Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and of mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed from all our infirmities and know you in the power of his unending life; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 242

Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman who, according to all four Gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion and its aftermath. She is mentioned by name twelve times in the Gospels, more than most of the apostles. Mary’s epithet Magdalene may mean she came from the town of Magdala, a fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

In the Gospel of Luke, she is named as one of the women who traveled with Jesus and who underwrote and financed his ministry, indicating that she was probably a woman of wealth and means. All four Gospels identify Mary, either alone or as a member of a group of women, as the first to witness the empty tomb and the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection. For this reason, Mary Magdalene is known as the Apostle to the Apostles, because she is the one who announced the resurrection first. The proclamation of the Resurrection began with Mary Magdalene and continues to reach disciples to this day and will continue into the future. Every Christian owes their discipleship to HER witness and testimony.

The inaccurate portrayal of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute began after a series of sermons delivered in 591, when Pope Gregory I conflated Mary Magdalene with Mary at Bethany and the unnamed “sinful woman” who anoints Jesus’ feet. Sadly this slander of this noble woman and saint persists to this day in popular culture. Mary Magdalene, like so many others, deserves better from the Church.

In the work that God would have us do for a world so desperate for love, peace, patience, generosity, gentleness, and hope, may Mary Magdalene – the patron saint of the slandered, the falsely accused, the wrongfully labeled and shamefully maligned – be our inspiration and guide.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us pray:

For the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Chris, Theresa, Emily, Bridget, Josh, Amy, Sid, Edwina and her husband.

For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing: Sid, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe, Matt and Lisa.

For William – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Northwest Ankole (Uganda), Bendigo (Australia).

For all who have died:  especially Dorothy, Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret and Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

The love of Mary Magdalene

On canvas was made to shame
For the world to despise her name
Portrayed as a whore
A dirty Mary nothing more

Hair that wiped Jesus’s feet of oil and tears
Never left his side even at the cross
Who was this woman from Magdala
Why has the bible tried to exclude her

She soothes a crucified body with aloes and myrrh
Believed while Peter denied three times before cock crowed
The Messiah who was resurrected on the third day
First appeared to this lady of immeasurable faith

Her heart knew the Lord above man’s horrid sins
No love greater than the love of Mary Magdalene

Arturo Michael

THE RISEN ONE

Until his final hour he had never
refused her anything or turned away,
lest she should turn their love to public praise.
Now she sank down beside the cross, disguised,
heavy with the largest stones of love
like jewels in the cover of her pain.

But later, when she came back to his grave
with tearful face, intending to anoint,
she found him resurrected for her sake,
saying with greater blessedness, “Do not –”

She understood it in her hollow first:
how with finality he now forbade
her, strengthened by his death, the oils’ relief
or any intimation of a touch:

because he wished to make of her the lover
who needs no more to lean on her beloved,
as, swept away by joy in such enormous
storms, she mounts even beyond his voice.

Rainer Maria Rilke, New Poems, Second Part, 1908

News & Updates

How to be an Anti Racist – Dr Kendi  will speak on July 27th, next Monday, through Proctors tech system, and then there will be a 21 day anti racist follow up challenge with emails and readings sent every day to all who sign up. Schenectady Clergy Against Hate, among many others is a community partner for this event.  More information will be forthcoming.

Reminders                                

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can.

If need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the link: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+