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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 Sights, Sounds and a Sunset

17 Feb

“A person who can understand, appreciate, and sing along with a tree has a deeper perception on life.”

― Debasish Mridha

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No Sunday Sermon today. I went to Mass last night, and I’ll be honest, I plum forgot what the Gospel reading was. So this morning, I set my alarm for 8 am instead of 6:45. It was nice to not jump out of bed before the sun came up. I picked up Bella and we went for a long walk around the pond. My phone said we walked around a mile. Then seeing as I didn’t have to rush off anywhere…I went back to bed and slept another hour or two. Nice!

Here’s what Bella and I saw on our walk this morning…

I met Helene for lunch, and we went back to her place to make some chili for the country dance tomorrow. It’s our chili cook-off event at the senior center. She had the ground beef already done, and I brought the beans and tomatoes and salsa and chili powder to add. It made a big ol’ pot, and she was able to share some with a few neighbors. Of course, we had to visit with some of the other friends who stopped by.

I stopped at the store on my way home, actually two stores, but who’s counting? Eggs were on sale 29 cents a dozen, limit 2. Yep, had to get those. I was down to my last egg after my baking extravaganza last week. Shredded cheese 49 cents, got 2. Then Kroger had Red Barron frozen pizza for $2.99. I picked up 6 of those for Mr. Mike. Where can you get an entire pizza for $3? I can’t pass up those bargains.

I scurried home to walk Bella again. By now, the temperature was 72 degrees, so I changed out of my long sleeve sweater and put on a t-shirt and off we went. The sun was setting. Wow! Just gorgeous. I don’t know how God does it, but every sunset is a masterpiece.

Saving the best for last… FaceTime with my beautiful granddaughters. The highlight of my day. They are so precious.

Happy Sunday, my friends!

Sunday Sermon and a Sunset

23 Sep

“If money’s where you find happiness, you’ll always be poor.”

~ Unknown

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A beautiful Sunday morning. I arrived at church just in time to scurry down the hall to greet my friends at the side door, getting off the bus from the Chateau Senior Living. The smiles and hugs are heartwarming. More smiles and hugs greeting at the front door, greeting families, and oh, the beautiful babies and toddlers are so precious. A wonderful way to start my day.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus telling the disciples about a rich man confronting his steward for squandering his property. The owner asked the steward to prepare the accounts. The steward feared he would be dismissed with no where to go, so he decided to call each of the master’s debtors and change each of their notes to half of what they owed. This way, the steward would have won their favor and perhaps they would help when he was dismissed.

When the master learned this, he wasn’t angry but rather commended the dishonest steward for being prudent.

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters

is also trustworthy in great ones;

and the person who is dishonest in very small matters

is also dishonest in great ones.

If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,

who will trust you with true wealth?

If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,

who will give you what is yours?

No servant can serve two masters.

He will either hate one and love the other,

or be devoted to one and despise the other.

You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

My take on it…if you spend your life just worrying about yourself, and doing dishonest things, and cheating, lying, stealing, and MONEY becomes your only master, then you are just cheating yourself. You may die rich, but then guess what? Then, you’re dead. A lot of good money does you then. Money isn’t the root of all evil, it’s how you attained it and what you do with it that matters.

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After Mass, I stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea. I was by myself, but I saw three ladies from church there, so I asked if I could join them. We chatted a while, and talked about where we were from and families, etc. Then, I went over to the store for a few things. I called Mr. Jerry to see if he needed anything, as he’s been laid up a while after back surgery. He didn’t, but said I could stop by for a visit. I arrived in time to watch the start of the Cowboy’s game, and watch Mr. Jerry squirm and moan after each bad play. I didn’t stay long.

It’s been a good Sunday. I took an evening walk, but it was pretty cloudy and muggy out. But, I do have some cool sunset pictures from the other day. We’ve had some really gorgeous sunsets lately.

Happy Sunday, my friends.