Tag Archives: Gospel

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

11 Dec

“It may seem that you are on the path alone, but the light that guides you is coming from somewhere. Trust your every step because none of us walk this journey alone.”

Toni Sorenson

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This morning, Mom was feeling well enough to go downstairs for Mass. Last week, she had no energy and felt horrible. Volunteers come every Sunday to the Greens of Elgin from St. Thomas Moore to officiate Mass and give communion. The wheel chairs and walkers processed slowly into the activity room. As I sat there, waiting for the opening song, “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel,” I thought to myself…self…look at these lovely, elderly, barely able to move seniors. They can take a few minutes out of their day to attend a church service. So, next time I’m feeling lazy or I think the weather is too harsh to go out and go to church, I’ll think of these folks and the great effort it takes to attend a service. They come with a smile and they leave with a jubilant heart.

Today’s Gospel was the proclamation that someone was coming, someone powerful, who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit.

1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2 It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you.

3 A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.

4 John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

5 All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.

6 John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey.

7 In the course of his preaching he said, ‘After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.

8 I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

My take on it… many have been sent to prepare us for the final judgement. It says to prepare a way for the Lord, and make his paths straight. The most direct path is always the straight path. When we wander off the true path, taking wrong turns, looking for something better or different or more exciting, that’s when we lose our way. (I know, I get lost all the time. But, not on purpose. As soon as I can, Siri gets me back on the right path. Maybe that’s what we need. We need a Siri app that zaps us when we wander off the straight and narrow in life.)

Mom is in the middle, with her big smile, even though she feels terrible, weak and tired, and has pneumonia. Always a smile on her face. That’s my role model and my guiding light.

Sunday Sermon and a Sunset

17 Sep

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” 

― Will Smith

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Another beautiful Sunday morning greeting parishioners at St. Gabriel’s. I actually remembered to wear my name tag today, and more and more people are saying, “Good morning, Toni.” I’ve been learning more names and giving out more hugs and handshakes,too. The new church building is coming along.


Today’s Gospel was another story about forgiveness. ( Is somebody up there trying to tell me something?) Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness. 

Gospel MT 18:21-35

“Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.”

When the servant who owed a huge amount of money to the king begged for mercy and not to be sold, along with his wife, family and possessions, he begged… “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.” The king forgave him his debt. Later, that same man came across a fellow servant who owed him a small amount of money, and instead of forgiving the other man’s debt, he had him imprisoned. When the king heard this, he summoned the man and said, “You wicked servant!” And he asked why he couldn’t forgive his fellow servant a small debt after being begged, when he had forgiven his huge debt. The king was angry and had the man tortured.

My take on it…well, first of all, these Gospels lately have been hitting home. I’ve been working on this forgiveness chapter in my life, and I’ll admit, I’m not totally there yet. Here’s my dilemma. In all these verses and Gospel readings, someone is begging for forgiveness. And yes, we are told that God will forgive us anything if we ask Him. But, they ASK! I keep reading quotes and have people telling me that I need forgive,  even when someone doesn’t ask for forgiveness. You do it for yourself. I STILL DON’T GET IT! 

I had this discussion with friends just a few days ago. My philosophy is actions speak louder than words. I don’t have to say the words, “I forgive you,” and I still can go on with my life, without hate or anger, be the best person I can be, and have a good heart. But, unless I am asked to forgive someone or some offense, there’s no point saying the words. If they don’t even think they’ve done anything wrong or have harmed you in any way, there’s no point. It means nothing to them, so it means nothing to me.

If you ask God to forgive you, He will. That’s why He’s God and we’re just human. He knows what’s in your heart. I have asked God for forgiveness and strength, and I believe that has been granted. But, He also will NOT forgive an evil person with an evil heart. They will be punished.  Do you see the point now? You have to sincerely ask? You have to change your ways and change your heart. It’s not a free pass to do what you please.

Okay, now on a brighter note.🎼 After Mass, the Knights of Columbus had free donuts outside at a couple of tables. There was a small donation jar. I walked over, slightly tempted, as I hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday. But, I’m not a huge donut fan, even chocolate. So, I just put a dollar in the jar and said, “I’m saving the calories. Thanks for all you do.” Then, off I went to Sprouts.

Did I mention I was hungry? Uh oh! Sprouts had dark chocolate covered almonds on sale for ONLY $2.99 a pound. My downfall! That’s insane! I’m insane! I bought many pounds. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many. I’m glad I passed on the donuts.


But, before you judge me too harshly, I did buy some apples, peaches, green peppers, tomatoes, and blackberries. It looks like a lot, but I like to share with my friend, Miss Eleanor. She can’t get out to the store much.

It’s been a good Sunday. I’m going to post this and go out for a nice long walk. It’s still kinda hot out there, so I may have to stop for a beer if Mr. Larry’s garage is open. 

Here’s my sunset from last night…



Sunday Sermon, Stormy Weather, Blogging From the Bathroom, and Other Stuff

27 Mar

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” 

― Haruki Murakami

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A beautiful sunny Sunday morning. So many smiles and morning greetings before Mass. Today’s Gospel was interesting. It was the story of Jesus bringing sight to the man born blind. He spat on the dirt, made mud, and anointed the blind man’s eyes, telling him to go wash his eyes. He told everyone about the miracle and they didn’t believe him. 

“The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyesand told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash..’So I went there and washed and was able to see.”

Back in those days, people believed that illness, blindness,  and other physical disabilities were caused because of sin, something done by the person or passed down from family sins. They also felt the wealth and good health was bestowed to only good righteous people. Jesus said that wasn’t true.

“Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.

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My take on it…. there are many thoughts that cross my mind. The clay or mud that was made to cure the blind man was made from the earth or dirt, we are made from dust and shall return,  and His saliva was the faith. Then, if you believe, your trials will be washed away. Symbolism at its finest. Also, it makes me think and reinforces that illness, blindness, physical problems, poverty, and other tribulations are not curses from God. He helps us deal with them. 

There are many good, kind, generous, and loving people who are poor, sick, or have had to carry a heavy load. There are many bad, evil, selfish people who are rich, powerful, have good health, and an easy life. It’s what you do with your life that counts at the end. 

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After Mass, a quick trip to Sprouts, almonds, papaya, peppers and other fun stuff on sale. Yay! When I got home, I decided that almost falling asleep and nodding off at Mass wasn’t good, so Bella, my doggie companion and I took a nice afternoon nap, followed by a long walk. It was 80 degrees, sunny, and gorgeous out. I took her home then continued my walk. She was too hot. I stopped to chat with neighbors along the way and,…low and behold…Mr. Larry and Ms. Sandy were in the garage. I was forced, against my will,  to stop and have a beer. The clouds started rolling in and the sky turned grey. I scurried home, fed Bella and took her for another walk before the scary stuff rolled in.


The calm before the storm. 

The storm rolled in. I wrote this poem.

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Distant thunder drawing near.

Tornado watch announced, I hear.

A clash of thunder, a flash of light.

It’s bound to be a bumpy night….

It was….

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Somewhere around 8p.m. The thunderstorm started. The television shows were interrupted to show where the danger was. A short time later, the tornado siren warned to take cover.


Bella and I took pillows, blankets, a flashlight, and of course my iPad into the bathroom for safety. We are sitting here now, as I finish this post. BLOGGING FROM THE BATHROOM…hmm….could be a new exciting blog idea. Maybe not.


Well, it’s 9:40 now. It seems to have passed, but the hail pelting against the windows earlier was pretty scary, I sure hope that was the end of that. 

Happy Sunday, y’all. I hope everyone is safe and sound. 

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

18 Jan

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” 

― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

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Today’s Gospel was about the wedding feast at Cana where Jesus turned the water into wine. His mother, Mary noticed the wine was almost gone and she asked Jesus to intercede.Jesus told his mother, “My hour has not yet come,” but he did as she asked.

My take on it… Always do what your mother asks you to do. I’m just speaking as a mother.

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During the Mass today, there was also a baptism for a baby girl. The congregation welcomed the baby into the Catholic Communty with prayers and a round of applause.

  
Again, an example of parents teaching children, building them and sharing their faith through example.

Speaking of babies, I had the privilege of attending two baby showers today. Two young mothers excited about bringing a new life into the world. People gathering to support and welcome a child, a child who will be loved and cared for by many.

   Mandy was delighted with the many friends who came to welcome little Aria. I just loved all the “ooohs,” and “ahhhs” from friends and family.

  Mandy and her sweet mamma, Sherry. Three generations of beautiful girls. (One waiting for arrival.)

Then, off to Sweet Spot Bakery to celebrate Kaylyn’s soon to arrive little boy. We played baby bingo and other games, had some great snacks and had some yummy cake made by mamma, Elizabeth.

  
Kaylyn performing a C-section on the cake. 

  
We played the “guess how wide Kaylyn’s tummy is” by cutting off a ribbon length to our guessed estimate of her baby waste. Makes you realize how big a tummy can get.

It was a busy day with babies and babies to be, and mothers and mothers to be be. But, one thing is a common thread, ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR MAMMA! 

    

Mom is always right! “You hear that, boys?” 

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

26 Oct

“Your prayers will certainly be answered. Everyone who asks receives.” 

― Lailah Gifty Akita, Beautiful Quotes

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It was a chilly dreary cloudy morning, but it’s Sunday. I love Sunday. I’ve been signing up to be a greeter before 9 o’clock Mass.  So, I got up early, curled my hair, put on a bright red sweater, matching red lipstick, and my red  jacket to brighten my spirits. When I held the door open and said, “Good morning” to everyone, I was greeted with smiles and enthusiastic replies. When you feel like a bright red ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, it’s contagious. Really! Try it.

Today’s Gospel was about the blind man who asked Jesus for help. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Here’s my take on it…You can’t get your prayers answered if you don’t pray. You can’t get what you want if you don’t ask. 

My prayer is always the same. “Lord, thank you for your continued strength, and please grant health and happiness for my friends and family.”  I’m doing pretty good so far. 

   

 Gospel.      Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,

Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,

sat by the roadside begging.

On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,

he began to cry out and say,

“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. 

But he kept calling out all the more,

“Son of David, have pity on me.”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called the blind man, saying to him,

“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”

He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 

Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” 

The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 

Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” 

Immediately he received his sight

and followed him on the way.

  
Even a cloudy dreary day can’t  get me down. I’m the lady in red.  

 
This is from last year, (photo by Michael Murphy) but this is how I feel when I’m dressed in my red happy clothes. 

Sunday Sermon and the Spiritual Samaritan

4 Aug

“A Spiritual Samaritan lives knowing that if we were to leave this world tomorrow, we were the best humans we could be and we touched the lives of as many souls as possible. We are not asked to be perfect. We are asked to make a difference.”
― Molly Friedenfeld
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Today’s Gospel was the story about Jesus feeding the multitude with only five loaves and two fish. Here’s what I derived from the words. I’m very good at boiling things down into a few words…If you believe, He will provide.

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.”

After church, I walked three miles, worked on packing up a few more boxes, then realized it was 2:30 pm and all I had to eat was that little communion wafer.(Not so filling) I called my friend, Della, and we had a yummy late lunch at Olive Garden. Then, I drove over to the Art House where my friend Jill Luigs was working on some sewing projects. I had a few bags of fabric to give her. She makes the most amazing projects out of scraps and fabric that is often shared by friends and neighbors.

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Jill and I had an in depth conversation about how sometimes our needs and wishes are met when we have faith. I’ve always believed that the more you give, the more you receive. I’ve always tried to share my blessings, my time and my gifts with others.

It’s funny, at Olive Garden, I had a $4 off coupon on two dinners, so Della and I each saved $2. So, I left a 30% tip for our nice waiter. Pay it forward. After my visit with Jill, I had to pick up a few things at Lowe’s. On my way back to my car, I saw a lucky feather near my car. Another sign?

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Leaving Lowe’s, there was a young family standing on the corner. A mother, three small children, and a dad holding a sign saying, “I lost my job. Can you help us?” Well, I’ve heard that sometimes these are scams, but you know what, what if they were hungry and thirsty after being out in the sun and heat all day? I am wanting for nothing, and have more than many, I can share my blessing. I pulled over, reached into my purse. I had a bunch of singles, and a twenty. That little voice inside my head said, “You can spare a twenty.” I rolled down my window and handed the man $20. He touched his hand to his heart and said, “Bless you! Bless your family!” I drove away thinking, “Yes, I’m already blessed.”

I’d like to think that if I were to leave this world tomorrow, that I was the best I could be, made a difference, and that I touched the lives of many souls, just like the quote says.

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Sunday Sermons and Sunsets

23 Jun

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
― Jo Walton
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One of the Gospel readings at Mass today was about Moses and the 40 years wandering through the dessert. (See, I wasn’t sleeping.)

Moses recalled the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea. He reminded them that during their years of wandering the desert, “the clothing did not fall from you in tatters, nor did your feet swell” (Deuteronomy 8:4). And most important, he reminded them how God had fed them every day with manna. If they could just remember God’s goodness, the people would be more willing to serve the Lord and put their trust in him.

Here’s my rendition. If you have faith and believe, God will provide. It’s not fast and free and easy. You have to be patient, work hard and never give up.

Now for the sunsets. Summer has provided some glorious sunsets.

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