Pentecost +4, Year C

Musical Reflection
Respect by Aretha Franklin



Lord, you invite our touch,
beyond decency,
beyond order,
beyond possession:
may the anointing woman teach us
to break the seal of our heart
and pour it at your feet;
and may the fragrance of love
weave through our rising prayers;
through Jesus Christ, the Anointed One.

First Reading
Why I Won’t Worship at your Feet

by Kate Rogers


(for a Greek poet)

Because I am more than a handmaiden
who holds up a silver disc so you can admire
your reflection. Because I am beyond conquest
here among the asphodel, wandering the Elysian
Fields. Because my father preferred an audience
to love and threw me into the sea: that vast mirror
and I was saved by a flurry of bird wings,
which lifted me up and gave me air.

I won’t worship at your feet because my husband
preferred me less able and didn’t know me when
I dropped the veil of modesty.

I won’t worship at your feet because though I love
the rhythm of your ancient Homer with verses
constant as the sea breaking on the shore of memory,
I prefer the story of Penelope who was kind and patient
to compensate for her cleverness
and unpicked it in the dark every night like Laërtes’ shroud
so it was never finished, never seen by day.


Second Reading
by Kavita Jindal

I’m not getting up
when you call
I don’t want to
do your bidding
I’ll just lie here
chase some flies
with my eyes
You can be

Gospel Reading
Luke 7:36-8:3

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. After he entered the Pharisee’s home, he took his place at the table. Meanwhile, a woman from the city, a sinner, discovered that Jesus was dining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought perfumed oil in a vase made of alabaster. Standing behind him at his feet and crying, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and poured the oil on them. When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw what was happening, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. He would know that she is a sinner.

Jesus replied, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

“Teacher, speak,” he said.

“A certain lender had two debtors. One owed enough money to pay five hundred people for a day’s work. The other owed enough money for fifty. When they couldn’t pay, the lender forgave the debts of them both. Which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the largest debt canceled.”

Jesus said, “You have judged correctly.”

Jesus turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your home, you didn’t give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has poured perfumed oil on my feet. This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven; so she has shown great love. The one who is forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other table guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this person that even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Soon afterward, Jesus traveled through the cities and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom. The Twelve were with him, along with some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses. Among them were Mary Magdalene (from whom seven demons had been thrown out), Joanna (the spouse of Herod’s servant Chuza), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.


 Prayer to Divine Wisdom, Sophia-Spirit
by Diann L Neu
May Divine Wisdom, Sophia-Spirit,
rise inside us like a rushing wind.
May Divine Wisdom, Sophia-Spirit,
leap within us like a revolutionary fire.
May Divine Wisdom, Sophia-Spirit,
flow through the world like a life-giving breath.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Mother, Parent,
who are in the world and surpass the world,
Blessed be your presence,
in us, in animals and flowers,
in still air and wind.
May justice and peace dwell among us,
as you come to us.
Your will be our will;
You will that we be sisters, brothers, siblings,
as bread is bread, water is itself,
For our hunger, for quenching of thirst.
Forgive us.
We walk crookedly in the world,
and fail of our promise.
But we would be human,
if only you consent to stir up our hearts.


Musical Reflection
Woman by Angel Olsen


Wherever we go,
may the joy of God the gracious
be with us.
Wherever we go,
may the face of Christ the kindly
be with us.
Wherever we go,
may the compassing of the Spirit of grace
be with us.
Wherever we go,
the presence of the Divine around us
to bless us and keep us.

May the blessing of God – the Rock, the Cornerstone,
and the Temple
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.




Artwork by Audrey Flack

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Respect by Aretha Franklin

Poem Why I Won’t Worship at your Feet by Kate Rogers

Poem Resting by Kavita Jindal

Musical Reflection Ophelia by Nathalie Merchant

Prayer by Diann L Neu

Lord’s Prayer from the Boston College Prayer List

Musical Reflection Woman by Angel Olsen

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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