Saturday, July 25, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Feast of Mary Magdalene - July 25, 2020 - Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP, Readers: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP, and Sally Brochu, ARCWP, Music Minister- Linda Lee Miller

Theme: Seeing with the Eye of the Heart

Welcome and Gathering

Presider 1: Welcome to our liturgy with the Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome. Today we continue our celebration of Mary Magdalene, beloved companion of Jesus, who saw with the eye of her heart. We celebrate her legacy in her Gospel that reminds us that we, like Jesus, are the beloved of the Holy One. 

Presider 2:  
We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says “All.” 
All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. Our readers today are Janet and Sally.
Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.
Let us now sing our opening song: Women of the Church.

Gathering Song: Women of the Church by Carey Landry, Recorded for MMOJ Liturgy by Linda Lee Miller 

Women of the Church, how rich is your legacy!
Women of the Church, how great is your faith!
Women of the Church, wellsprings of integrity,
Lead us in the ways of Peace!

1. Women at the foot of the Cross,
Fearless and truly faithful friends,
First ones to see the Risen One of Life
And the first to tell good news.

2. Companions and disciples of Jesus,
chosen and called by name,
witnesses of wisdom, weavers of the Word,
lead us in the ways of Truth!

Opening Prayer

Presider 1:  Like Mary Magdalene, we rejoice that our spiritual power to live the Gospel is rooted in the presence of Spirit within each and all of us. Like Mary Magdalene, we rejoice that our oneness with Christ frees us from rules, projections and expectations that limit our ability be a radiant reflection of the Holy One’s love and compassion. Like Mary, our call is to walk with Christ and to love as Christ . All: Amen

Communal Reconciliation Rite
Presider 2: We pause now to remember the times we have let false messages about our unworthiness cloud our vision of the infinite depth of love within us.  Now imagine the imperfections, chaos and messes of your life illuminated by a love within you that is healing and transforming you as you evolve and grow in awareness of your divinity and humanity.

(Pause briefly. Then extend arm over your heart)

All: I love you, I forgive you, I am sorry, I thank you.

Liturgy of the Word

(Janet) Our First Reading is adapted from Soul Sisters by Edwina Gateley

Ah, Mary of Magdala, they did not tell us your story.
It was lost, buried deep in layers of fear and denial, that such a one as you – female, fiercely loyal friend of Jesus - could walk so closely with him, never leaving his side even as you stood before the gates of hell.

What dread sickness was it, Mary, that gripped you with all of seven symptoms?
They did not tell us your story….
But we know your spirit was battered in a society which had no place for you.

Was your sickness then a soul-sickness, sister? Were the demons that devoured you, offsprings of despair in a patriarchal culture where your voice could never be spoken? Your words never heard?

They did not tell us, Mary. They did not tell us your story.
Could your seven demons be those very ones that reside still in your sisters, two thousand years later, cowering in shadowy apartments, brutalized by domestic violence and believing it deserved? Afraid to speak, to break the chains that bind them.

Ah, Mary of Magdala, were you also imprisoned by your story never told? Your story of the empty grave was dismissed as rambling – distraught woman-nonsense.

How was it with you then, Mary of Magdala? Standing in the place of revelation, singular woman witness of the Resurrection? How was it to be so bereft and then be thrust, still weeping, into the bliss of the Realm of God, to run then, with that vision – that new of life – to those who lived in fear?

Ah, Mary, we your sisters (and brothers) need to hear your running and your story resurrected and dusted from the tomb of scriptural exegesis into the bright sunlight. We need to claim your vision breaking through dead history into our warm lives.

We, women waiting, need to find you, Mary of Magdala. In the torn threads of our own journeys, we need to weave you, Mary, sister and friend, into our lives that we might stir and rise, fluttering in hope of new beginnings, no matter how long dead we have lain in the ground. Ah, then, Mary, brave woman of Magdala, we too will run from our tombs singing our song of resurrection with you, soul sister, into the bright, bright sun.

(Sally) Responsorial: Psalm 119
(adapted from Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill)

Our response is: I open my heart to you, my Beloved.

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who live with spiritual integrity!
Blessed are those who honor the Inner Being,
who follow You with their whole heart,
Who enfold the world with love
and walk in peaceful paths!

Response: I open my heart to you, my Beloved.

Blessed are you, Holy One, My Beloved,
You guide me in all that I do.
May my words bear witness
to the truth of your ways.
May I become a living fountain of joy
as I give thanks for your bountiful blessings.

Response: I open my heart to you, my Beloved.

I open my heart’s eyes, that I may see
the wonderous blessings of Creation.
I am a sojourner on earth: and
I know myself as a spiritual Being.
My soul is consumed with an intense
longing to be
blessed and sustained by you,
O Divine Lover!

Response: I open my heart to you, my Beloved.

(Mary Theresa) Gospel: A Reading from the Gospel of Mary (4:8-10, 5:1-10)
Translated by Jean-Yves Leloup

Jesus said, “Go and proclaim the good news of the kin-dom. Impose no law other than that which I have witnessed. Do not add more laws to those given in the Torah, lest you become bound by them.” Having said all this, he departed.

The disciples were in sorrow, shedding many tears, and saying: “How are we to go among the unbelievers and announce the gospel of the Kin-dom?
They did not spare his life, so why should they spare ours?”

Then Mary arose, embraced them all, and began to speak to her brothers:
 “Do not remain in sorrow and doubt, for his Grace will guide you and comfort you. Instead, let us praise his greatness, for he has prepared us for this.
He is calling upon us to become fully human.

Thus, Mary turned their hearts toward the Good, (The Holy One) and they began to discuss the meaning of Jesus’ words.

These are sacred words from the Gospel of Mary, and we affirm them by saying:
 All: Amen.


Homily Starter: Kathryn and Mary Theresa

Mary Theresa: “Seeing with the eye of the heart” - this is central in the Gospel of Mary. She leads us through the seven powers that transformed her and invites us to “see with the eyes of our hearts.”
It is a vision that awakens us to what has always been within us.
It is seeing in the darkness of our time that there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all in this world together; we are inherently good, and we are not alone.
It is seeing our true identity that frees us from clinging to what we crave and want and awakens us to what we all need.
It ​is ​recognizing the unconscious states we fall into, and act from.
It is a respect for our bodies as good, and an understanding that the body has wisdom, blood memory, that reaches back through the centuries and carries the echoes of our ancestors.
And, it is understanding that we are more than our bodies; we are spiritual beings on an earthly journey.
It is breaking routines ​ingrained in us and doing something, anything, to make this world a better place.
It is the wisdom to know “holy” ang​er​, to know what we stand for and what we care most about. It is seeing ourselves with a stranger and saying, “I won’t let you be treated as I would not want to be treated myself.”

Kathryn: This week we honor the memory of Mary of Magdala and all those who confronted the darkness in their lives and pushed through the darkness and recognized the Light within. This week we are celebrating the legacy of John Lewis and in celebrating his memory, we also celebrate Rosa Parks, the woman who inspired him to step into that rare courage, that counterculture act of resistance in refusing to stop loving this broken, beautiful world.  In every fiber of his being, he upheld that suborn, splendid refusal as the crucible of justice, of progress, of all that is harmonious, good, and human in us. John Lewis encouraged us to “anchor the eternity of love in your own soul…Lean toward the whispers of your own heart…Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge…But, when it is your time, don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice.”

He was inspired in his “holy anger” by those who went before him, like Rosa Parks, and many other courageous women and men.  Rosa, who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  Rep. Lewis once said, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”  John and Rosa were exemplary models of how to make visible the seven powers of transformation.  They both saw with the eyes of their hearts, the core message of the Gospel of Mary.

Community Sharing: What spoke to you in our readings or homily starter today?

Communal Statement of Faith

All: (Presider 2) We believe in one God, a divine mystery beyond all definition and rational understanding, the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist. 
We believe in Jesus, messenger of God's Word, bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion, bright star in the firmament of God's prophets, mystics, and saints. 
We believe that we are called to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God's love, a source of God's wisdom and truth, and an instrument of God's peace in the world.
We believe that God's kin-dom is here and now, stretched out all around us for those with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it, and hands to make it happen.

Prayers of and for the Community

Presider 1: We now remember all those who need our prayers. Our response is:
All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 2: For all those suffering from Covid and all families who have lost a member due to the pandemic. All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 1: For all those suffering the loss of family members due to systemic, institutional racism. All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 2: We pray for our MMOJ community, especially for Bridget Mary and Diane who continue their medical treatments.
For what else should we pray?

Presider 1: We remember these and all unspoken intentions.
All: Amen.

Preparation Of The Gifts

Presider 1:  Blessed are You, Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread, to share, the Bread of Life. 

All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.  

Presider 2:  Blessed are You, O Loving  One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 

All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Presider 1:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence we are as we proclaim the liberating power of your Spirit, in our humanity and divinity, calling us to build the unity in a more compassionate and just world.  All:  Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer
Presider 2: Your Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in all who work for humanity’s healing and well-being especially now during this Covid pandemic and systemic racism. With thankful hearts, in the company of all holy women and men, your liberating Spirit rises up within us, works through us and we sing:

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy (adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)

We are Holy, Holy, Holy…3x , You are Holy, Holy, Holy, I am Holy, Holy, Holy, We are Holy, Holy, Holy

Presider 1: O Heart of Love, Your Spirit moved through Mary of Magdala as she taught us that we are in continuous communion with you.  Your Spirit moves through our humanity and our divinity. Your Spirit moves through the love within us, expanding in widening circles to embrace all people and creation in our evolving universe.
Please extend Your hands in blessing.

All: (Presider 2) You Pour out Your Spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world.

All: (Presider 1): On the night before he died, Jesus came to the table with his family and the women and men he loved. Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying,
“Take, eat, this is my body. Do this in memory of me.”  (pause)

All (Presider 2) : After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying,
“This is the cup of the covenant of my love.
As often as You drink of it, remember me.”

Presider 2:  Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
All: Christ has died in all those who have passed away from the Coronavirus and from police brutality.
Christ is rising in all those working for the well-being of humanity; searching for a vaccine, treatments and dismantling institutional racism and sexism.
Christ comes each day in our ministry, prayers and actions for a renewed world with justice and equality for all.

Presider 1:  Holy One, we remember and we are grateful for the companions who have gone before us: Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, and all holy women and men who are rising up in loving service to heal our world.  We are grateful for our brother, Jesus, and we follow him…

(Presiders lift bread and wine)

For it is through learning to live as he lived,
And why he lived,
And for whom he lived,
That we awaken to your Spirit within,
Moving us to worship you truly,
At this time and all time and in all ways.

Sung Amen

The Prayer of Jesus

Presider 2:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 
All:  O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come.
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,
Each day you give us all we need;
You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever.  Amen  (Miriam Therese Winter)  

Sign of Peace: Peace is flowing like a River by Carey Laundry

Presider 1:  Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.” 
(Let us place our hands in front of us, palms up, as we sing, Peace Is Flowing Like a River
Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the people free. Love is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free. Healing's flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the people free. Alleluia


Presider 2: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.
Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Presider 1:  This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to this table.  
All:  We are the Body and Blood of Christ for the world.                         

Please receive/share Eucharist now.

Communion Meditation: God of the Movements and Martyrs. A Hymn by David LaMotte arranged and performed by The Many.

Presider 1: Thanksgiving: Please unmute yourself if you have a thanksgiving to share.                      

Concluding Rite

Presider 2:   As you go forth to continue our ministries, we pray: Timeless One, Your eternal love wraps courage around us as we enter into your invitation to further our spiritual transformation. Your ageless presence draws us to you as we step forward, ready to embrace where you lead us. Your sustaining peace rests within our every heartbeat and accompanies us into the unknown future. We bow to you with gratitude and confidence. Amen.
Presider 1: Please extend Your hands as we pray our final blessing.
May we open our hearts to Hope,
to new beginnings, the possibilities of change and of dreams not yet lived.
May we open our hearts to Compassion,
The service we can offer, the sharing of our talents and the warmth of our hearts.
May we open our hearts to Wisdom.
The blessedness of divine guidance and the readiness to use our intuition and knowledge.
May we open to Divine Light,
The radiance within each person, the light that guides, consoles, and sustains.
(Adapted from Seven Gates of Transformation in Prayer Seeds by Joyce Rupp)

Closing Song: 
Recessional: Women of the Church by Carey Landry verses 4 and 5, music played by Linda Lee Miller 

Women of the Church, how rich is your legacy!
Women of the Church, how great is your faith!
Women of the Church, wellsprings of integrity,
Lead us in the ways of Peace!

4. Women of compassion and care,
bearers of God’s life-giving light,
centered in prayer while working for justice,
lead us in the ways of Peace!

5. Women martyred in our time,
Laid down their lives for the poor, 
Moments of courage, who stood with those oppressed, 
Help us all to walk your path.  
© 2005, 2010, 2011, Carey Landry. Published by OCP. All rights reserved.

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,
Please send an email to

If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.

Please support our community, send your check to:
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
% St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328

Liturgy adapted from Mary Magdalene Liturgy written by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck, Prayers of Community from Liturgy on June 20th by Katy Zatsick

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