Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Liturgy: Jan. 28,2023 Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Montavon Lectors: Joan Pesce and Joan Meehan Prayer Leaders: Jack McKillop and Suzanne Bires Music Minister: Linda Lee Miller IT Team: Cheryl Brandi and Peg Bowen

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Passcode: 803326

 Theme: We are blessed when....

Mary M
: We warmly welcome you to the inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus on Zoom.  We invite you to pray the liturgy where it says all
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are welcome to celebrate Eucharist at our open loving table. 


Mary M: We begin our joy- filled celebration together in the name of the Holy One, Source of all Being, Jesus, Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit, Wisdom Sophia within us. Amen. 

Opening Song; Love Large – video by Deven Horne and Mary Theresa Streck


Transformation Rite: 

Bridget M: Called to believe in the sacredness of every person and everything that has been created, we open ourselves to the “love of God that has been poured into our hearts.” 

Bridget M and All: May we see our oneness with all.

Bridget M: Called to see our own shadows or dark sides, we recognize our complicity in creating a world invested in competition and domination.

Bridget M and All: May we feel the suffering of others and act with compassion and courage.

Bridget M: Called to respond to the cries of the impoverished in our communities, we give of our time and resources,

Bridget M and All: May we treat everyone as we would Christ.

Mary M: Opening Prayer::

We come together to create gracious space for a world of compassion in which what is broken and hurting will become blessings. We let go of all that holds us back from living simply, loving passionately, and doing justice. We are made by God and made of God to be blessings and act with courage and compassion to alleviate suffering near and far. 

Mary M and All: May it be so. Amen

Gloria: Linda Lee Miller

Joan P: First Reading: “God’s Mad Miracle of Making do” 

Some of Jesus’ words [in the Beatitudes] about the New Covenant…are pretty stark. Listen again. Consider again.

Now you’re one of the poor as in Luke or one of Matthew’s poor in spirit- this is not an honor, or something to aspire to-it’s more likely a result of your misfortune- because your spirit has shriveled as you have spent a life of worry and scraping to feed your family, and there is simply nothing left in you that offers the leisure to gather around the fire and sing , or the time and means to celebrate the feasts devotedly, or make plans to improve your lot. 

Suffering people of every place and time are not likely to call themselves blessed. They find no shred of grace in their poverty, their losses and the ill treatment that they bear. They live in fear and on the edge of despair. Their labors are hard, their earnings never enough to cover their basic needs, to fill their hungry children, to pay the past due rent and keep the lights on. 

The point is the Beatitudes are really not about happy people. One must be very cautious of suggesting to the discouraged and hurting that they are oh so blessed because they are in this lousy state of affairs.

Instead, to me [they) mean we are the ones sent by Christ Jesus and the Spirit as blessing -to be blessing and to give blessing to those who cannot see any blessing anywhere…

 God so loves the little ones, the poor ones, the sinned against and the sinners- and yes us-who are somewhere in there, but have this commission: Be who you are to show Christ to them…and bring blessing.

These are the inspired words of Sister Janet Schlichting OP and we respond by saying:

All: May it be so. 

Responsorial Psalm:

Beatitudes Song by Noirin Ni Riain

Antiphon: Amen! Truly, I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the gentle, they shall inherit the land.

Antiphon: Amen! Truly, I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you.

Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be consoled.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, the justice of God shall be theirs.

Antiphon: Amen! Truly, I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you.

Blessed are the merciful, mercy shall be show unto them.
Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall behold their God.

Antiphon: Amen! Truly, I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you.

Blessed are those who bring peace, they shall be children of God.
Blessed are those who suffer in the cause of right,
the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Antiphon: Amen! Truly, I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you.

Joan M: Our Second Reading is from The Rebirthing of God

If the Christian story is to live again in ways that bless the world, we need to access the world of the unconscious, the unus mundus, where all things are one. Similarly, we need our Christian story of any empty tomb to be reborn. It will always have its origins in Palestine, soon after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. We will always retell it in the context of Jesus coming alive again in the hearts and minds of his closest followers in ways that lead to unimagined liberation from fear and unprecedented expressions of compassion. As the great prophet of liberation in Central America said in the face of the death threats from his country’s military junta that finally took his life, “If they kill me, I will rise again in the people of El Salvador.

Our story can be set free to serve at the suffering of any person and any people as well as at the tender moments of grief that visit each one of us as individuals and families. Nothing can prevent the personal beauty and particular passions that are deep within those whom we have loved, as well as deep within each one of us, from rising again in new form in the unfolding story of the universe. Nothing.  Jesus said that those who follow him will do greater works than he. (John 14:12) Do we believe this?

These are the inspired words of Philip Newell and we respond by saying: 

All: May it be so.

Alleluia: Jan Phillips

(The Gospel and Homily Starter are combined in the following reading.)

Mary M: Gospel: A Reading from Matthew 5:1-12 with an interpretation of its meaning in our lives today. There will be silent pauses to provide time for reflection

Mary M:Verse 3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Bridget Mary: Most people think Matthew's "poor in spirit" is likely closer to what Jesus meant than Luke's simpler version, "poor" (Luke 6:20). Why? A person who is poor "in spirit" knows they are in need. A person who thinks they are "full enough" doesn't think they need God. But, we must also remember that, in Luke, Jesus teaches that we are sent to bring good news and real help to the “have nots” in our world. Both interpretations are important.

Mary M: Verse 3 could be interpreted as Blessed are those who know they need God and who help those in need, for here is a beloved community.

(silent pause)

Mary M.Verse 4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Bridget Mary: We grieve when we experience all kinds of losses. In the Bible, mourning is about more than grieving personal or societal tragedies. It is about lamenting wrongful actions that harm the vulnerable. When Jesus says that those who lament will be comforted, he is referring to speaking truth to power in the tradition of the prophets. 

Mary M: Verse 4 could be interpreted as Blessed are those who challenge wrong in the world, for their words and actions will afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

(silent pause)

Mary M: Verse 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Bridget Mary:  In the Greek New Testament, the word for  “meek”denotes inner strength. In the biblical sense, the meek let go of any desire to dominate others, and use their life and gifts to uplift and transform life on earth.

Mary M Verse 5 could be interpreted as 

Blessed are those who let go of trying to control or dominate others, for their gentle strength will inspire and uplift hearts and minds everywhere.

(silent pause)

Mary M. Verse 6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Bridget Mary: "Righteousness" before God does not mean following all the rules. Rather it is about "being made whole, being restored, being forgiven." In a word, it implies  "healing" and wholeness for self, others and the world.

(silent pause)

Mary M: Verse 6 could be interpreted as 

"Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for healing and wholeness in mind, body and spirit, for they will be transformed"


(silent pause)

Mary M. Verse 7: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Bridget Mary: In Hebrew, the word rehem means compassion. To speak of God’s mercy and compassion in the bible is to speak of God’s motherly womb love. Jeremiah writes: “Is Ephraim my darling child. Therefore, my womb trembles for him. I will truly show motherly- compassion on him.” (Jer:31:20) In this beatitude, Jesus invites us to share limitless forgiveness and tender compassion with everyone

Mary M. Verse 7 could be interpreted as "Blessed are those who show God’s motherly compassion to others, for they will experience the fullness of love."

(silent pause)

Mary M. Verse 8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Bridget Mary: The Greek word for "pure" (katharos) can mean a person's motives. A "pure" person is one who is motivated by a genuine concern for others. 

Some people in the Gospels could not see Jesus. Their hearts were closed to his teachings. They did not want to sit at his open table where everyone- especially those they deemed despicable -were welcome. 

Mary M: Verse 8 could be interpreted 

“Blessed are those who see the Holy One in their own and others' imperfections, holy messes and human frailties, for they will see God.

(silent pause)

Mary M: Verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Bridget Mary: This is one of the most challenging beatitudes to follow in a world where hatred, abuse and violence are all too prevalent. Being a peacemaker means trying to resolve conflict and to heal relationships. It means working with others for unity in diversity, and for collaboration in the midst of conflict, so that all will flourish. 

Mary M: Verse 9 could be interpreted “Blessed are those who promote peace by working for justice and equality, for they are the beloved of  God.

(silent pause)

Mary M: Verses 10-12 :“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Bridget Mary:  Prophets have never been popular. Jesus invites us to challenge every form of discrimination and all unjust structures. Like Jesus, when we do this, we will be rejected, criticized, and excluded for our courageous words and acts.

(silent pause)

Mary M: These verses could be summarized in the following words: Blessed are those who pay a price for following their consciences, for they are prophets of the future now. 

Mary M: The Beatitudes as interpreted by Bridget Mary and inspired by Neil MacQueen’s 

-Interpreting the Beatitudes to Children & Youth, and we respond by saying:

Mary M. and All: May it be so.


Community Sharing: What did you hear in the readings about the meaning of the Beatitudes in our world today? 

Suzanne B and All:

Statement of Faith:

We believe in the Holy One, 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 the Divine Word,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of divine love,
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace in the world.

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine 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

Jack M: Prayers of the Community: 

As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring to this table our prayers and concerns for the community. Please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….”

(Joan M. offers prayers from our intentions book)
(Spontaneous Prayers are offered.)

Concluding Prayer:

 May we be blessing to everyone and our loving prayers bring healing and wholeness our of our sisters and brothers and justice to our world. Amen


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

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

Mary M:  Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 
and All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Bridget Mary:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence calms our deepest fears and emboldens us to be prophets for justice and equity- no matter what persecution or ridicule we encounter.  
Bridget Mary and All:  Amen, may it be so. 


Jack M: God dwells within our hearts

Suzanne and All:  And in all living beings.

Jack M: Lift up your hearts. 
Suzanne and ALL: We lift up our hearts and embrace all. 

Jack M: You are blessed when you feel the sufferings of others.
Suzanne and All: Amen

Holy, Holy, Holy: by Karen Drucker


Suzanne: We are blessed when we follow the example and teachings of Jesus. We are blessed when we use our money, possessions, and privilege to alleviate the needs of suffering people. We are blessed when we care for our Earth home. 

Jack M: We are blessed when we offer compassion to those who grieve loss and need comfort. We are blessed when we help those in need of food, shelter, and health care. We are blessed when we speak truth to power to address human needs and social justice.  

Please extend your hands in blessing.

Bridget Mary and All: We are blessed when we eat this bread and drink this wine in memory of Jesus. We are blessed that your Spirit empowers us to love and serve others each day. 

(Community holds bread and prays together)

Bridget Mary and All: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. Do this in memory of me.” 


(Community holds cup up and prays together)

 Mary M and ALL:  In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”  

Mary M: Let us proclaim the sacred presence dwelling among us:

Mary M and All: 

Christ dies again and again in the sufferings of our sisters and brothers. 

Christ rises again and again in our loving words and deeds 

Christ comes again and again in us as we work for justice and equality.

Suzanne: We are blessed when we are peacemakers, comforters, listeners, activists -no matter what the price we pay, the harassment we encounter or the condemnation we endure.

Jack M: We remember the holy people who have gone before us- including our loved ones in the Communion of Saints-  who were blessings in our lives. (pause for silent prayer)

Community members hold their plates and cups during Doxology

Bridget Mary and All: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, we are one in an outpouring of Love that will never end,

The Great Amen. Linda Lee Miller

 and All:

 We pray together the prayer of Jesus:

O Holy One, who is within, around, and among us, 

we celebrate your many names. 

Your wisdom comes. 

Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us. 

Each day you give us all that 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.

(The Prayer of Jesus as interpreted by Miriam Therese Winter)


Bridget Mary. Let us share a gesture of deep peace and justice with everyone in the circle of life as we sing 

“Peace is flowing like a River” by Carey Landry


Mary M and ALL: 

Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will do so. 

Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will do so. 

Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.

Bridget Mary:  This is the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing. How happy are we who are called to this Table.

And ALL:  Jesus, you affirm our blessedness as your presence in the world.

Bridget Mary: Let us share the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing saying:

You are blessed to give blessings.

COMMUNION Song: Compassion (Change the World) by Andrew Witt, Video by Mary Theresa Streck


Prayer after Communion


Mary M:  Holy One, in whom all are alive, we believe that the resurrected Christ accompanies us as we live the Beatitudes in a world where all can flourish. May we go forth as blessings to give blessings and to create a transformed community of life on earth.  

Bridget Mary:  Introductions/Thanksgivings/Announcements

Community Blessing

Bridget Mary :Let us raise our hands and bless each other.

Bridget Mary & ALL:  

May Christ, our Light, enlighten us,

May Christ, our Love, embrace us, 

May Christ, our Strength, empower us,

as we go forth blessed to be blessings in the world. 


Our Closing Song is: I am Willing by Holly Near,

Video by Donna Panaro


Please send donations to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
5342 Clark Road #3079
Sarasota, FL 34233

Please send intentions for our community prayer book to Joan Meehan.

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