Thursday, February 2, 2023

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, Presider Team: Kathryn Shea & Lee Breyer, Prayer Readers: Andrea Seabaugh & Beth Ponce, Prayer Leader: Marty Cummins , Music Minister: Linda Lee and Rick Miller

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Passcode: 803326


5th Week of Extra-Ordinary Time

February 4, 2023

Theme: “You are the salt of the Earth and the Light of the World”

Welcome and Gathering

Lee: 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 bring a candle and have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Whoever you are, 

Wherever you are, 

Just as you are, 

You are welcome at this table. (Integral Christianity by Paul Smith)

Let us now take a few minutes to collect ourselves as we prepare to focus our minds and our hearts on our knowledge that we are all one, brought together at this time to transform ourselves and our world through love; love for our Holy One, love for our neighbors, love for ourselves, and love for our planet.  Let us begin our liturgy by lighting our candle and expressing this love through song.  

Gathering Song: “Gather Us In” by Marty Haugen

Opening Prayer

Kathryn: Oh Holy One, we are delighted to gather with you and one another today as we share this sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you.  You told us on many occasions to “love one another, as I love you.”  In this time of great turmoil on our planet, we need to more fully embrace and act upon your words.   As we gather today, may we be ever more mindful of our call and responsibility to serve your people as your anointed ones.  We give thanks for our Brother Jesus, who being both fully human and divine, showed us the way; the way to love, the way to peace and compassion, the way to creating the kindom of Holy Mystery on Earth.  Let us work to bring your light to this hurting world. AMEN.

Rite of Transformation

Marty:  We pause now to remember the times we have not born fruit in caring for self and others. Take a moment to recall one missed opportunity, one broken or damaged relationship.  (Pause briefly and extend your hand over your heart)

ALL: As we ask for and receive forgiveness, we open our hearts to Infinite Love embracing and healing us. Let it be so, Yes, Alleluia!

A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller

Liturgy of the Word

Andrea: First Reading:  Isaiah 58:7-10

Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and God will say: Here I am!

If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

These are the words of the prophet Isaiah, and we affirm them by saying, AMEN.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 112: “The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.”

Beth: Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Lee: Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Holy One.”

These are the words of the Gospel writer Mathew, and we affirm them by saying, AMEN.

Celtic Alleluia:

Homily/Community Sharing

Communal Statement of Faith

Marty and ALL: 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 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 in the Holy Spirit,

The life of God that is our innermost life,

The breath of God moving in our being,

The depth of God living in each of us.

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

Andrea: We now bring our prayer intentions to the Table.


Our response is: All: May our light bring healing in our world.  

We pray for the devastated families of those still suffering from the two hurricanes and all the natural disasters in our world. R

We pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia that they may live in peace without fear and that goodness and sanity will fill the hearts and minds of those that would cause them harm.  R

We pray that our government puts children above guns, power, and greed.  R

We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Joan shares)

Our response is: All: May our light bring healing in our world. 

For what else should we pray?

Our response is: All: May our light bring healing in our world.  

Andrea: Holy Mystery may we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in loving prayer and solidarity. Amen

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Beth: Gracious Wisdom, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness.  You are always with us, carrying us, you living in us and we living in you.  As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, our call as your anointed ones to tend to the sick and dying, hold the hearts of those in emotional pain, and protect and defend the marginalized.  In this festive meal, your Spirit is poured out on each of us, your anointed disciples, gathered together in this time and place.  We also ask that your Spirit be spread to those of our community who are not with us today.

Let us rejoice as we sing:

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller

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

Kathryn:  We thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history -- and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, his life burned with the vision of his mission on earth. Through the example of his life – his teachings and actions - he showed us not only how we should live, but also what was worth even dying for. 

Lee and All: When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave us his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  And then, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died.  And the spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise made to all of us too who live the new story.  Jesus is with us today and he will be through the end of time.

(With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.  

ALL: We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal.  And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it.  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you.  This is the new and everlasting covenant.  

           [short pause]

Kathryn: In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this, all of you, and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.

Marty: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.

Beth:  Jesus has died.  Christ is risen.  The Divine Presence lives in us and through us in the world today.

Andrea: God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world. We, your people, ask for your grace that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society. They are all our brothers and sisters, members of your Blessed Family.  We remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially….(mention names here, if you would like to..) 

Lee and All: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we could ever ask or imagine.  We believe that it is through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever.  

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller

The Prayer of Jesus

Beth and ALL: Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 

O Holy One, you are 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 your 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    

Adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS

Sign of Peace:

Kathryn: Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.”  Let us now extend a sign of peace to one another by saying, “Namaste, Namaste, Namaste”.

Lee: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:

Lee: 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.

Andrea: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to Christ’s table.  

Beth and All:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives.  As we share communion, we become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.                          

Please receive/share Eucharist now, saying: “You are the salt of the Earth.” And “You are the Light of the world.”

Communion Song: Holy Wisdom, Lamp of Learning by Earthwash


Community Prayer

Lee: Lord, Make Me a Channel of Disturbance: The “Reverse St. Francis Prayer”.

Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.

Where there is apathy, let me provoke.

Where there is compliance, let me bring questioning;

Where there is silence, may I be a voice.

Where there is too much comfort and too little

action, grant disturbance; 

Where there are doors closed and hearts locked,,

Grant the willingness to listen.

When laws dictate and pain is overlooked…

When tradition speaks louder than need…

Grant that I may seek rather to do justice that to

talk about it;

Disturb us, O Lord.

To be with, as well as for, the alienated;

To love the unlovable as well as the lovely;

Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.

-Author unknown

ALL: Let it be so.

Kathryn: Please raise your hands in blessing: And together with our arms extended to one another we say: 

ALL: May our lives radiate the light of the Holy One.  May we have the

courage to speak truth to justice in our church and in our world.  

May we be humble enough to be like children in receiving the kin-dom of Great Mystery.  May we be a blessing in our time and the Face of God to all whom we meet. 

ALL:  Thanks be to all that is holy! Go in Peace to be light in our world!  Alleluia! 

Closing Song:  Closing Song:  Go Light Your World – Kathy Troccoli

Go Light Your World - Kathy Troccoli - YouTube


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 send donations to:

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

The Eucharist is about more than Real Presence by Thomas Reese SJ, I Agree---My Thoughts...

My Response: 

Real Presence is  a holy mystery of love  that is within us and beyond us. We  can experience the Presence of Christ  everywhere including when we  gather in love at any meal and when we gather for Liturgy in memory of Jesus.  According to the writers of the gospels, Jesus shared bread and wine at an open table with lots of different people - some of whom- were considered despicable. 

 When we gather around the table today to celebrate Eucharist, the real question is not  how Christ is present in the bread and wine but that Christ is in present in our bodies - broken, blest and shared, in our sisters and brothers everywhere and in the entire cosmos.  The Real Presence of Christ is within all living beings - past, present and future. It is the Divine Mystery in which we live and move and have our beings and beyond that too. It is the energy that connects us and makes us one.  It is the grace that calls us to love and serve one another and all in need. It is always so much more and always beyond anything we can describe. 

I agree with Thomas Reese that it is time to drop the medieval language of transubstantiation to explain changing the bread and wine  into the Body of Christ in Eucharist. 


Bridget Mary

"The language of transubstantiation, dependent on Aristotelian metaphysics, is meaningless to Americans who do not learn Greek philosophy in school."

"During the first half of the 20th century, church attendance by Catholics was very high, higher than that of Protestants. Catholics then believed that it was a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday, and unless you went to confession, you could die and go to hell. This filled Catholic churches despite boring homilies and a Mass in Latin that the people did not understand.

During the same period, American Catholics were taught in the Baltimore Catechism that the bread and wine were turned into the body and blood of Christ, a teaching that was explained using terms like transubstantiation. For true believers, this was an opportunity to adore Christ and be sanctified in Communion. For nominal Catholics, it was a meaningless ritual to be endured...

I just don't believe in transubstantiation because I don't believe in prime matter, substantial forms and accidents that are part of Aristotelian metaphysics.

Thomas Aquinas used Aristotelianism, the avant-garde philosophy of his time, to explain the Eucharist to his generation. What worked in the 13th century will not work today. If he were alive today, he would not use Aristotelianism because nobody grasps it in the 21st century.

So, first, forget transubstantiation. Better to admit that Christ's presence in the Eucharist is an unexplainable mystery that our little minds cannot comprehend."

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Brigid, a thoroughly modern 1,500-year-old saint Born of a king and a slave and raised by a druid, Brigid integrates opposites and stands as the sister of all
By Maeve Brigid Callan

 “Well done, Ireland!

 Recognising Brigid’s Day as an official holiday – the first commemorating an Irish person, and a woman at that. (Nothing against Patrick, the Brit.) 

True to her transcendent nature, the holiday celebrates her as both a saint and a Goddess, since the saint’s feast day (February 1st, the day she died and entered heaven) is also Imbolc, the pagan spring festival.

Her patronage befits an Ireland that honours bodily autonomy, as her miracles include rescuing a woman from an unwanted pregnancy. She offers inspiration especially for Ireland’s Catholics, who have urged reform on multiple fronts, with 96 per cent favouring female ordination. Brigid isn’t just a saint, or a goddess, but a bishop to boot.

Some have tried to erase the saint to emphasise the goddess, but evidence for St Brigid predates evidence for the Goddess Brigid by centuries. Indeed, her biography by Cogitosus is Ireland’s oldest. Patrick’s earliest biographer, MuirchĂș, calls Cogitosus his father, whereas Cogitosus doesn’t even mention Patrick, let alone MuirchĂș. Rather, he claims all of Ireland for his saint and her monastery, Kildare, declaring their jurisdiction extended “from sea to sea”.

Swaggering assertions made by Armagh, Patrick’s chief church, about its own authority still had to make room for Brigid, ceding part of the island to her.”

See excellent RTE program/- Finding Brigid

Monday, January 30, 2023

Pope Francis' Affirmation that Homosexuality" is not a crime" and may not be a sin depending on circumstances is a step forward for the Church

 Pope Francis ' statement on Jan. 24  in which he said that homosexuality "is not a crime," and should never be criminalized is important. In a note  on Jan. 27th,  Francis clarified that even this Church teaching is subject to circumstances that might eliminate the sin altogether. His interpretation of this teaching will come as good news to Catholics who were raised with the rigid doctrine that every sexual act outside marriage is a serious sin. 

In order to live the fullness of love taught by Jesus, the Catholic Church must treat all people equally regardless of sex, gender identity or gender expression. 

Bridget Mary Meehan

Dignity Speaks Out:

 Applaud Pope Francis Saying Being Gay “is Not a Crime"

DignityUSA is celebrating Pope Francis’ statement that “being homosexual isn’t a crime” in an interview with the Associated Press. DignityUSA says this welcome change in the Vatican’s position “could vastly improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ people around the world.”

Read DignityUSA's Full Statement

Check out the other media coverage including quotes from the DignityUSA statement and DignityUSA members:

Pope Francis: Criminalization laws are ‘unjust’ in the Los Angeles Blade

Pope Francis says being gay "is not a crime" and the Catholic community respondsat GLAAD

Pope Francis Condemns Laws Criminalizing Same-Sex Relationships at MetroWeekly

Thanks to all for speaking out.

LGBTQIA+ Catholic Group Applauds Pope Francis Saying Being Gay “is Not a Crime,” Says Statement Could Improve Global Condition of Queer People

January 25, 2023.  The world’s oldest Catholic group advocating for LGBTQIA+ equality is celebrating Pope Francis’ statement that “being homosexual isn’t a crime” in an interview with the Associated Press. DignityUSA says this welcome change in the Vatican’s position “could vastly improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ people around the world.”

“Since the Vatican led the opposition to a 2010 United Nations proposal to decriminalize homosexuality DignityUSA has repeatedly challenged our church leaders to reverse this stance,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director. “We have led nationwide witnesses at cathedrals across the U.S. for this purpose, held a rally at the United Nations, and called on Pope Francis to make a statement like this when he visited Africa in 2015. I served as an Advisor to the State Department on faith and LGBTQ+ issues during the Obama administration, and urged both Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to make this their top request when they visited with Pope Francis. 

Duddy-Burke noted that the Vatican’s stance on homosexuality has world-wide impact. “World leaders and legislators in many, many countries pay attention to what Catholic officials say. The Vatican’s support of criminalizing homosexuality has made life very dangerous for countless gay people in countries on nearly every continent. Shifting the stance and pushing for an end to making Queer identity illegal will make life safer for many people around the world,” she said.

Duddy-Burke said that DignityUSA stands ready to work with Vatican officials on the implications of this new position. “It is critical that the church’s bishops immediately end any support they have given to laws that make being gay or same-sex relationships illegal. We also call on Catholics in our own country and around the world to support equality and non-violence for their LGBTQIA+ neighbors.”


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.