The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday, Memorial of First Martyrs of Holy Roman Church, 30 June 2022 Amos 7:10-17 ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'> Matthew 9:1-8
Harbor (noun) – a place on the coast where vessels may find shelter, especially one protected from rough water by piers, jetties, and other artificial structures.
Harbor (verb) – keep (a thought or feeling, typically a negative one) in one’s mind, especially secretly; also, shelter or hide (a criminal or wanted person). In Pilipino, “magkimkim”.
On this final day of June 2022 as we honor all the martyrs in the persecution under Nero in 64 AD Rome, you gave me O Lord the word "harbor" as a focus of prayer and reflection after finding the playful twist in the gospel of Jesus crossing the lake into his own town where he healed a paralytic by telling him "Courage, child, your sins are forgiven" (Mt.9:2).
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts?”Matthew 9:3-4
What a sad turn of events that continue to this day when prophets come into our midst, especially those of our own like Jesus to his folks, who are denounced for speaking your words, O God our Father; instead of finding shelter among us like a "harbor" for telling the truth, prophets have always become targets of negative thoughts we "harbor" within like when Brazilian Archbishop Helder Camara said, "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint; when I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."
Bless us, dear Father, to be like a "harbor" to your prophets; let us not imitate Amaziah in the first reading who drove away your prophet Amos back to Judah to earn his keeps as shepherd and dresser of sycamores; forgive us when we "harbor" negative thoughts on those who tell and speak to us your truth; and most especially, let us "stir into flame the gift of God that we have" (cf. 2 Tim.1:6) at Baptism, the sharing in Christ's prophetic ministry of witnessing your truth and mercy, justice and love among the people at all time.
Let us not fear, O Lord, to cross the seas of this life to spread your gospel of salvation, finding only in you our safe harbor from all storms that come our way in carrying your Cross. Amen.