Worship At Home
The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Worship at Home with Corpus Christi Church

The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your
current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present
religious affiliation, whatever your personal history, age, background,
race or color, sexual orientation, whatever your self-esteem…you are
invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected by the
Catholic Community of Corpus Christi.
Let us know your needs, your hopes, your gifts.
There is a place for you here.

 


Opening Song

Sing a New Church:

 

 

 

Opening Prayer

We begin in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

Amen

Loving God,
we praise you for your faithfulness and love,
and we thank you for the guidance and hope you offer us.
Be with us today and support our prayers, so that we may not grow weary.
Breathe into us the Spirit who dwells in all hearts.
We ask this through Christ our Lord

Amen

 


Penitential Rite

Fr. John Parkos

Jesus says, to his contemporaries and to us:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
“I am humble,” he says, and he asks us to follow him in that.
Humility is truth, the truth about who you are; no more, AND NO LESS!
Being humble also means understanding that salvation is a gift; I cannot accomplish it; BUT GOD CAN! We are members of God’s family … by adoption; we are no less than daughters and sons of God! That is what our Baptism announces to us. And there isn’t a thing we can do about it!
We are also, at the same time, sinners. But, according to the original meaning of the word, we are “miserable” sinners. The original and literal meaning of the word says that we are able to receive God’s mercy,
specifically designed for us for right now, today.
Have you discerned/discovered how God wants you to be “miserable” right now/today?
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins,
and being us to everlasting life.

Amen


The First Reading

A reading from the second Book of the Prophet Zechariah
Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
a just savior is he,
meek, and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the foal of an ass.
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior’s bow shall be banished,
and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Second Reading

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
You are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Consequently, brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
The Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

 

 


The Homily

Fr. John Parkos

In the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5.5). Meekness is not a word typically seen in your average Facebook status or Twitter post. When people do use this word, they generally mean submissive, easily lead, or impressionable.
But the word as used in the Bible is very different. To be meek is to be assertive, to do what is necessary. Jesus Christ asks us to be meek, as he is meek. A spiritually meek person (in the mold of Jesus) is not self-willed and not continually concerned with his own ways, ideas and wishes. They are willing to put themselves in second place and submit themselves to achieve what is good for others.
Further, these folks are righteous (in right relationship with God), humble, teachable, and patient under suffering, long suffering, willing to follow gospel teachings, with an attribute of a true disciple. And willing to learn. When walking in the company of others I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy; the bad points of the other I correct in myself.
When we meet kind people, we can develop feelings of gratitude and use those people as role models to inspire our own kindness and generosity. We can also learn from unkind people. Seeing how sensitive we are to criticism and hostility, we can remember how sensitive others are and resolve to treat them gently. We can also practice forgiveness and find how much better this feels than smoldering with resentment for days
… or years on end.
See each person you meet as a teacher bringing you an important lesson.
Your challenge is to recognize what that lesson is, then to learn as much as you can from this person. At the end of the day, look back and review your interaction with each person, the lessons each one brought, and what you learned.
As exercises like these are repeated, the eye of the soul gradually opens and we become increasingly aware of the sacred within us and around us. Every person becomes a teacher and a reminder of our spiritual nature, while every experience becomes a learning opportunity and we see the world as a sacred schoolhouse designed to heal and awaken us, and to teach us how to heal and awaken others. What greater gift could the world offer?
Contrary to what you might think is the case, we do not think our way to new ways of acting. What actually happens is that we act our way to new ways of thinking. And this is much more than simply playing with words.
In 2002, a younger cross-cultural singer by the name of Josh Groban sang a concert in Pasadena, CA. Included in the concert was a song called “Let Me Fall.” It is a song about surrendering to love and to risk becoming so much more than I am or have been.
As he sang the song, he walked slowly up a flight of stairs; he was lit only by a spotlight. At the end of the song, he was at the top of the stairs. He turned around, leaned backwards into a free-fall. The audience gasped. The spotlight went dark, as the music ended. There was a stunned silence in the auditorium for a few seconds. Then the lights came back on, as Josh re-appeared walking down the stairs, to thunderous applause.
Here are the lyrics of Josh’s song:
Let me fall,
Let me climb.
There’s a moment, when fear
And dreams must collide. 
Someone I am
Is waiting for courage.
The one I want,
The one I will become,
Will catch me. 
So, let me fall,
If I must fall.
I won’t heed your warnings;
I won’t hear them. 
Let me fall.
If I fall,
Though the phoenix may,
Or may not rise, … 
I will dance so freely,
Holding on to no one.
You can hold me, only
If you too will fall,
Away from all these
Useless fears and chains 
Someone I am
Is waiting for my courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me 
Let me fall.
If I fall,
There’s no reason
To miss this one chance,
This perfect moment.
Just let me fall.
Poetry can say so much more than literal wording, and with far fewer words. So can the lyrics of the music of falling in love and courting and friendship. And so can the faith-hope-love of the faith journey.
Jesus promised, “I came so that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 200+ years ago our forebears dreamed a dream: “We the people … in order to form a more perfect union …” Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Junior dreamed the next phase of that dream, to eliminate racism and sexism and poverty and war, and on and on and on: “I have a dream …”
None of these dreams to yet complete and fully realized. We still seek vaccines for multiple illnesses. We still secretly / desperately dream of fire in the human heart, and not neighborhoods aflame and trashed, and neighbors knifed and shot; and we long to see road rage in our rear-view mirrors rather than our head lights; and we much prefer true justice to vengeance. The list of our longings seems endless, and our patience is tried often to the breaking point. Power and prestige and possessions prove to be shallow promises. But something better? Where? When? Who? We have been disappointed so often. We have ourselves failed at so many attempts. Where do we find the will to go on?
Yet isn’t that the very reason we have come together today – In family groupings? Online? In private prayers? In our heart of hearts, we know the promise is valid, and the dream is valid.
The Wisdom literature of the Jewish Scriptures (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14), harvested from the experiences of dreaming and of striving, says, “To every thing there is an appointed time, and a time to every purpose under heaven. … A time for breaking down and a time for building up; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time of war, and a time of peace. God has made every thing appropriate to its time: also God has set the timeless into people’s hearts, without their ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.
I know that, whatsoever God does, it shall endure forever: nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken away from it: and God sees to it that humans should revere him.”
So often in recent years, those dreams have surfaced again. They have surfaced very strongly again this spring with the pandemic and the death of George Floyd. But this time was different, because something else surfaced with it!
Just as a coronavirus and more and more senseless killings can spread throughout the world, threatening people’s bodily welfare, so too can ideas and behaviors spread throughout society, affecting people’s social, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Long before the current pandemic Pope Francis has likened pride and indifference to a virus – and he also pointed toward a cure. To confront the sin and selfishness that blind us to the needs of others, he called upon Catholics to rediscover and put into practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. “In a world which, unfortunately, has been damaged by the virus of indifference, the works of mercy are the best antidote,” Pope Francis said in a Wednesday catechesis in 2016, during the Jubilee of Mercy. “We are often distracted, indifferent, and when the Lord closely passes by, we lose the opportunity to encounter him. The works of mercy reawaken in us the need, and the ability to make the faith alive and active with charity.”
The coronavirus pandemic has had effects reaching far beyond those who have contracted COVID-19. The economic impact of lockdowns has devastated many, resulting in an increased need – and opportunity – for charitable outreach. Moreover, the challenges have not been limited to hunger and other physical needs; they have included the deprivation of social and spiritual essentials as well. People did what they have always done, encouraging, and mobilizing members to extend God’s mercy to our neighbors and recognize Jesus in the faces of others.
But this time it happened, it seemed, spontaneously and to such an extent that it was not only noticeable, but even equal to the devastation and heartache in such a way that it stirred hope in folks to an extent that cannot be easily forgotten or erased. Already it has set in motion reforms and cooperation between races and neighborhoods, and a world-wide solidarity that is helping our nation to breath an air of encouragement and resolve.
A major element has focused on the first corporal work of mercy – feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty; and has likewise sought to bring spiritual nourishment and consolation to the faithful …The witness of these neighbors is a reminder that the call to charity need not be complicated.
In his Wednesday catechesis, Pope Francis noted, “It is better to begin with the simplest, which the Lord tells us it the most urgent.” He added, “I am convinced that, through these simple daily actions, we can achieve a true cultural revolution.”
Though sin and indifference can spread like a virus, Christian joy and the witness of faith are also contagious. This is evident in the friendships of so many saints, as well as in all the times and places the faith has taken root throughout Church history. And it is often in times of great trial that the Lord presents us with the greatest opportunity for holiness. The question for each of us, then, is whether we will recognize the Lord as he “closely passes us by” and respond, by his grace, with simple acts of faith, hope and charity. We seem to be learning that the best critique of a bad situation is not to complain; the best critique is to do it better. Become the change you want to see happen.
And the gifts of community: good example, encouragement, support, challenge, holding each other accountable – These, too, have shown themselves to be alive and well among us.
Let me fall,
Let me climb.
There’s a moment, when fear
And dreams must collide. 
Someone I am
Is waiting for courage.
The one I want,
The one I will become,
Will catch me.

 

 


Another Reflection from our community

This Sunday in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus calls to all “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves.” In the Jewish tradition, disciples who followed a particular rabbi sought to take on his yoke. The yoke of any rabbi was best identified by asking him, ‘Which is the greatest commandment?’ A rabbi’s answer to this question revealed his interpretation of the Torah (The Law). When Jesus was asked the question, he answered, ‘Love God and love your neighbor.” All the rest of the Law of the prophets flows from these two commandments. Compared to the 613 mitzvot (commands) set out in the Torah and strictly maintained by the Pharisees, the simplicity of Jesus’ promise is both striking and refreshing. So simple, it required a childlike simplicity to accept this yoke. Jesus offers himself as the universal solution to all that burdens us. Our faith means we have experienced the love of God in Jesus so that we never carry our burdens alone. Rest from our burdens of isolation, anxiety, and fear. The type of rest that raises up hope, a rest that only a loving and merciful God can provide in abundance.
We too have overcomplicated our lives with more than 613 rules/laws/commands that do not help with equality. We are tired. Many have benefited from the injustice of these rules, and it is time to take back the simplicity of our rabbi, Jesus to “Love God and your neighbor.” We need to create space and change for new interpretations for others to benefit. We need to help lighten the load of the oppressed who have carried it for too long. Children are sponges that absorb what they see and hear. As a culture what have we been taught both consciously and subconsciously through schools, media, parents, communities, the Church, work, internet, books, friendships…? Have we been taught racism, prejudice, sexism, to fear different, skepticism, exclusion, selfishness, tribalism, or hate? These behaviors are taught; we receive what is given to us. To be childlike, we need to reclaim what we are born with: love, wonder, acceptance, inclusion, affection, joy, relationship, gentleness, and simplicity. Jesus invites us to shoulder his yoke and learn from him for he is gentle and humble of heart. To what or whom are we yoked? What or who takes priority in our lives, orienting how we live and relate to others, or how we make decisions? We all harness our lives to something: another person, work, family, success, reputation, power, our country, our political party. Sometimes our yokes are more interior like fear, anxiety, anger, particular beliefs or opinions, the losses and tragedies of our lives. To be yoked to anything or anyone other than Christ will only leave us weary and burdened; our lives will be frenzied and fragmented. We end up comparing, competing, and judging ourselves and each other. There is no internal integrity. We chose a life less than what we were created for, a life less than what God is offering. Fully yoking ourselves to Christ is more than coming to church, hearing the Gospel, saying the right prayers, and then going out to lunch. The Gospel of Christ demands a response. We work for justice and the dignity of every human being at every stage of life. We care for the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and defend the oppressed. We love our enemies. We offer forgiveness before it is asked for. We let go of anger, and do not live in fear. Our faithfulness should be evident by how we live and speak. We should regain our childlike wonder and delight, praising God and giving thanks for the many gifts and blessings. From that place, can we do whatever we can to help lighten the load of our sisters and brothers and begin to restore equality?

 

 


Profession of Faith

Let us together profess our faith:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,          
born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

 

 


Prayers of the Faithful

PRESIDER:
Aware of all that dwells deep within us,
we lift up these prayers for our sister’s and brother’s around the world.

 

LECTOR:
For the church:
May we look honestly at where we need to create space to embrace and celebrate the diversity our many gifts…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the United States, as it celebrates Independence Day:
For a nation divided among political, religious, economic and cultural lines:
May we speak God’s truth and find unity…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For those at the breaking point of carrying their burdens of life:
for immigrants, refugees, outcasts, and all who cross boundaries seeking safety…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For those who suffer betrayal, trauma, depression, physical decline, or chronic pain…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the sick and those whose earthy journey is coming to an end:
Especially Sr. Andrea,
May mercy and dignity be shown to them through the care of others…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

We remember those who have died…

(PAUSE)

May they be granted eternal rest in heaven…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

 

PRESIDER:
Good and loving God,
we come to you as people who are often burdened.
Give us the strength and courage to live Jesus’ call,
no matter how difficult that may be.
Help us to encourage one another,
so that we may all belong to the One in whose name we pray.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 


Closing Prayer

Gracious God,
may our songs of praise and our desire to thank you be pleasing to you.
When the concerns of this world are too much to bear,
you offer us your hand to help us through difficulties.
May our faith never be shaken.
As the light of the sun chases away the darkness of night,
may the joy of this moment last throughout this day.
And when evening comes, may we rest secure in your promise of care.
United with our sisters and brothers everywhere,
together we pray in the words Jesus taught us:

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done.
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Amen.

 

 


Closing Song

City of God:

We are providing two versions of the sheet music for your convenience, a “tall” version (probably better for phones and tablets) and a “wide” version (probably better for computer screens):

Tall:

Wide: