Friday, March 3, 2023

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for the Second Sunday of Lent, March 4, 2023 - Presiders: Kathryn Shea and Jerry Bires

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Passcode: 803326

Presiders: Kathryn Shea and Jerry Bires

Readers: Pat Lewis and Mary Al Gagnon

Prayer Leaders:  Lee Breyer and Suzanne Bires

Music Ministers: Linda Lee and Rick Miller

IT: Cheryl Brandi

Theme: Let’s transform our world

Welcome and Gathering

Jerry: Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida.   

-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.

-Our theme today is, “Let’s transform our world.” 

Whoever you are, 

Wherever you are, 

Just as you are, 

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

Let us focus our minds and our hearts on our knowledge that we are all one, one world, 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 expressing this love through song.   

Welcoming Song: The Transfiguration of Jesus original song - YouTube

Opening Prayer

Kathryn: Oh Holy One, we delight that you are here with us today as we gather with one another and as we share this sacred space and celebrate our oneness in and with You.  You told us that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am among them.” We are grateful you are among us today during these very difficult times on our planet Earth.  As we gather today, may we be ever more mindful of our call and responsibility to Be transformed so that we can truly love one another.  

”It is ours to praise the beauty of the world, even as we discern the torn world.  For nothing is whole that is not first rent and out of the torn we make it whole again.  May we live with the promise in creation’s lap, redemption budding in our hands.”  (Marcia Falk). AMEN. 

Reconciliation Rite

Pat:  Let us remember we are born in Divine Blessing and that we are perfect in the Holy One’s eyes.  Let us also realize, and forgive ourselves, for not always acting in ways of Divine Blessing, both towards ourselves and others. Now, let us imagine all of the ways we can be brightly lit by a love that heals and transforms us as we evolve and grow in awareness of our divinity and our humanity. 

(Pause for several moments…… Now place hand over your heart as we say the Ho’oponopono prayer)

All: I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. 

Liturgy of the Word

Mary Al:  First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a

The LORD said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.

“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.”

Abram went as the LORD directed him.

Responsorial: Psalm 33 - Lord, Let Your Mercy Be On Us - Francesca LaRosa 

Psalm 33 - Lord, Let Your Mercy Be On Us - Francesca LaRosa (Lyric Video) - YouTube

Suzanne: Second Reading: Transfigured from Unfolding Light

Sometimes someone changes and you get to see it.

And sometimes you finally see what was always there.

Maybe this is the real grace of transfiguration,

not that thing change but that our seeing does.

that we see with eyes of wonder,

that we see divine presence in this world,

that we see resurrection in every death,.

see the gleam that is each person, even the doomed,

that we see them beyond the limits of their flesh,

See them in company with saints, see them divine,

risen already from whatever deaths and disappointments

They will endure, still shining.  We see with eyes of mercy.

Maybe the miracle is not in the light that enters our eyes

But the light that shines out from them.

Pray that by the grace of the God who shines

our eyes may be transfigured. 

Spirt of the Living God

Lee: Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.

And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”

And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

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

Spirt of the Living God

Homily Starter – Kathryn

Community Sharing

Communal Statement of Faith

Pat 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 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. 
Mary Al and ALL: 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. 

Prayers of and for the Community

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


Our response is: ALL: You heal us as we awaken to your call.  

We pray for the devastated families of those still suffering from 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 justice will prevail for all. R

We pray that our political leaders will put the flourishing of all people before power and greed.

ALL: You heal us as we awaken to your call.

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

Our response is: You heal us as we awaken to your call. 

For what else should we pray?

Our response is: You heal us as we awaken to your call.

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

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Lee::  O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you.  We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

Lee:: Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together:  (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane, adapted)

Lee and All: O Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future. 

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.

May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth and world community with a common destiny.  

United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise: 

Song:  Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)


Pat:  We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world, we pray for peace in their name. 

And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on - this great blossoming that is meant to go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name. 

And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this,

For the animals that have no voice in this,

For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this,

For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their name.

Mary AL: We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.

(Please extend your hands in blessing) 

Jerry:  Your Spirit is upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, and they are gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.

Jerry and ALL: When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:

Take and eat; this is my very self.


Kathryn and ALL: He then raised high the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine saying: 

Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life,

for you and for everyone, for liberation from every oppression.

Whenever you do this, Re-member me and all that I have taught you!


Lee: The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead showed us, by Her action, that life is eternal and that love is immortal. Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love.  We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation. 

Suzanne: We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

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,

O Holy One,

At this time and all time and in all ways.

And we say yes to You!

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller

The Abba Prayer


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 neighbours
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)

Sign of Peace:


Eternal wellspring of peace-

May we be drenched with the longing for peace

That we may give ourselves over

As the earth to the rain, to the dew,

Until peace overflows our lives

As living waters overflow the seas.  (Marcia Falk)

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 as we say, “Namaste, Namaste, Namaste.”

Mary Al: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:

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

Pat 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 bread of life.” And “You are the cup of compassion.”

Communion Song: Transform us as You Transfigured

Transform us as You Transfigured - YouTube


Closing Prayer

Jerry:   Oh Holy One, we go forth in our calling to serve and committed to our own spiritual transformation so that we might work together to transform our earth to one of peace, equality, and justice for all.  Timeless One, Your eternal love wraps courage around us as we enter into your invitation to bring your Light into the world.  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 have no fear. We are forever grateful to live in your presence and your love.  Amen. 

Community Blessing

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

May we find still moments, quiet places within to refresh our soul;

May we cease our questions, inner debates, and let us meditate in Your goodness instead,

May we nurture our courage, recall moments of strength, and days of fortitude.

May we turn to the light in all of us, to feel the warmth of Your touch, our own face and fingers outstretched;

May we be alive, alive in Your sight and be Your face in our world.

(adapted from Chaim Stern/Mishkan T’filah) 


ALL:  Thanks be to God.  Let it be so! Alleluia! Shalom. 

Closing Song: The Handing Over Time - By Carrie Newcomer & Gary Walters


Please send donations to:

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

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

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Cardinal McElroy responds to his critics on sexual sin, the Eucharist, and LGBT and divorced/remarried Catholics

“ For most of the history of the church, various gradations of objective wrong in the evaluation of sexual sins were present in the life of the church. But in the 17th century, with the inclusion in Catholic teaching of the declaration that for all sexual sins there is no parvity of matter (i.e., no circumstances can mitigate the grave evil of a sexual sin), we relegated the sins of sexuality to an ambit in which no other broad type of sin is so absolutely categorized.

It is automatically an objective mortal sin for a husband and wife to engage in a single act of sexual intercourse utilizing artificial contraception. This means the level of evil present in such an act is objectively sufficient to sever one’s relationship with God.

It is not automatically an objective mortal sin to physically or psychologically abuse your spouse.

It is not automatically an objective mortal sin to exploit your employees.

It is not automatically an objective mortal sin to discriminate against a person because of her gender or ethnicity or religion.

It is not automatically an objective mortal sin to abandon your children.

The moral tradition that all sexual sins are grave matter springs from an abstract, deductivist and truncated notion of the Christian moral life that yields a definition of sin jarringly inconsistent with the larger universe of Catholic moral teaching. This is because it proceeds from the intellect alone. The great French philosopher Henri Bergson pointed to the inadequacy of any such approach to the richness of Catholic faith: “We see that the intellect, so skillful in dealing with the inert, is awkward the moment it touches the living. Whether it wants to treat the life of the body or the life of the mind, it proceeds with the rigor, the stiffness and the brutality of an instrument not designed for such use…. Intuition, on the contrary, is molded on the very form of life.”

The call to holiness requires both a conceptual and an intuitive approach leading to an understanding of what discipleship in Jesus Christ means. 

Homily for 3rd Sunday of Lent By Elaine Pfaff ARCWP

The readings today remind us of the necessity of water in our lives.  Our bodies are composed of 60% water.  We depend on a lot of water to maintain the internal temperature that keeps cells alive.  A person can survive about three days without water.

And so, the biblical image of “being like a watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” in Isaiah (58) is the promise to keep in focus as we dive deeply into our Scripture passages and poem today.

I want to start with the Gospel.  Jesus is thirsty and in need of water.  Startling, isn't it?  To think of the Christ's human body – parched and dependent on the kindness of another for a drink.  Not just any other, but a Samaritan other!  Jews and Samaritans were not a mutually friendly crowd.  And this “other” is a woman!

The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, know her as Photini, the luminous one.  She is celebrated in Eastern churches on February 26th Her feast day is recent, and so, we hold her centrally in our reflection today ~ along with Jesus.  Mutually, as our photo so beautifully conveys. 

 Sermons about the sinfulness of the Samaritan woman because she had 5 husbands miss “ the point on her significance in Scripture” and fail “to appreciate why a woman might have had more than one husband during that time,” namely, death in war, illness, or prison.”  For sure, a woman without a man in patriarchal society is diminished, and in Jesus' society, a woman without a man “was nothing.”  But Jesus overcomes exclusiveness in this encounter at the well “and moves toward building a community of inclusiveness” and a “woman who preaches, teaches, evangelises and works as an Apostle.” (Therese Katerbash, Women's Ordination Worldwide in “Photini, The Samaritan Woman at the Well and One of the First Active Apostles” 2/27/2020)  

This context is foundational to the question with which we conclude the Gospel reading. We understand that the well water is intended for all of us, with or without a bucket. The poem we read attests to that lavish drink of grace.

Let's go now to the grumbling community with whom Moses is exasperated.  With whom do you identify?  Where are you, where am I ~ in this process of spiritual freedom?  


                                                                                                           By Elaine Pfaff


Wednesday, March 1, 2023


What a title I have come up with. I think I'm right. It is that they are 2 totally opposite theologies, in force, therefore, they exist.

The first is very old, patriarchal, masculine. It claims to be "universal" in spite of discrimination, exclusivism, oppression and marginalization.
The second is newer, it is novel, it is creative, it is welcoming, it is tender, it is love, it is feminist. It has no borders or walls.
The first has presented us with a male "god", hard, jealous, controlling, punishing, competitive, ungenerous, powerful, authoritarian, aggressive, with imperialist majesty and court.
The second has a feminine face, generates peace, tranquility, solidarity, tender, patient, inclusive and welcoming.
How can we discover the influential role in society and religion of this violent or non-violent theological spirituality?
In the first, why not ask ourselves what the murder of Abel by Cain means? What do we feel when we read the passage in which God orders Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? 
How is it possible that in this time we still see in our homes, schools, churches, the image of Jesus crucified, always reminding us of the evil of violence, the struggle of power and abuse of authority. 
In all this time, let's say; centuries, years, we still have not been able to unwash him, wash him, fix him and present him with his free hands in a loving attitude of welcome, reconciliation, peace and love. We have committed the grave error of not announcing his Resurrection, we are denying his Easter of Resurrection which is life and Life in abundance (John 10:10).
We are dominated and dominated by a theological spirituality of violence, how can we not remember our martyrs, our leaders, women, men and children, killed by violence. A violence that is encouraged, corrupt, sustained in the name of God, tearing apart families and entire peoples, generating competition, individualism and selfishness. It provokes polarization and fosters regionalism.
This situation is not of now, this situation is of old date. The death sentence of Jesus has no equal in history. He was betrayed, he did not have a clean trial, he was treated with violence, in an apparent democratic system that took him to Calvary, alleging that there was a popular consultation. Pilate "consulted" the people: "whom shall I release to you, Jesus or Barabbas?" Matthew 27:15-16.  This has not changed, it is still in force and its expressions of violence increase in a brutal and violent way in the number of femicides that appear more and more every day demonstrating their cruelty and viciousness. With horror, we look at the war between Ukraine-Russia, let us not forget that at the present time there are a total of 64 wars in the world.
Not to mention the number of churches, NGOs and various groups in which the dictionary of aggressiveness, violence, concealment, marginalization, exclusivity and exclusivity, especially against women, is distilled. 
Up to this point a brief summary of the vigor with which violent theological spirituality has been hitting us. Investigations, denunciations, continue to turn pages in history....
The second: non-violent theological spirituality.
Although it appears as new and novel, it is as old as the first one. In our time it is becoming known, we women are determined not to let ourselves be marginalized, oppressed and violated by the patriarchal system.
Several feminist women theologians have made it known to us. Her results are already beginning to be seen, she appears in the groups of the Base Communities, formed mostly by women. Although it is good to remember that these groups were forced to change their name due to ecclesiastical pressure.
This theology begins at home with the family. Our mothers have taught, with their attitudes, the great quality of knowing how to distribute food. They are the
In religion, we have had some men who have been closely linked to the struggle in favor of women. Today, in spite of the difficulties, we also have women who have taken possession of the Good News and announce it to us in their liturgical celebrations.
This theology breaks down walls and borders, promotes inclusiveness, builds in community, the path to Peace and Justice in fraternity, without competition, without envy, without selfishness, but with much love and tenderness.

*Roman Catholic Presbyterian

Envigado March 1/23