THIRTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME — Year C

*Alternate* First Reading: “The Sacred Songs of Our Ancestors” from Shaman’s Circle by Nancy Wood and Frank Howell

When people first emerged into the world, it was a sacred time
Because humans and animals were able to talk to one another.
All things had a voice, even the pottery which our women made
From clay gathered from a sacred spot where the earth
Reminded them to pay attention to blossoms and smoke, so that

The pottery would be strong.  When a man took a rock and from it made
The sacred shape of an obsidian point, he spoke to the stone.
And the stone answered back.  Without dialogue, stones would
Not become arrowheads, and we would not eat, for
It is impossible to take the life of an animal without the power of stone.

In those days we spoke with life and thus knew beauty all around.
In our pottery and carvings, weavings and weapons,
We brought forth the essence of the Creator.  When animals spoke,
It was to teach us valuable lessons.  When the Clay Mother permitted
Women to gather her sacred earth, we were blessed. The sacred songs
Of our ancestors still echo today.   Who has the courage to listen?

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