate our brothers and sisters.


St. Francis wasn’t an ideologue, but a missionary with a message of peace. He did not try to force the sultan to believe, rather his approach was to explain Jesus and his revolutionary message contained in The Beatitudes. Pope Francis did the same with his gentle words and welcoming smile and his all too human shifting gait caused by painful sciatica. In the words of the Beatitudes: We stand with the peacemakers, called the children of God. We stand with the 2 Francis’s – then and now.


Opening Blessing

(Please take a deep breath and close you eyes)


May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received,

and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones,

and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.”

― Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582)


Opening Song: Strength for the Journey



The first reading is taken from Pope Francis' address at Ur

on March 6, 2021


Dear sisters and brothers:


This blessed place brings us back to our origins, to the sources of God’s work, to the birth of our religions.


Here, where Abraham our father lived, we seem to have returned home. It was here that Abraham heard God’s call; it was from here that he set out on a journey that would change history.


We are the fruits of that call and that journey. God asked Abraham to raise his eyes to heaven and to count its stars. In those stars, he saw the promise of his descendants; he saw us.


Today we, Jews, Christians and Muslims, together with our brothers and sisters of other religions, honor our father Abraham by doing as he did: we look up to heaven and we journey on earth. We look up to heaven.


Thousands of years later, as we look up to the same sky, those same stars appear. They illumine the darkest nights because they shine together.


Heaven thus imparts a message of unity: the Almighty above invites us never to separate ourselves from our neighbors. The otherness of God points us towards others, towards our brothers and sisters.


May we – the descendants of Abraham and the representatives of different religions – sense that, above all, we have this role: to help our brothers and sisters to raise their eyes and prayers to heaven.


This is true religiosity: to worship God and to love our neighbor.


From this place, where faith was born, from the land of our father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters.


Heaven has not grown weary of the earth: God loves every people, every one of his daughters and sons!


There will be no peace without sharing and acceptance, without a justice that ensures equity and advancement for all, beginning with those most vulnerable.


There will be no peace unless peoples extend a hand to other peoples.


There will be no peace as long as we see others as them and not us.


Peace does not demand winners or losers, but rather brothers and sisters who, for all the misunderstandings and hurts of the past, are journeying from conflict to unity.

It is up to us to have the courage to lift up our eyes and look at the stars, the stars that our father Abraham saw, the stars of the promise.


Brothers and sisters of different religions, here we find ourselves at home, and from here, together, we wish to commit ourselves to fulfilling God’s dream that the human family may become hospitable and welcoming to all his children; that looking up to the same heaven, it will journey in peace on the same earth.


Reflection:

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received,

and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones,

and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.”

― Teresa of Ávila


Second Reading from Mark: The Passover



On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”


So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”


The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.


While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”


Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.


“This is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”


When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


Shared Homily:

Take a moment to think of a person or a group of people who you see as “the other.” Think of our judgments and our need to find peace with these folks.

What is your judgment?

How will you build a bridge?


Our Offering in the words of Pope Francis:

The love of Christ in our Emmaus community summons us to set aside every kind of self-centredness or competition; it impels us to universal communion and challenges us to form a community of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 95-96).


May we thus take to heart the admonition of Saint Ignatius of Antioch: “Let nothing

exist among you that may divide you… but let there be one prayer, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy” (Ad Magnesios, 6-7: PL 5, 667). How important is this witness of fraternal union in a world all too often fragmented and torn by division!


Jesus, who is Wisdom in person, completes this reversal in the Gospel, and he does

so with his very first sermon, with the Beatitudes. The reversal is total: We are called to stand with the poor, those who mourn and the persecuted.


We stand with You, the humble in spirit: for your open hearts will be rewarded with radical kinship.


We stand with You humble ones: for you shall learn to laugh, tell stories and listen with open hearts. You will create a joyful disturbance within all of us so that we seek to become meek like you. (Verse 4)


We stand with You who mourn: for you will find comfort with your sisters and brothers and communities and wherever there is hope. You will be comforted. (Verse 5)


We stand with You migrants, those who flee drug cartels, gang violence, war and persecution. You are our heroes and we honor you and know you will help us find our moral compass once more.


We stand with You women - especially you who have been intimidated, told to be quiet and excluded from so many conversations. You hunger and thirst after justice and will make it happen: a new world in which all of us share equally in preparing the banquet of peace. (Verse 6)


We stand with You who suffer for your very identities: gay men, lesbian women, transgender people, queer people, bisexual people, people of color who suffer persecution on a daily basis but who never lose hope. Yours is the kindom of heaven. (Verse 10)


We stand with You who show loving mercy: for you shall obtain mercy and empower us to be non-violent and merciful. (Verse 7)


We stand with You who listen to your conscience: for you will challenge the status quo and bring new perceptions to light. You will help recognize the divine in each person. (Verse 8)


We stand with You peacemakers and those who teach non-violence in our prisons and in our world. We call you the children of God. (Verse 9)


We stand with all who want to transform our world through healing touch.


On that Passover night before he died,

Jesus was at table with his friends.

He took bread, gave thanks,

broke it, and gave it to his friends saying,


All “This is my body, broken for you.”


As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine.

Again he gave thanks to you,

gave it to his friends and said,


ALL: “This cup is my promise to you of my presence through time.

As often as you do this, You do this in memory of me.”


Now gathered at your table, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine,

and ourselves, as living offerings of your love.

Pour out your Spirit upon all these gifts and all of us that

we may be the Your Living Body, Your Living Promise.


Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us all your new creation.

In the fullness of time bring us with all your saints from every tribe and language,

from every people and nation to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world.


Let us offer our communal prayer, Heavenly Father:

Heavenly Father, heavenly Mother,

Holy and blessed is your true name.

We pray for your reign of peace to come,

We pray that your good will be done,

Let heaven and earth become one.

Give us this day the bread we need,

Give it to those who have none.

Let forgiveness flow like a river between us

From each one to each one.

Lead us to holy innocence

Beyond the evil of our days

Come swiftly Mother, Father, come.

For yours is the power and the glory and the mercy:

Forever your name is All in One

-PJP


Offer A Sign of Peace:

May the peace of Christ be in our hearts as we shelter in place.


Our Welcoming Communion Prayer

Everyone is welcome to this table.

Our God, whom the universe cannot contain

is present to us in this bread.

The God who redeems us and calls us by name

now meets us in this cup.

So, come, take this bread,

Drink this wine,

In them, God comes to us,

so that we may come to God.


Communion at this time: Song: Love Can Build a Bridge

I'd gladly walk across the desert with no shoes upon my feet

To share with you the last bite of bread I had to eat

I would swim out to save you in your sea of broken dreams

When all your hopes are sinking, let me show you what love means

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don't you think it's time?

Don't you think it's time?

I would whisper love so loudly, every heart could understand

That love and only love can join the trials of man

I would give my hearts' desire so that you might see

The first step is to realize that it all begins with you and me

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don't you think it's time?

Don't you think it's time?

When we stand together, it's our finest hour

We can do anything (anything)

Anything (anything)

Keep believin' in the power

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don't you think it's time?

Don't you think it's time?

Yeah, yes I do

Ooh, love can build a bridge

Whoa, love and only love

Between your heart and mine

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Love and only love

Don't you think it's time?

Ooh, don't you think it's time?

Don't you think it's time?

Love and only love

Love and only love



Final Blessing

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received,

and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones,

and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.”

― Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582)

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