Tag Archives: Sunday sermon

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

26 Oct

“A new religion with only one commandment: Thou shalt not tell others how to live.”

― Marty Rubin

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A Gloomy misty cloudy chilly Sunday here. But alas, I didn’t have to wake up early, and I was able to watch Mass on TV. I’m getting very spoiled and lazy. With my tea and cookie in hand, (bread and wine for the blessing) I was ready for the service.

Today’s Gospel was the story of another group trying to have Jesus incriminate Himself…

Gospel

MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,

they gathered together, and one of them,

a scholar of the law tested him by asking,

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 

He said to him,

“You shall love the Lord, your God,

with all your heart,

with all your soul,

and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 

The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

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My take on it… Well, this Gospel I’ve been agreeing with and professing forever. There really should be only two commandments. Love God, love your neighbor, all the others just refer to the first two. Actually, I wouldn’t even say “Love your neighbor as yourself,” because some people don’t love themselves. How about, love your neighbor better than yourself.

Well, the rest of my day was pretty quiet, peaceful, and lovely.

Happy Sunday, my friends. I love God, and I love you all.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

19 Oct

“Once I acknowledge that life owes me nothing, I have positioned myself so that I can begin to enjoy everything.”

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

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Another beautiful Sunday, a walk in he park with the dog, check on the neighbor’s cats, shower and get ready for church… on TV… in my sweats.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus into commenting negatively about the census tax imposed by Caesar. He didn’t fall for it.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion:
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
“Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
At that he said to them,
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

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Well, that was pretty smart thinking. My take on it… Sometimes people try to trip you up with their words and questions. And don’t even get me started on taxes. Too many people pay too little and too many pay too much. It should all be fair, but it isn’t. But, I do agree with paying what is expected of you here on earth. Money belongs to man, and how we live our lives and love one another is how we belong to God.

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The rest of my day was splendid. I made some yummy quinoa for dinner. It had sautéed onions, sweet potatoes, chicken, with dried cranberries. It was SO delicious. I just used chicken because I had left overs to use up, but next time I’m going vegetarian with it.

Then of course, my marvelous Sunday tradition of FaceTime with the granddaughters. They are just so adorable. I get to watch them run around screaming and laughing and being silly.

Another wonderful Sunday. Thank YOU for being a part of my “vortex.” You know who you are.

Sunday Sermon and Babies-In-A-Box

12 Oct

“Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.”

– Chinese Proverb

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A beautiful warm Fall Sunday. No alarm was set, and a leisurely morning before watching Mass on TV. A great way to start my day. Many smiles along the way.

Today’s Gospel was the parable Jesus told of the king who invited guests to his son’s wedding feast. When he sent servants to inform the invited guests, they were ignored. He then sent more servants who were beaten or killed..

8 Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy,

9 go to the main crossroads and invite everyone you can find to come to the wedding.”

10 So these servants went out onto the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment,

12 and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent.

13 Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”

14 For many are invited but not all are chosen.’

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My take on it… the King symbolizes God, and we are all invited to join Him. We have our jobs, family, friends, and busy lives, but when called, we should drop what we’re doing and go. If we receive the invitation but ignore the messengers, others will be invited. Now, when we are invited, we have to dress accordingly. To me, that means the preparation. We have lived our good honest lives and are ready for the feast. If you are not “prepared,” you will be thrown out. “For many are invited but not all are chosen.”

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Hmm? Who doesn’t love a great wedding feast. I’m in. I plan on dressing accordingly.

The rest of my day was awesome. Sundays are the perfect day to count my blessings and appreciate life. Especially, Sunday evening when I get to FaceTime with my beautiful granddaughters.

Babies-in-a-box….

Life is good! Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

5 Oct

“Don’t think there are no second chances. Life always offers you a second chance… It’s called tomorrow.”

~Nicholas Sparks

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An absolutely gorgeous Sunday morning, and to make it even more exciting, it was my first Sunday back to attending Mass at St. Gabriel. I am proud to say that I remembered to put on regular clothes and not go in my pajamas. Both of my dear friends, Jerry and Helene, were there. We’ve been talking about this for weeks. When will we feel comfortable attending church again. Today was the day.

I’ll be honest, it felt wonderful to be kneeling and praying and singing inside our beautiful church again. Tears formed as I knelt and prayed upon my arrival. It was like going home.

Today’s Gospel was the parable of the landowner he leased out his vineyard, but when it was time to collect his produce from the tenants, who not only refused to pay, but harmed or killed the servants who were sent. When the owner sent his son, they killed him too.

When asked what the owner should do, they all responded that the owner should seek vengeance and find new honest tenants. The reply was this….

42 Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it?

43 ‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’

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I’ll be honest. I didn’t get it. I get the rejected stone part. All stones don’t have to be perfect, but the rest I didn’t get. So, I looked up some explanations. I found this one from the University of Notre Dame Reflection.

Ah… I didn’t even think of the correlation. God sent His only son, and they denied Him, tortured Him and killed Him. Yet, God still loves mankind and gives us a second chance. But again, God talks to us every day and calls us. He gives us a second chance, but we have to listen. It’s not a blank check or a blank “get out of jail free card.” God will forgive even the worst sinners if they turn away from their sin and repent. How merciful is that?

Reflection: faith.nd.edu

Tom Jackson ’10 M.A.

God has tried to speak with people ever since there have been people. The Bible can perhaps be summed up as a series of stories about God’s attempts at communication and the various responses people have made. 

Today, Jesus takes a focused look at that history, and his interpretation is less than glowing. Through a parable, Jesus calls to mind the stories of the prophets. God sent many prophets over the ages to preach about God’s love and our responsibilities. Nearly every time, these prophets were dismissed or killed for speaking unwelcome words. God then sent his very own son, as the landowner in the story did, in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, this time people would listen. “While God will always welcome us back, we must accept that welcome and act upon it by responding to God’s call.”

God has sent countless messengers to each of us, too, to call us to greater relationship with him. Sometimes it is not easy to hear this message, either because God is sending a difficult message or because we do not know how to truly listen. Such listening requires great patience and practice, and we must set aside time in our lives to better hear that voice. Hearing God’s voice is not an easy task, but it is one we must all strive to do.

The good news is, as we learn from this parable today, God is immensely patient with us. God continues to speak to us each day, no matter how far we have drifted or how long it has been since we tried to listen. No matter what we do, God will continue to try to speak to us and will always give us a chance to return. 

While God will always welcome us back, we must accept that welcome and act upon it by responding to God’s call. God speaks to us incessantly. Each day, God tries to speak to us. Today, we try to listen to that word and act upon it.

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The rest of my Sunday was just beautiful. It was great to see old friends at church, with masks and at a distance, of course. Special moments to “savor.” Several walks in the park with the dog, FaceTime with my little girls, and a beautiful sunset.

“Saying goodnight to Gamma and blowing kisses.”

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon, Sunsets and Other Stuff

28 Sep

“Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.”

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Another beautiful Sunday. The Archdiocese of Dallas Mass was very informative this morning. Bishop Burns gave a brief description of the symbolism, traditions, and meanings of the rituals of the Mass throughout the service.

Today’s Gospel was another parable where we are asked to think and relate the story to our own lives.

Gospel, Matthew 21:28-32

28 ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, go and work in the vineyard today.”

29 He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went.

30 The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go.

31 Which of the two did the father’s will?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.

32 For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.

My take on it… sometimes we are resistant to what is asked of us, what is right, or what is difficult. Even when we say NO at first, there’s always time to do the right thing. Others will lie and pretend that they will do the right thing, and never do it. We all know who will find their way to the kingdom of God.

Now, one of my rituals is to watch Mass on TV. I usually have a cup of tea and a cracker to be blessed, but today, I decided to have just a sip of wine and a cookie wafer to be blessed. I know, it’s goofy, but I feel that the priest or bishop has blessed my “bread and wine” virtually.

The rest of my day was wonderful, calm, peaceful and lovely. I was able to FaceTime with the granddaughters and watch them run and play and give grandma kisses.

Then, an evening walk and beautiful sunset to end the day.

Happy Sunday, my friends!

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

21 Sep

“Life is about doing things that matter first, not last.”

― Richie Norton

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Wow! An awesome Sunday morning, cool, sunny, and just beautiful. A quick walk in the park with the dog before Mass on tv.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the the vineyard owner who went out to find laborers for his fields. He offered them a fair wage. He went out an hour later and found more idle men, offering them work. He did this many times over the hours, all the workers agreeing to the work and the wage offered. When it was time to get paid at the end of the day, the workers who came last were paid first for the same wage as those who worked many more hours. The workers who toiled more hours were upset and jealous….

“13But he replied to one of them, `Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first last.”

My take on it… God is like the vineyard owner. He gives everyone a chance, even those who arrive late. We are all offered the same privileges and rewards, so why do we need to be envious of others who have more of the earthly rewards. Be happy and grateful for what we have now. When our lives are over, we can’t take it with us. We will all be judged equally and rewarded or punished accordingly.

The rest of my Sunday was wonderful. Well, except for the part where I tried to figure out how to install my Roku and get it set up. After a long long long time, it was installed. Great right? Well, it’s installed but I can’t figure out how to get the Netflix, and Amazon apps to work. I watched many videos and read many Google suggestions. I put in the passwords and signed up for all this stupid stuff. Then, I was ready to rip it off the wall, but I decided to just shut the #%#*{%#€ thing off, and just watch regular tv. My heart is not broken.

I walked the dog a few more times and put the first coat of varnish on my front door. Then, an evening walk to catch a glimpse of the slivered September moon.

Goodnight Moon…

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

14 Sep

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” –Bruce Lee

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A beautiful Sunday morning. I had enough time to walk a couple of miles, feed the neighbor’s cats, and get a quick shower before 11 o’clock Mass on TV.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the master who forgave the very large debt of his servant when he pleaded for forgiveness. The servant, in turn, did not forgive the small debt of a fellow servant when asked.

Then the master sent for the man and said to him, “You wicked servant, I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me.

33 Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow-servant just as I had pity on you?”

34 And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt.

35 And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’

My take on it… time and time again we are told to forgive everyone, but I’m still confused. Some people say it is a must to forgive even when the offender does not ask for forgiveness nor shows contrition. In the Gospel story, the Master forgave his servant when he pleaded. His servant did not show contrition by forgiving in return. Forgive your brother and forgive from your heart. BUT… here’s my opinion… your brother should ask for forgiveness and be contrite, otherwise he’s going to keep borrowing, hurting, abusing, and taking advantage of you and everyone else, just like that wicked servant. That may not sound very Christian to some, but it makes sense to me. My heavenly Father will take care of the rest.

Now, here’s a cool sunset. Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

7 Sep

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”― Germany Kent

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This morning, I actually got dressed and got ready for 11am Mass. No pajamas today. I only had to take about twelve steps from the bedroom to the living room, but it was the preparation and the journey that counts, right? I prepared my cup of tea and got out my cracker for my virtual communion. (I know, it’s silly, but virtual communion is better than none.)

Today’s Gospel was interesting.

MATTHEW 18:15-20

15″If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

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My take on it… we should try our best to forgive people and listen to their side of the story and live in peace. Go directly to the person who has wronged you. Try and solve your differences. If they refuse, look for outside help or mediation. If that doesn’t work, just step away. Sometimes there’s just NO reasoning with bad hurtful people. Not everyone deserves forgiveness, nor do they want it. How you live your life on earth now will be reflected in the next life.

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This morning, after watching Mass, I was looking at my Facebook posts and catching up with friends’ photos and comments. I also spent a lot of time deleting UGLY political commentary posted by friends and family. I just don’t want to see it. I don’t get it. They can have their opinion, but I don’t understand why they have to post mean, ugly, hurtful, negative pictures and comments. Seriously? What purpose does it serve? Does it make them feel better? I just lose respect for them.

After much deleting, I ran across an uplifting story about Heratio Spafford, posted by my friend Joni Goen. She has such a wonderful loving spirit.

Heratio Spafford endured such pain and heartache throughout his life, but still had the strength to survive, appreciate his life and his gifts and his family and friends. He didn’t blame man or blame God. Even after all this suffering and loss, he wrote “It Is Well With My Soul.”

IS IT WELL WITH YOUR SOUL???????? Let’s be kind to ourselves and one another.

Did you know⁉️The song “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by a successful Christian lawyer Heratio Spafford. His only son died at age 4 in 1871. In 1872, the great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate, made from a successful legal career. In 1873 he sent his wife & 4 daughters over to Europe on a summer trip on the ill fated SS Ville du Havre. Since he had a lot of work to do, he planned to follow them later. The Ship sank and he lost his 4 daughters with the wife being the only survivor. She sent him a famous telegram which simply read, “SAVED ALONE….” On his return home, his Law firm was burned down and the insurance company refused to pay him. They said “It’s an Act of God”. He had no money to pay for his house and no work, he also lost his house. Then while sitting and thinking what’s happening to him, being a spiritual person, he wrote a song – “Whatever, my Lord, You have taught me to say – It is well, it is well with my soul”. My dear friend, a good attitude will determine your altitude. When you look at your life, career, job or family life, what do you say? Do you praise God? Do you blame the devil? A good attitude towards God makes Him move on your behalf. Just sit down and say, “Today, God, it is well with my soul, I am thankful I had a peaceful sleep, I am thankful I am alive with possibilities, I am thankful I have a roof over me, I am thankful I have a job, I am thankful that I have Family and Friends. Above all, I am thankful that I have the Lord Jesus Christ on my side.” Be blessed and don’t be envious or shocked when others are prospering because you don’t know what they have been through to get there (test, trials and tribulation) so thank God for what you have. “Little is much when God is in it. It Is Well With My Soul!” Touch someone’s life with this message. If God is for us, who can be against us? A blessing is coming your way, my friend.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

31 Aug

“He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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We had a lovely rainstorm during the night. It’s been so dry, that the welcome pelting of rain and flashes of lightning were most welcome as I slept. I woke up around 4am because I was warm. I looked up and noticed that I had forgotten to turn on the ceiling fan. NOPE! The power was out, no electricity. That’s ok, I was happy for the rain, and went back to sleep. The power came back on around 9 am and I was more than happy to go reset all the clocks. Rain, glorious rain.

I took the dog for a walk in the park, had a little breakfast, and got ready for Mass on TV.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples how His life would end with death and resurrection. Peter told Jesus that this should not happen, but Jesus declared that Peter was thinking like a human and not as God ordained…

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.

25 Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.

26 What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life?

27 ‘For the Son of man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behaviour.

My take on it… this is a pretty old and well shared passage… You can have all the money, power, wealth, or status in the world, but if you lose your soul, you have lost everything. At the end of your life, wealth, power, and status mean nothing. You can’t take it with you.

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It was a lovely day. I decided it was a perfect bake cookies day. All the work was already done. I took out one of my rolls of chocolate chip cookies from the freezer. If you didn’t catch that recipe…OMG…Only Magnificently Great. I sliced the dough, placed some caramel bits on top and sprinkled with kosher salt.

I’ve done a lot of baking in my life, but I’ll attest to the fact that these are the worlds greatest cookies ever.

And when paired with a cup of green tea in my brand new “I ❤️ my Friend” mug that my friend Sherri Murphy gave me yesterday, that makes for a perfect day.

A Saturday evening sunset saying goodnight.

Sunday Sermon and Anniversary Celebration

24 Aug

“Each day offers a reason to celebrate. Find it and experience true bliss.”

― Amy Leigh Mercree

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Another lovely Sunday, and so much to celebrate. A morning walk, the warm sun, and a fine day to watch Mass on TV.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus asking people who they thought He was. When He asked Simon, Simon acknowledged Him as the Son of God.

16 Then Simon Peter spoke up and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’

17 Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a blessed man! Because it was no human agency that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.

18 So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

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My take on it… faith is a very powerful force. Peter had such faith in the Lord that he was given the honor being the foundation and head of the church, the rock, the cornerstone.

Now, for the celebration. Today is August 23rd, which is one of my three miracle days. Six years ago today, I moved into my brand new house to start my brand new life. What once was a sad day and mournful memory, became a beautiful celebration. Forty-five years ago, what I thought would be one of the happiest days of my life, turned out to be an awful painful nightmare. My happily ever after turned into a dark disaster. I was rewarded for my faith and trust in God, just like Peter in today’s Gospel, and I started my new life on that same day, 39 years later. Now, I celebrate my new home Anniversary every year.

I usually have a huge party and celebration with friends, but with Covid and quarantine craziness, NO PARTY for my sixth anniversary. Hopefully, next year will be amazing and celebrated with twice as many friends.

Past celebrations…

Now, for a glass of champagne and some hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries. Cheers, my friends. Cheers to another wonderful year and celebration of life. Cheers to many more celebrations to come.