Tag Archives: Sunday sermon

Sunday Sermon and Some Sirens

19 Aug

Sometimes the Gospel reading is right on target. I think God has come to bring fire to the earth, and He started in Texas.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was already in the 90’s this morning, with a heat advisory for the day. I was able to greet and hug a lot of friends before Mass. I had to laugh when the Gospel mentioned bringing fire to the earth. It was quite appropriate for the recent weather.

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53

49 ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!

My take on it… the word fire may refer to a different kind of flame. Jesus came to ignite us with his teachings, that He might light up the world with love. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could light up the world with the glow of love, harmony, and peace. Let’s work on that,

After Mass, Helene and I stopped at McDonald’s to chat and catch up on her trip to Maine and Canada and my trip to California. Then, I stopped at the store to pick up some last minute items for my dinner that I planned for my friends at Fire Station 9. I got the OK from the Captain last week to come by around 5 or 5:30.

As soon as I got home, I started baking my fruit upside cake, started the pasta sauce with Italian sausage, boiling the mostaccoli pasta, making the garlic bread, and preparing the salad.

Every thing was piping hot and ready to go. As I loaded up the back of my car at 5, wouldn’t you know it, I heard the sirens blaring. The station is just a few blocks away. I drove over there, called on the outside phone, and of course, the station was empty and all were gone on a call. They knew I was coming because I stopped after church to remind them that I’d be there around 5. So, I left a note taped onto the big glass window in the entry hall. It just said to call me when they get back. But, they may not see the note, so I’ll mosey over there in a minute and see if they’re back. Here I go…

I’m back. The guys were back at the station, and when I picked up the phone, I said, “Hi, it’s Miss Toni, You didn’t call me!” I was just teasing, but the young man said, “We just got back and we had some injuries.” Oops! He didn’t need to explain. They sent someone out to help me with my bags and bins. A few of them were already sitting at the table eating something. It was after 7 and they were probably starving.

I lined up the still warm foil covered containers, and cake, and ice cream and salad and garlic bread on the counter, and explained what everything was. Two kinds of mostaccioli, one vegetarian and one with sausage. There’s enough for a couple of shifts, and they said that they were still hungry and would put a good dent in the meal. They really appreciated the effort and home cooking.

I always enjoy baking and cooking for these guys. They are part of my family. We aren’t related by blood, but they certainly would, and do, put their lives on the line every day for us. That’s what family is about.

Speaking of family, I got to FaceTime with Belle, and Sophie and Joe and Lindsay and Nana today. I had a nice chat with my sister, too. I am blessed to have such a great family and great friends.

Happy Sunday my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

11 Aug

“What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.”

― David McGee


A beautiful, yet steamy Sunday morning. It’s going to be pretty darn hot all week. It was nice to be back greeting at the door before Mass. All my little children, “the usual suspects” were there today. I gave away three matchbox cars and a little stuffed doggie, and a lot of hugs were exchanged.

Today’s Gospel according to Luke was about living this life in preparation for the next. Sell your possessions and share with those in need.

“For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.”

Be vigilant, like the servants waiting for their master to return.

“Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them.”

My take on it… This life is just a preparation for the next, a testing ground, so to speak. We aren’t sure how long we have on this earthly planet, but we should make the most of it. Not just for ourselves, but for all of those around us.

Haven’t you felt that wonderful warmth in your heart when you do something nice for a friend or neighbor, or a random act of kindness for a stranger? That’s a wonderful feeling. The more you give away, the more you receive. It’s not a one time deal, or an occasional act, it’s should be a way of living.

I’m sure you are all feeling the aftershocks of the tragedies going on in our world right now. Instead of condemning and blaming, let’s rally together and support and help one another. Baby steps… one step at a time. We are all one family.

After church, I stopped at McDonald’s as I usually do with friends, but this morning, the usual friends weren’t there. So, I sat alone a while, drank my iced tea, looked at the church bulletin and did my traditional people watching. Being a writer with an active imagination, I always imagine who these strangers are and what their lives are like. Everyone has a story. I make up stories in my head about these folks, just from their mannerisms or who they are with or what they are wearing or eating. It’s a fun pastime.

The rest of my day has been very quiet. It’s too hot out to do anything outside or go for a walk. I miss my walks. But, tomorrow is the dance at 1 and Creative Community in the evening, so I’ll get some baking and running around in. Well, no actual running. It’s too darn hot. Google says it’s 98 degrees now. Yikes!

Sunday Sermon at San Gabriel Mission

5 Aug

“Is it a coincidence or a special blessing. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Matt was kind enough to look this morning for a Catholic Church so I wouldn’t have to miss Mass. He also looked for some other activities near Pasadena for later.

I was pleasantly surprised when we drove to San Gabriel to the mission of the same name for 9:30 Mass. it was a beautiful old mission. My church back home is St. Gabriel. Coincidence?

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,

“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”

He replied to him,

“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”

Then he said to the crowd,

“Take care to guard against all greed,

for though one may be rich,

one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

In today’ Gospel, Jesus told the parable of the man who had such a rich harvest that he tore down his old small barn in order to build a larger ones to store all his grain and foods. Then he could keep it all for many years and indulge.

Father John shared how it was very sad that many people are so concerned with money and material wealth. Even families that you would never suspect as being greedy will often fight over money and possessions when someone dies, or even jealous while they are alive. We can’t take it with us.

My take on it… share what you have with others while you are still alive and you can see the smiles and effects of your generosity. No, you can’t take it with you, but you can keep those feelings and blessings in your heart.

After Mass, I stopped to shake hands and talk to Father John. I told him that I was visiting from McKinney Texas and St. Gabriel Parish. He smiled and told me that he was familiar with this sister parish, and that he was trying to get our church to join his in a European trip. Father announced very loudly to the group standing round, “A visitor here from St. Gabriel’s in

Texas.” I had to take a selfie.

After church, we went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. A wonderful art museum with famous artworks, sculptures, and gardens.

It was a beautiful day in Pasadena. It was pretty warm, 96 degrees there, but when we arrived back in Venice less than an hour later, it was 76 degrees. Very nice by the ocean.

A beautiful day. Happy Sunday my friends.

Sunday Sermon and My CRHP Sisters

28 Jul

“The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.”

― Victor Hugo


After a late night at the Elvis concert Saturday, and getting ready for this morning’s early rise for serving breakfast for our new CRHP sisters, the four or five hours of sleep I think I got, wasn’t that refreshing. But, I happily jumped out of bed before the 6 am alarm, so I could get to church by 7:30.

I individually prepared the two dozen roses, each in a plastic baggie with a wet napkin at the stem, then tied with twine, so each new CRHP retreat sister could have a red rose and remembrance with their breakfast. I had baked three fruit upside down cakes, (one for my Fire station) bought 24 Yoplait yogurts, brought a couple bottles of apple juice, and had a rose for each lady. There were enough roses so our CRHP 28 sisters could have one too.

If you’re not familiar with CRHP, it stands for Christ Renews His Parish, and there are two men’s and women’s spiritual retreats each year. I went a couple of years ago, and it was a wonderful life changing experience. The previous retreatants are then asked to provide meals for the new groups. I made such wonderful friends at my retreat.

There was SO much wonderful food. We could have fed the entire parish. Not, really. We have thousands of parishioners.

Just a few of my CRHP 28 sisters.

Father Don stopped by for a quick bite before 9 o’clock Mass.

The ladies all had a fine breakfast and when they finished and left, our group sat down to eat. It was 8:30 by now, and I asked my sisters if they wouldn’t mind if I ducked out early before clean-up so I could walk across the way to church, then I could greet and attend Mass. I thought we wouldn’t get done till 10 or so. Perfect timing. I still got to greet at the door, go to Mass and stop for coffee with Jerry and Helene afterwards.


So, the Gospel reading message for today was quite appropriate: Share bread with your friends. When we were asked to provide and serve a meal for this retreat, most of which were strangers, everyone went above and beyond the call of duty, and we loved every second.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was asked by the disciples how to pray. That’s where we get the “Give us this day our daily bread” from. He uses the example of a man knocking on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. He had a visitor but no food to offer. What if the friend turns him away? Persistence and a good heart will have the friend get up and give the bread.

9 ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

My take on it… always share your blessings with others. Not just share, but share from your heart and with love. Just like you take care of your children and friends, when you ask God, your Heavenly Father, for something, you will receive it. It also mentioned you have to be persistent. I think sometimes you have to do a lot of “knocking” before your prayers are answered. All in God’s good time. (I’m still knockin’ Lord!)

Happy Sunday my friends. (PS- I took a little nap when I got home. I was exhausted. Now, to clean up my messy kitchen. 🤦‍♀️)

Sunday Sermon and Super Fun Friends

22 Jul

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”

― M. Scott Peck


Another steamy Sunday morning. I got to church in time to greet the lovely ladies that come on the Chateau Senior Living bus. I scurried like a bunny to the far end of the church to open the side doors and give them each a hug. When I returned to the front door, my friend Miss Dorothy was approaching the steps. When I see her, I try to scoot over there to hold her hand and help her maneuver up the steps. I remembered to get a selfie today.

It was a fine Mass and today’s Gospel was the story of Martha and Mary attending to Jesus during His visit to their home. Martha was doing all the work and preparations while Mary just sat by the feet of Jesus, listening to His every word.

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,

“Lord, do you not care

that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?

Tell her to help me.”

The Lord said to her in reply,

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.

There is need of only one thing.

Mary has chosen the better part

and it will not be taken from her.”

My take on it… it is more rewarding to sit, listen, and learn than to be frantic about keeping up appearances or entertaining. Let the dishes sit in the sink and play with the kids. Spend time with friends and family instead of scrubbing floors or mowing the lawn. Take time for prayer and gratitude instead of chasing the almighty dollar, $$. Choose your priorities wisely. Martha could have sat and listened, then later attended to the serving, and perhaps Mary would have helped her then.

After Mass, Helene, Jerry and I stopped at McD for a quick coffee. I think Jerry was showing off again because he had a collared shirt on after all the jokes and compliments last week.

Helene and I had collared shirts on too. But, we normally do anyway.

I got home in time to check my emails for ten minutes, then Sherri Murphy picked me up so we could go to the Chocolate Angel Cafe and Tea Room for brunch. That was her Mom’s favorite place, and we were honoring our Mom’s, now in heaven. She lost her Mom a year ago today. It was nice to raise a glass and toast our sweet mothers. Her daughter, Kimi joined us in our celebration of two beautiful angels.


We did some shopping and found some treasures and silly hats. A wonderful afternoon with girlfriends.

Then, when I got home, I was able to FaceTime with baby Sophie. She’s usually asleep when they call, but today the baby was still awake.

Well, I’m not done with my day yet. Helene had invited me to dinner around 6 pm and she asked me to give her a hand putting up a tricky curtain rod in her living room. I couldn’t eat another bite after that wonderful brunch, so I just went over to give her some help. (How many senior ladies and how many hours does it take to put up one measly curtain rod?) LOTS! Between the two of us, and maybe two hours, we got the darn thing up and the curtains hung, but I wouldn’t bet on how long it’s going to stay up there. We did laugh a lot and only cuss a little.

Happy Sunday my friends. 🙋

Sunday Sermon:) Good Samaritan and a Sunset

15 Jul

“Like the Good Samaritan, may we not be ashamed of touching the wounds of those who suffer, but try to heal them with concrete acts of love.”

Pope Francis


A lovely Sunday morning, and the 7am alarm was more then welcomed. Driving to church, I had the car radio blasting Rod Stewart oldies songs while I sang along. Greeting, hugging, and shaking hands before Mass is the highlight of my day.

This morning, I ran down the three big steps to help Miss Dorothy, with cane in hand, maneuver up the cement obstacles. We walked arm in arm inside. She always has a big smile and a thank you. We both wore pink today, so I said we were sisters.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Good Samaritan. A lawyer asked Jesus how can one attain eternal life, and Jesus replied with the question of what does the law say?

“He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

Then, Jesus told the story of a priest and a Levite avoiding contact with a man who had been beaten and robbed and left on the side of the road. But the Samaritan, (detested by the Jews) showed compassion and helped the man.

My take on it… We shouldn’t put labels on people because of their race, religion, origins, or political beliefs. A good compassionate person comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and affiliations. As do the bad people.


After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Helene and Jerry, a quick stop at Tom Thumb, (eggs and bacon were on sale), then off to water plants for my traveling friend.

I met Linda Grossman, World’s Greatest Realtor, for a quick dinner and catching up at Panera, then home for a walk. Oh, and a little FaceTime with my family.

It was a lovely evening, with a cool breeze, (In the 80’s, but that’s cool for Texas.) and the clouds drifting by.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Spectacular Skies

8 Jul

“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden


Another hot Texas morning. I woke up well before the alarm, so I walked the dog and did a little extra alone walking before 7:30, then rush out the door by 8:15. I always enjoy seeing the sun and clouds when they first wake up the morning sky.

I arrived at church just as I saw the Chateau Senior Living bus round the corner. So, I ran like the wind, (actually more like a speedy turtle with a bad knee) to the far end of the church to meet and greet the ladies and open the side doors for them. Many hugs were exchanged. Then, back to my front door greeting.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus sending out the 72 in pairs ahead of him to the towns, sending them out like “lambs among wolves.” They were told to go and stay only where they were welcome, bringing peace to them, curing the sick and telling them that the kingdom of God was near. Also, to leave any place where they were not welcome, leaving the same message.

They returned saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”

Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.

Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and  scorpions

and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,

but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

My take on it… We have the choice to accept and welcome the word of the Lord. Again, the free will thing. You can be kind, good, honest and gentle and be welcomed into heaven or you can follow Satan and be evil, and the kingdom of heaven will be closed to you.

I personally believe in heaven, but even for those who don’t, isn’t it better to lead a good life, being good and kind to others, just for its own sake? I always liked this quote…

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live as if there isn’t and to die to find out that there is.”

~Albert Camus

After Mass, I stopped at McD with Helene and Jerry for coffee, then to the store for a few last minute things. Then, a quick stop to check mail and water plants for a traveling friend. It was already pretty darn hot. Helene had asked if I wanted to meet for dinner around 5, and I suggested Braum’s. My dinner would be a large frozen yogurt twist cone.

It was a good day, a hot day, but always a nice ending when I can FaceTime with the grandchildren. The baby was already asleep, but here’s a cute picture from earlier. I just love those faces!

Now, to close with last night’s sunset. I saw this orange glow outside the back window and just had jump up, open the door and take a quick picture. Just too amazing. How does God do that?

Happy Sunday, my friends.