The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
First Friday, Week XVIII, Year II in Ordinary Time, 07 August 2020
Nahum 2:1, 3, 3:1-3, 6-7 >><)))*> || + || <*(((><< Matthew 16:24-28
While praying on your words today, O Lord, thoughts of the beach came through my mind. I do not know why; maybe this is the only year when I would have not gone to a beach that I miss so much.
But, as my former spiritual director during our 30-day retreat, the late Fr. Arthur Shea, SJ, used to assure me, “the most difficult prayer is always the most meritorious”.
Indeed, sweet Jesus!
Like your prophet Nahum in the first reading looking forward to the defeat of Nineveh, I remembered those days in the past when I felt so fearful on many occasions whether I can overcome the many trials and challenges that have come my way.
See, upon the mountains there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah, fulfill your vows! For nevermore shall you be invaded by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed. The Lord will restore the vine of Jacob, the pride of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined the tendrils.Nahum 2:1, 3
Like Judah, I have won and prevailed in my many battles in life in your power, Lord, when I entrusted myself to you totally.
When I look back in my life, it is so true that it is in giving that we receive, it is in losing when we have, and it is dying when we truly live. That is the lesson of the waves at the beach that keep on coming to shore, as if trying to take it to the sea.
How I wish I could be like the sea, always moving, always light without anything except water unlike the shore that is so adamant as if it would never budge in.
But in reality, it is the sea that always prevails because water is always willing to give up itself to follow the form of the shore, to take the shape of every container where it is poured while the shore through time, its sand and rocks eventually give into the waves to get lost in the sea.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.Matthew 16:24-25
Dearest Jesus Christ, teach me to give up myself to you completely. Teach me to learn to get lost to you in order to find myself, to find fulfillment in life.
This COVID-19 pandemic reminds us today in this age of abundance and affluence that still — the key to authentic living is in giving up, in having less.
As they always say, “something’s gotta to give”. Amen.