Pentecost +18, Year C

Musical Reflection
Money by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

apparition-of-face-and-fruit-dish-on-a-beach


Invocation

God of unexpected judgement,
finding grace in the devious
and compromised:
free us from the certainty
of having you in our grip
that a better wealth may flow
through our open hands;
through Jesus Christ, the Currency of Life.

Amen.

First Reading

The Outstretched Earth
 by Jane Mead

Do you know what whole fields are?
They are fields with a dog and a moon.
Do you know the answer — for the many?

Except there would be vineyards.
Meaning there would, as usual, be commerce.
Money, and a game of sorts to play it.

Meanwhile — Emma lost in the cover-crop.
Top of her head bobbing through mustard-flower.
It is, after all, still here —

The real world, the outstretched earth,
Rain, soil, copper for pennies.

Second Reading
Extinct
by Arthur Vogelsang

If  you give money to an animal
He or she gets cloying and aggressive
But when arrested for that behavior
Says, “I didn’t know anything, my reps
Did it. Well they did. These humans
Committed their tiny crimes in the mail,” it says,
“Knowing animals are photogenic. You can hold
One in your lap or hold a sheaf of  photos
In which a feline looks like you yourself  tearing off a leg
Of a springbok antelope, which prey looks like you
Concentrating on the flee instinct,” it says.
I tend to agree with it. It and
All of them have expressions on their faces, four limbs,
Two eyes, noses, ears, etcetera, how close can you get to you
Or me, and then there’s the same insides. If  it is a cheetah
Do not put it in your lap. If  it’s
A black rhino it weighs 2,250 lbs.
And has two! sharp horns about 24 in. ea.!
Let’s suppose nothing about that one and not say
It has a facial expression. My own opinion
Is it will have one in a matter of time.
There are ten other scenes in which I look like the animals
In them so don’t argue I’m writing yet another check this week
And as a matter of fact I’d like to smack something,
Bite it, and cook it. You do that, tonight
For instance. If one of us eats the other
It’s a very big crime
Not tiny like the revolutionary revelation in a solicitation
That we are like the animals, no, are them,
Which is bigger in evolution and spirituality,
Sure, and in the final accounting
Much more important, but today
Don’t put a cheetah in your lap and don’t eat other humans.

swans-reflecting-elephants

Gospel Reading
Luke 16:1-13

Jesus also said to the disciples, “A certain rich man heard that his household manager was wasting his estate. He called the manager in and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give me a report of your administration because you can no longer serve as my manager.’

“The household manager said to himself, What will I do now that my master is firing me as his manager? I’m not strong enough to dig and too proud to beg. I know what I’ll do so that, when I am removed from my management position, people will welcome me into their houses.

“One by one, the manager sent for each person who owed his master money. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your contract, sit down quickly, and write four hundred fifty gallons.’ Then the manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘One thousand bushels of wheat.’ He said, ‘Take your contract and write eight hundred.’

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted cleverly. People who belong to this world are more clever in dealing with their peers than are people who belong to the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves so that when it’s gone, you will be welcomed into the eternal homes.

“Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and the one who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much. If you haven’t been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? If you haven’t been faithful with someone else’s property, who will give you your own? No household servant can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

 

Musical Reflection
The Richest Man in Babylon by Thievery Corporation

the-persistence-of-memory
Prayer to Make Poverty History
by Cardinal O’Brien, adapted

Lord of Life,
Open our eyes to make us:
Aware of the poverty suffered by others;
Aware of the immorality of allowing that suffering to take place;
Aware of our rights as citizens to be heard;
Aware of the adults and children dying as we speak;
Aware that our solidarity gives us strength;
Aware that our leaders may turn a deaf ear but Almighty God hears our cry;
And aware that only together can we: Make Poverty History.

Give us the strength and determination to work towards solutions
and policy changes that can free our siblings
around the world from the chains of poverty.
Inspire us to challenge our leaders to make debt relief
and fighting poverty a priority,
and make our voices loud and clear. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

O God, you love us like a good parent,
and are present in every aspect of our existence.
May your nature become known and respected by all.
May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice
be the reality for everyone as we live by the Jesus Way.
Give us all that we really need to live every day for you.
And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures.
Keep us from doing those things which are not of you,
and cause us always to be centered on your love.
For you are the true reality in this our now, and in all our future.
In the Jesus Way we pray. Amen.

 

Musical Reflection
Drunk Walk Home by Mitski

 


Blessing

As we were in the ebb and flow,
as the beginning becomes the ending,
and the ending a new beginning,
be with us,
ever-present God.
May the blessing of God – the Equality, the Diversity, and the Unity,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

 

the-first-days-of-spring

Sources:

Artwork by Salvadore Dali

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Money by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Poem The Outstretched Earth by Jane Mead

Poem Extinct by Arthur Vogelsang

Musical Reflection The Richest Man in Babylon by Thievery Corporation

Prayer by Cardinal O’Brien

Lord’s Prayer by David Sorril

Musical Reflection Drunk Walk Home by Mitski

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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