The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the Seventh Week of Easter, 18 May 2021 Acts 20:17-27 ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*> John 17:1-11
God our loving Father, we thank you in giving us St. Paul and all the other saints who inspire us in dealing with life’s many troubles and challenges especially in this time of the pandemic. How great are his words – and courage – in telling “the presbyters of Ephesus” of the great trials coming his way that he might never see them again.
"You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. I served the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes." (Acts 20:18-20)
Twice St. Paul mentioned to them, “I did not at all shrink”: what an amazing gift and grace of courage! He never chickened out in proclaiming Christ’s gospel of salvation, boldly admitting to everyone his repentance to God in persecuting the Christians before while at the same time proudly declaring his deep faith in Jesus in words and in deeds.
Most of all, St. Paul gallantly faced the realities of life like rejection and other hardships most especially of death, telling the Ephesians they would never meet again (v.25) as he bid them goodbye for Jerusalem that led him to his trial in Rome.
Too often, O Lord, we are afraid to seriously discuss or even entertain thoughts of our death, of our finiteness not only because we are afraid of dying but mostly because we are also afraid of facing the harsh realities of our selves — that we have been wasting our time, we have been remiss with our duties and responsibilities.
And yes, we have shrunk from many instances when we should have stood for what is right and good, for what is fair and just.
Worst, we have left you, dear God and failed to do good, choosing to sin than be loving and kind, and forgiving.
May we hold on always to your High Priestly prayer for us, Lord Jesus that like you, may we realize that the path to glory is always the way of the Cross.
We pray most especially for those who are stuck in situations they know so well as not proper and good; give them the grace and chance to correct their lives, to repent for their sins and return to you and their loved ones.
We pray for those we look up to who do not shrink but deep inside are so hard pressed with the many challenges of remaining upright and holy.
Keep us faithful to you, O Lord, now and forever. Amen.