Saturday, July 23, 2022

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Community Liturgy- Mary Magdalene, July 23, 2022, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Kay Staudohar, Readers: Beth Ponce and Jill Striebinger, Music Ministers: Linda and Rick Miller, IT Team; Peg Bowen and Cheryl Brandi

Zoom link for video - 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time


Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389

Passcode: 803326

(Note -- if you have a problem with the above link, open your ZOOM app and insert the Meeting ID number and Passcode)

Theme: Mary Magdalene was an apostle to the apostles because she knew Jesus teaching in the depths of her heart ,and was able to live it in her life. May we do so too!

Welcome and Gathering

Mary Kay: Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome. 

-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. 

-Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Gathering Song: (Mary Kay)

Let us begin with our gathering song-

Women of the Church by Carey Landry, Recorded for MMOJ Liturgy by Linda Lee Miller Verses 1-2:

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.

© 2005, 2010, 2011, Carey Landry. Published by OCP. All rights reserved.

Opening Prayer

Mary Kay: Holy One may we grow in deep understanding of Jesus’ teachings, and, follow his example of compassionate service to our sisters and brothers. May we spend time in the Beloved’s embrace each day. May we open our hearts to the Risen One’s call to  use our unique gifts to lift others up, to bring comfort to those who are hurting, and to be love in our world every day. 

All: Amen

Communal Reconciliation Rite

BMM: 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.

GLORIA: Linda Lee Miller;

Liturgy of the Word

(Jill Striebinger) Our First Reading is from The Gospel of Mary of Magdala by Karen L. King

The Gospel of Mary makes it clear that leadership is to be based on spiritual achievement rather than having a male body. Clearly, Mary is more advanced than the male disciples, because she did not fear for her life at the departure of the Savior, and did not waver at the sight of him in her vision. She is able to step into the Savior’s role and teach the others. She, thereby, models true discipleship, the appropriation and preaching of the Savior’s message.

The portrayal of the conflict between Mary and Peter is followed by a repetition of the Savior’s injunction not to lay down any laws beyond what he commanded, clearly suggests that any regulation forbidding women’s teaching was one of those laws set by the disciples which would have the effect of injecting illegitimate domination into the life of the Christian community. Any such regulation must be the product of jealousy, and a deep misunderstanding of the Savior’s teaching. 

These are the sacred words of Karen King in the Gospel of Mary of Magdala, (pp. 55-56) and we affirm them by saying,

All: AMEN.  

Beth Ponce: Responsorial: Psalm 119

Our response is:

All: I radiate your love within me.

Breathe on me, O Breath of Inspiration, in the silence of my tranquil heart, infill me with your wisdom. O that I might radiate the compassion and peace, truth and beauty of the Beloved!

All:  I radiate your love within me.

Direct my steps, O Holy One, that I may humbly walk with you.  The witness of your Life is my model; therefore, my soul yearns for You. The unfolding of your Way gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

All:  I radiate your love within me.

My mouth pours forth praise continually, for I am ever grateful for your Promises, You come to me and are gracious to me, as You are to all who open their heart’s door.

All:  I radiate your love within me.

Guide my steps according to your Wisdom, and show me how to lovingly co-create with You. Let me not be lured by the world’s values, that I may walk the path of wholeness.

All: May I radiate your love within me.
(Adaptation by Nan Merrill, Praying the Psalms; An Invitation to Wholeness)

(Beth Ponce) 
Our Second Reading is a Letter to the Romans (8:26-27)

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult time of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs and enlarged in the waiting. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile the moment we get tired in the waiting God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. God’s Spirit does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. She knows us far better than we know ourselves; knows our pregnant condition and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.  

These are sacred words of Paul, apostle to the Gentiles, and we affirm them by saying:

  All: Amen.

Alleluia: Jan Phillips

Jill: Gospel:  The Gospel according to John:

 Meanwhile, Mary stood weeping beside the tomb. Even as she wept, she stooped to peer inside, and there she saw two angels in dazzling robes. One was seated at the head, and the other at the foot of the place where Jesus’ body had lain.

They asked her, “Why are you weeping?”

She answered them, “Because they have taken away my Rabbi, and I don’t know where they have put the body.”

No sooner had she said this, than she turned around and caught sight of Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.

He asked her,, ”Why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?”

She supposed it was the gardener, so she said, “Please if you’re the one who carried Jesus away, tell me where you’ve laid the body, and I will take it away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary”

She turned to him and said, “Rabboni!”-which means “Teacher”

Jesus then said, “Don’t hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to Abba God. Rather, go to the sisters and brothers and tell them, “I’m ascending to my Abba and to your Abba, my God and your God!”

Mary of Magdala went to the disciples, “I have seen the Teacher!” she announced. Then she reported what the Savior had said to her.”

These are the sacred words in the Gospel of John and we affirm them by saying: 

All: Amen

Homily Starter: Mary Kay

   Mary Magdalene. Her time has come..  

   She was called by many names:  penitent sinner; member of Jesus inner circle; apostle to the apostles.

     I want to focus on apostle to the apostles.

Apostle mens “one who is sent”

Jesus sent her to tell her brothers and sisters that she had seen Him after His resurrection. But this isn’t the primary reason she was an apostle. 

According to Cynthia Bourgeault    episcopal priest, teacher, author, contemplative,  in her book on Mary Magdalene, says Mary  knew Jesus teaching in the depth of her heart and was able to live it in her life.    Mary Magdalene won the apostolic triple crown.  

1. Deepest understanding of the master’s teaching.

2. Best ability to live out what she understands

3. Ongoing relationship with the Master in the visionary realms that makes her privy to teachings the other disciples knew nothing about.  (CB p.37)

   Mary Magdalene became an apostle to the apostles because she “gets the message”.

Her position in leadership is learned and validated by Jesus Himself.

She is in a relationship with Jesus which is special.  A beloved disciple.  We know he loved you more than other women, said Peter in the gospel of Mary.

She knew Jesus teaching in her heart.

The word heart in the wisdom tradition of the near east is not the seat of one’s emotions but an “organ of spiritual perception.(CBp51).   Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.

In the gospel of Mary , she says to the apostles, “He has prepared us  for this so that we might become fully human.” (CB p.54)

To become a completed human being is interpreted as an integration of  opposites, bringing  together male and female principles within the individual human psyche.

 There is more at stake here.

This integration takes place on a cosmic scale and is accomplished through learning how to anchor one’s being in that underlying unitive ground:  the place of oneness before the opposites arise.

  It has less to do with what one sees than how one sees; it amounts to a fundamental shift in perception.

     There is one heart, one Being, one Will, one God in all. When this happens,  the world doesn’t pass away, but one is moved to live in the finite with the heart of the Infinite.

    Jesus transmitted this oneness as his legacy to Mary Magdalene. Mary and Jesus had a deep loving relationship that changed her.

This oneness is the wisdom of Sophia as in the book of Solomon.  Wisdom is pure, intelligent, holy, calm, irresistible and gracious. 


So this is the Mary Magdalene Jesus sent on Easter morning to tell the good news.

   In living Jesus message, she is able to comprehend, calm and convey blessing. She has proven herself to be an apostle. Not just first among the apostles but the only one among them to authentically merit the title.

The gospel of Mary  Magdalene was thought to have been recorded about the time of John’s gospel but then was lost and found in 1896 but did not become known to the public until about 1945, along with theNag Hammadi manuscripts.

       Let us turn to the gospel of MARY.

    When she told the apostles, she had seen Jesus, they did not believe her.

         I am a woman.  She was in deep grief and love at having seen her beloved.

That is what happened.  Peter said   Why would the Savior  speak to a woman in private and not to us so we could hear; should we listen to her at all? Did  He choose her because she is more worthy than we are?

And what did Mary  do?

Mary wept.  She wept the tears of a woman discounted but who loved deeply and was in deep grief.

     And then she said to  Peter and To the others; “how can you believe I made this up”?

And did this change their minds?  Not at first. It was after Levi came to her  aid and confronted Peter’s anger that they changed.


     Through her courage and transformation she empowered the men to get up and use  the gift Jesus gave them  and prepared them for; namely to spread the good news.  

      Cynthia Bourgeault speaks of unitive consciousness in which two become one in Kenotic self outpouring love. This is the culmination of spiritual growth and transformation in which the ego’s hold on the person is released .    Conscious love involve deep relationship and

 conscious  love in the orb of inner transformation.  Mary Magdalene was given this gift and became an apostle to the apostles.

When  men and women travel together on the spiritual path each in his or her own order but in full equality, that the icon of anthropos, “ completed human being” is most fully revealed upon the earth.  In this regardJesus was and remains light years ahead of His time. .(CB p26).


I   had the privilege of meeting Rev. Dagmar Celeste, on of the priests ordained on the Danube River  20 years ago . We talked about Mary Magdalene and the fact that some of the pages are missing in the gospel of Mary.

 In her wisdom, Dagmar said maybe women priests will now fill in those pages.

   There is recent scholarship about  the gospel of John chapter 11, in which the synoptic gospel mentions Martha and Mary. In the earliest text in Aramaic, there is no Martha, only Mary and Mary.

Mary is the one who said Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah,  not Martha as in the synoptic gospel  and she has been denied the most important christological  message.

    The word Magdalene means tower and the other place in the synoptic gospel, where Jesus was called Son of God was from Peter and Jesus named him the rock.

Mary Magdalene is the tower that  stands to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

She is the apostle to the apostles.  She is a model of spiritual transformation and a leader for women’s ministry of inclusion and equal partnership.  Her time has come to claim her just and rightful place in Christian history.


Community Sharing: What did you hear in our readings today?

Communal Statement of Faith

Please join in our Communal Statement of Faith

Jill S.:
Jerry Bires:  Woman’s Creed

I believe in God who created woman and man, in God’s own image, who created the world and gave to both sexes the care of the earth.

I believe in Jesus, child of God, chosen of God, born of the woman Mary who listened to women and liked them, who stayed in their homes, who discussed the kingdom with them, who was followed and financed by women disciples.

I believe in Jesus who discussed theology with a woman at a well and first confided in her his Messiahship.,

Who motivated her to go tell her great news to the city.

I believe in Jesus who received anointing from a woman at Simon’s house, who rebuked the men guests who scorned her.

I believe in Jesus who said this woman will be remembered for her what she did minster to Jesus,

I believe in Jesus who healed a woman on the Sabbath and made her straight because she was human.

I believe in Jesus who spoke of God as a woman seeking a lost coin, as a woman who swept seeking the lost.

I believe in Jesus who thought of pregnancy and birth with reverence, not as a punishment- but as a wrenching event, a metaphor for transformation, born again-anguish into joy.

I believe in Jesus who spoke of himself as a mother hen who would gather her chicks under her wings,

I believe in Jesus who appeared first to Mary Magdalene who sent her with the bursting message…Go and tell.

I believe in the wholeness of the Savior in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in salvation.

I believe in the Holy Spirit as she moves over the waters of creation and over the earth.

I believe in the Holy Spirit the woman Spirit of God who like a hen created us and gave us birth and covers us with her wings.

(Rachel Wahlberg, from ‘No longer Strangers)

Prayers of and for the Community

Jerry Bires: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we pray for the needs of the people of God in our community and around the world.  Please feel free to voice your concerns beginning with the words “I bring to the table….” 

Response to each prayer:   Amen

Joan Meehan:  MMOJ Book of Intentions

Please share your spontaneous prayers beginning with the words, “I bring to the table….” .

Jerry Bires:  We give thanks for all whom we held in the circle of grace and will continue to pray for and serve.  ALL:  Amen. 


Preparation of the Gifts:

BMM:  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.  

Mary Kay: 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.

Suzanne Bires:  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 Sophia, in our humanity and divinity, calling us to build the unity of Love in a more compassionate and just world.  All:  Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

Jerry Bries: Your Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in all who work for humanity’s healing and well-being. 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)

Suzanne Bires: O Heart of Love, Your Spirit moved through Mary of Magdala as she taught us that we are unified and undivided in continuous communion with you.  Your Spirit moves through the love within us, expanding out in widening circles to embrace all people and creation in our evolving universe.

 Please extend Your hands in blessing.

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

All (BMM)On the night before he died, Jesus came to 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 (Mary Kay: 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.”

Mary Kay: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

All: Christ has died in all those who have passed away from violent hate crimes.

Christ is rising in all those working for the well-being of humanity, dismantling institutional sexism.

Christ comes each day in our ministry, prayers and actions for a renewed world with justice and equality for all.

Jerry Bires:  Embracing Presence, we remember all 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 pause now to remember our personal communion of saints. 

(Presiders and all hold bread and wine)

Mary Kay and All: 

For it is through living as Jesus lived, and loving as he loved, that we awaken to Your Spirit empowering us to work for justice and equality for all citizens in our country and for the life of your planet Earth. 

All: Great Amen (Sung) Linda Lee Miller

The Prayer of Jesus

Suzanne Bires and All:

The Abba Prayer

(Janet and All))

Gracious Spirit,
Who loves us like a mother,
Whose realm is blooming among us now.
And within.
We pray that your compassion guide us in every action.
Give us what we need for each day,
and help us to be satisfied with the miracle of that alone.
Forgiver, whose embrace brings us to wholeness without our asking, may we reconcile ourselves to one another in humility.
And may we cancel the crushing debts that imprison our neighbors, so that communities of joy and health may flourish.
May we neither profit from nor ignore evil.
But ever work to thwart it with non-violence, as we co-create the realm of peace in this world, now and each day.
Amen. (Bret Hesla/wsj)

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

Presider 2:  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…” you may change “captives” to “peoples”)


BMM: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread All:

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.

Mary Kay: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to Christ’s table.  All:  We are the Body and Blood of Christ for the world.                         

Please receive/share Eucharist now.

Communion Meditation Song: Standing on the Shoulders by Earth Mama

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

Closing Prayer: We go forth, nourished at this banquet table, to be love in the world. May, we like, our sister, Mary of Magdala, know Jesus in the depths of our hearts and, experience the Risen One’s strength within us, enabling us to live as courageous witnesses to the Gospel every day.


Concluding Rite

Mary Kay:   The Holy One is within You. As you go forth to continue your ministry for justice and equality, and peace for all life and earth itself, may you be a radiant reflection of the Risen Christ in our world. 

All:  Amen, Alleluia!

Mary Kay: Please extend Your hands as we pray our final blessing.

Mary Kay and All: 

We go forth in the spirit of Mary Magdalene, first apostle, to share the good news that love lives within us, and, strengthens us to be love in our world. 

Closing Song: 

Recessional: Woman Spirit by Karen Drucker – video by MT Streck

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to Joan Meehan  

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. Opening, Closing Prayers, Community Prayers written by Mary Kay

Liturgy written by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck