Worship At Home, The Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Worship at Home with Corpus Christi Church

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

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

Let All Things Now Living

 

Opening Prayer

Let us begin, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Now, here in this place,
we acknowledge there is too much noise and too many distractions.
Come now and help us embrace the silence and find your presence deep within.
Help us remember that you are always by our side walking with us on this journey.
This morning, and all mornings, keep us singing of your goodness and glory.
We ask this through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Amen

 


The First Reading

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles
Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

Psalm

Let All the Earth:

 

 

The Second Reading

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Peter
Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

Gospel Acclamation:

 

 

The Gospel

Fr. Patrick Kennedy:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint John
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
The Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

 

 


Homily

Fr. Patrick Kennedy:

Those who watch TV know one of the common complaints is there are too many commercials. Over the last many years, commercials have centered on various medicines for what ails us. Most of them, not having much to do with the aches and pains we might have on any given day. The other common commercial is car insurance. We will save hundreds of dollars if we choose the right one. While commercials between scenes on TV are something we endure, many have discovered one of the better inventions in these modern times is the mute button on the remote control. It saves having to listen to inane chatter about this that or the other thing we should be buying or taking to enhance our lives.
During these extraordinary days of the pandemic, there has been an effort on the part of various companies do present a different kind of commercial to the public who watch TV. These commercials are not selling anything. What they are promoting is a company who understands what we are going through. Who is grateful for all the front-line heroes and heroines helping us get through these days of stay at home confinement? These commercials praise the American Spirit, the can-do attitude which defines the people of this country and applauds our willingness to stay strong in the midst of adversity and during these times of uncertainty. Usually, these commercials have one common, underlying message which is delivered at the end of the 30 second spot. It is simply this. We are not alone as we go through this. The company conveys they, like others, understand and are with us.
During the Easter Season, we have been hearing different Gospels which indicate the mood and the reaction of Jesus disciples coming to grips with his resurrection. On one hand, they are overjoyed. They are beaming with relief. They thought he was dead. Now he is alive. Their fear was dissipating. The uncertain future his death created in each of them was becoming more secure. But then, Jesus began to prepare them for a new reality. While he was still among them, soon, they would see him no more.
Today’s Gospel has Jesus speaking to his disciples about things that will happen when he is gone. He says, “I will send you an advocate, who will be with you always, he will remain with you.” In other words, you will never be alone, even in my absence. I am not sure the disciples fully understood what he was saying to them. They wouldn’t until a time when they were in the upper room and the power of this advocate, the Holy Spirit, came upon them and they were changed forever.
There is nothing worse than thinking we are all alone. These days we have been living with so many things upended in our lives that have surely had us thinking, at least on occasion, that it seems we are alone and even with reassurance of others, this feeling is sometimes difficult to overcome.
The 50 days after Easter have been meant to have us embrace this assurance from Jesus that what he said was true then and it is true now. He will not leave us alone. The Holy Spirit, abiding in our lives, is ever present calming us when we need it, reassuring us when it is necessary, becoming a healing balm when we are afraid and attempted to go to the dark side of our nature.
Jesus knew life would not always be problem free for his disciples. On occasion they would suffer. He knew uncertainty would surely be part of what they tried to do each day. But he also knew if they prevailed in their trust, he was with them, they would succeed at being at peace even when the world around them would tempt them to be otherwise.
We are not alone. We never have been. We never will be. A thirty second commercial doesn’t need to tell us during these difficult days. It is our faith which radiates this message day in and day out for those of us who believe what Jesus said. Because we believe, we have hope. Through it all this advocate which Jesus sends reaffirms his love and presence in us. Then like our brothers and sisters long ago, who exemplified this same kind faith and came know for certain they were not alone, our lives will be changed forever.

 

Another Reflection

This Sunday is the sixth Sunday in Easter, and we are still at the last supper. The disciples have been fed, feet washed, and the betrayer has left. It is night, dark, and Jesus has announced he is leaving. They have left everything behind and now their leader, Jesus, is leaving? They are uncertain and afraid. Whether they truly heard Jesus or not, he spoke words of hope and promised he will not leave them alone “I will ask the Father, he will give you another Advocate (from the Greek: paraclete.) to be with you always, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him.” A paraclete is a person who stands alongside someone and uses their voice on their behalf. They stand shoulder to shoulder and plead the case. They intercede on behalf of another. They lend strength and support to someone who is disempowered. That is what Jesus did for many people during his ministry and what the Holy Spirit is sent to do for us. This Spirit will come and dwell with them in their community and continue to facilitate the presence of God with us. Jesus uses the word “another” meaning he was also an advocate. His role was not to condemn, but to plead the case for mercy and compassion, to be the intercessor, to be the best character witness one might ever hope to have. Though Jesus may no longer be physically present, the comfort and assurance his presence gave the disciples during his lifetime will continue in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We still need the Spirit as we struggle to live as Jesus lived, we still need the Spirit of truth to offer guidance and counsel as we struggle with the complex moral issues around us. The Gospel still needs to be given a voice through the example and words supported by our Advocate, the Spirit of truth, who reveals to us the truth that we are a child of God within whom, God lives.
We too fear becoming orphaned. Alone, without guidance, without support, without anyone, being isolated in a world that feels like no one cares whether or not we die. Many are feeling this during the pandemic. The fear points to the deeper reality that by ourselves we are not enough. It is not, however, because we are deficient. It is because we were never intended or created to be self-sufficient or to stand alone as individuals. We were created to love and be loved, in community, to live in relationship as persons giving themselves to each other, to dwell, abide, and remain within each other, even as the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father. The complete opposite of being orphaned. People we encounter every day, if we choose to see them, deal with so much; financial trauma, job loss, physical illness, spiritual desperation, insecurity, emotional isolation, instability, want, disrupted relationships, abandonment, violence…the list goes on. Any one of those things not only can make us feel abandoned by the very concept of love, but also unworthy and for sure, unlovable by anyone. “I will not leave you orphaned.” That is the promise from Jesus. Regardless of the circumstances of our lives, storms, mental illness, death, separation, or pandemic, we have and never been and will never be orphaned by God. The commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves, to love our enemies, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We need to ask ourselves, What are the boundaries of our love? Whose feet do we wash and whose feet do we ignore? Do we keep the commandments? Is our love growing, expanding, inclusive, and transformative of ourselves and the world? If not, why? The commandments do not earn us Jesus’ love, but they do reveal our love for him, a love that originates in his abiding love and presence within us. Every time we expand the boundaries of our love, we open space in this world where the Father and Jesus can make their home within. Over and over, day after day, regardless of what is happening in our lives we have not been abandoned. Do not abandon yourself or others in this world. Love with all that you are and that you have, even as the Father and Jesus love us with all that they are and that they have. God is with us, we are not alone, thanks be to God!

 

 

Reflection Song

No Greater Love:

 


Profession of Faith

Knowing that we are not alone, let us 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

Christ is risen and still present among us.
As we are comforted by the gift of your peace,
we pray for our sisters and brothers scattered throughout the world.

 

For the Church:
May we find new ways to continue the healing mission of Jesus,
expanding the definition of our worship while living lives of service to the poor and neglected…

We pray to the Lord,

For our leaders:
May those called to lead, and advocate, carry with them peace and hope while living lives of integrity and empathy restoring dignity for all…

We pray to the Lord,

For those struggling with Covid-19 restrictions:
May they not lose hope, but find encouragement and practical help through of a sense of community,
global solidarity, and working together for the good of all…

We pray to the Lord,

For our planet:
May climate change be halted, the atmosphere protected, water pollution prevented,
eco systems respected, oceans guarded and respect for the wonder of life returned…

We pray to the Lord,

For our Corpus community at home:
May we remember that we are not alone.
We recall anyone we know who may be in need…

(PAUSE)

May love and goodness fill their lives…

We pray to the Lord,

For the sick and the elderly who may be in the hospital, or housebound, isolated, and unable to see or be with their loved ones…

We pray to the Lord,

For those who have lost loved ones, comfort them in their grief and heal the broken-hearted.
We remember those who have died…

(PAUSE)

May they behold the promises made to our ancestors…

We pray to the Lord,

 

Loving God who protects and walks with us,
help us to remember your presence as we offer all that we are to you.
Grant us all we need when we are weary, uncertain or afraid,
while making us aware of those who need our support.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

 


Closing Prayer

Gracious God,
We look to you to be our strength this day.
In our times of trials and doubts, fears and frustrations,
help us cling and hold fast to you.
We give you thanks and praise.
Help us to follow close, knowing that your strong right hand holds us secure.
We have placed our trust in you, and you have not failed us.
May we rest secure in the promise of your care.
Recalling that you prepare us to meet each day with renewed thankfulness and joy,
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.