Worship At Home
The Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Worship at Home with
Corpus Christi Church

The Twentieth 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

Called by Christ:

 

 

Opening Prayer

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

Amen

Welcoming God,
we come before you in recognition of your calling,
your invitation to us to share in your creative and healing work.
As morning breaks, we look to you to be our strength, to be our guide, to be our help this day.
Help us to open our ears, our eyes, and our hearts to your presence
We ask this through Christ our Lord

Amen


The First Reading

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah
Thus says the LORD:
Observe what is right, do what is just;
for my salvation is about to come,
my justice, about to be revealed.
The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
ministering to him,
loving the name of the LORD,
and becoming his servants—
all who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant,
them I will bring to my holy mountain
and make joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar,
for my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Second Reading

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking to you Gentiles.
Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles,
I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous
and thus save some of them.
For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,
what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you once disobeyed God
but have now received mercy because of their disobedience,
so they have now disobeyed in order that,
by virtue of the mercy shown to you,
they too may now receive mercy.
For God delivered all to disobedience,
that he might have mercy upon all.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
The Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

 

 


A Reflection from our Community

This Sunday in the Gospel we find Jesus passing through the region of Tyre and Sidon. He is approached by a Canaanite woman abruptly asking “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” Again, an unexpected interruption, even worse a Gentile woman with no societal value or standing, approaching a Jewish man she doesn’t know. Jesus ignores her cries and the disciples take this response as an annoyance to Jesus. When asked if they can send her away, Jesus replies “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” In other words, confirming his healing mission to the Jews, she and her daughter do not qualify.  That should have stopped her begging for mercy, yet she persisted. Jesus dismisses her further cries for help with “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the house dogs.” Sometimes the Jews referred to the Gentiles as “dogs” to reflect their lowly status in the eyes of the Jewish tradition. Think of the image of a scavenger dog, filthy from picking in the rubble and trash and therefore considered as unclean. Despite the insult, she persisted again and turned his words back on him continuing to beg for mercy for her daughter and Jesus recognizes her faith and heals the daughter. Regardless of why Jesus initially reacted the way he did, we don’t like it, it makes us uncomfortable. That is not the Jesus we want, yet with God, nothing is wasted and there is a lot we can learn from this interaction that has survived all these years. To the Jews, the chosen people, you were either a Jew or not a Jew, everyone else was a Gentile and therefore less. At the time when this was written, some disciples were taking the Gospel to the Gentiles. This story would have helped the community see the example to reach out beyond the narrow confines of Judaism. Times were changing and Jesus was challenging their thinking and filling their hearts and minds with new ideas. Jesus by example would make a way for all, Jew and Gentile, to hear the Word of God. The Canaanite woman was remarkably courageous, she overcame so many obstacles to her faith. She overcame sexism, religion, racism, rejections, and the reality of her life situation. She did not beg for herself, but for the benefit of her daughter’s life. Her daughter was possessed by a devil, she was a member of a doomed race, these religious men did not seem to care about her situation at all, she must have felt that her situation as hopeless. Yet, she persisted. Do we have the same determination about our faith?
The Canaanite woman was one of the earliest to follow Jesus that was not a Jew. As the Catholic church some 2000 plus years later, we have some soul searching to do. There are communities of the Catholic church that are not growing as they should. Harm has been inflicted in the name of the Catholic church; how can we bring healing? Jesus brought about change in his time to include others, what are we missing? Let’s look at what this courageous woman had to overcome. As a woman she had to overcome sexism and being less valued then her male counterparts. She had no money, no land or standing in this society. By today’s standards what is the experience of being a woman? Are women still dismissed? Is there equal pay, equal say, and equal value to being a woman today? What demeaning labels are given to persistent women today? Are the gifts that women bring being valued, embraced, and celebrated? Is sexism still an issue some 2000 plus years later? As a Gentile, she had to overcome religion, she was not born a Jew. As a society do we respect and celebrate different religions? Are we open to learning from one another about how to love our neighbors? In our church, many have feelings of shame, guilt, and worry that they are not worthy to enter because we have met them with rubrics, rules to obey, and judgment instead of meeting people where they are and accompanying them on the their journey. Are we sharing our faith through merciful experience and relationship or waiting for them to fail? When we stand by defending tradition, whose tradition are we speaking of and who created it? What things are we so certain we are right about that we are willing to push people away who ask for help? Have you ever been frustrated with the institution of the church or felt that your desperate cries were not being answered? What do we do when that happens? Where do we go? Do we give up? Get mad? Quit the church? The Canaanite woman showed us persistence in prayer. Especially prayer for others. Against all obstacles of faith and hopelessness, persistence. These fights are present in every stage of the church’s development. She had to overcome racism, and we know that is systemically still with us. If we are truly created in God’s image, why do we believe that color of skin makes someone inferior? Is God less than beautiful? What God makes, is beautiful. For far too long we have created systems that oppress and benefit only a few. She had to overcome rejection. Have we ever felt like the outsider not welcomed by the insiders? Humans are meant to be in community and when you feel excluded, it begins a division that needs healing and understanding. Who do we keep out? Who do we struggle to include? Why do we continue to construct labels, and arbitrary rules that are not following Jesus’ command to love one another? Are there people in our society that treat some people as “dogs”? What is our response to these people? What would be Jesus’ response? Why is Jesus’ example still a difficult response for us? A basic belief of our faith is respect and care for the dignity of every human person. Finally, she had to overcome the reality of her life situation. The systems to keep people separate were set up before Jesus and the Canaanite woman were born, it doesn’t make it right, but Jesus chose to change it because of her faith. Today, we have great inequalities and we are being called to do all we can to change them. This is the world in which we must persistently pray, learn, and live out our faith with mercy and love. Against all obstacles of faith and hopelessness, persistence in prayer. Lasting change will come from within, within our hearts, and within our church. Come Holy Spirit!
 

 

 


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:
With persistence, we come before our God, offering these prayers for ourselves, for our neighbors, and for those in lands far away.

 

LECTOR:
For the Church:
May we create courageous changes that broaden our hospitality to celebrate the uniqueness that each member of your body brings to the whole…
(pause)
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the persistent women who help form our church: May we be inspired to act by the pioneers, prophets, saints, preachers, and pastoral leaders following in the footsteps of Jesus…
(pause)
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For those who govern:
May they break down the barriers that divide and fight for justice for all in our shared humanity…
(pause)
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For our sisters and brothers in Lebanon:
May they feel God’s presences as they mourn their dead and tend to their wounded…
(pause)
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the upcoming elections:
Empower us to overcome any barriers set to make voting difficult:
May we value our right to vote with wisdom, discernment, and knowledge…
(pause)
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For those who must choose between food and rent,
those who care for others but neglect themselves,
those who wander in need of shelter and peace:
May we open our eyes to see the lines of connection that unite us all, and with clarity of vision, continue to work for a world where every person’s life is valued, cherished, and loved…
(pause)
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

We remember our beloved dead…
Especially Donald Vizanko…
(pause)
May they experience the light of your radiant presence…
(pause)
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

 

PRESIDER:
Gracious God,
you tell us that you are a God for all people.
Help us to believe that this includes not only us,
but also those for whom we have little regard.
Empower us to stand with those considered unworthy,
no matter what the cost may be.
Open our eyes and ears, hearts and minds, to the gifts you have prepared for us.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 


Closing Prayer

Gentle God,
we thank you for creating this planet and blessing it with life in such abundance and diversity.
You have created humans of many colors and have blessed them with unique perspectives.
Open our minds that we may come to understand those who are different from ourselves as your gift to us,
inviting us to an even greater appreciation of the marvelous diversity which finds it source in you.
Open our hearts that we might be moved to act with courage against ignorance and injustice.
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

Blest Be the Lord:

Wide (probably best for computer screens)

Tall (probably best for smart phones)