Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-09 ng Hunyo 2020
Mula kamusmusan hanggang kabataan
maging sa katandaan, palagi kong pinag-iisipan ano kaya pakiramdam at karanasan maakyat ang kabundukan at mula
doon durungawin nasa ibabang mga lansangan at kapatagan o kaya naman
mula sa gayong kataasan kung mayroong kaibahan kung ako'y tumingala sa kalangitan.
naranasang maakyat ilang
kabundukan at doon ko natutunan
pangunahing aral at katotohanan na ang bundok
ay buhay, isang paglalakbay mga daana'y di tiyak, puno ng mga
dawag at panganib, hindi lahat ay paahon minsa'y palusong kaya mahalaga
sa bawat pagkakataon, tuon ay matunton nililingon na taluktok sa dako pa roon.
gaya ng ating buhay, damhin
paglalakbay sa bundok, tingnan kalikasan
pakinggan sari-saring tunog at huni sa kapaligiran
iyong mararanasan kaluguran at kabutihan, hindi kahirapan;
iwasan o lampasan at iwanan mga hindi kagandahan, panatilihan
saan man ika'y puno ng kagalakan at kaganapan, sa buhay madalas nating malimutan.
mahalaga lamang ang dalhin
ano mang hindi kailangan ay iwanan
upang huwag mabigatan, mapagaan at mapaluwag
di lamang katawan kungdi pati kalooban dahil ang malaking
katotohanan, itong bundok ay larawan ng Diyos na sa ati'y umaakit
sa kanya tayo ay lumapit upang kariktan niya at kabanalan atin ding makamit.
nitong atin buhay matatagpuan
sa ating kakayanang iwanan ang lahat,
Diyos ay pagkatiwalaan na Siya ring nagbigay
sa atin ng bugtong Niyang Anak nag-alay ng buhay sa krus
upang mabuksan pintuan ng kalangitan na ating tunay na tahanan
madalas nating tinitingnan sa kaulapan halos kalapit ng mataas na kabundukan.
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul, Memorial of St. Philip Neri, 26 May 2020
Acts of the Apostles 20:17-27 <*(((>< >+< ><)))*> John 17:1-11
The beautiful readings of this week after the Ascension of the Lord complement the crucial week ahead for us all in this time of the corona virus.
Your words, O Lord, continue to amaze us with its many meanings to guide and soothe and assure us of your loving presence.
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.”
After praying for us your disciples, now you tell us of your “hour” when you shall fulfill your mission which is to suffer and die on the Cross for our salvation. It is your hour of glory, Lord Jesus, because it is the outpouring of your and the Father’s immeasurable love for us all.
Yesterday you have taught us that before everything else in our lives, there has always been your love.
Today, you assure us especially in this time of the corona virus that before all these sufferings and pains we endure, you were there first to suffer and die for us still because of your love for us.
Teach us to be like St. Paul to be firm and persevering in our mission to love against all odds, to never “shrink” in our love and patience to our detractors and those who mean to discredit us.
Like St. Paul, may we never “shrink“before all those who malign your holy name, those who find material things more essential than you our Lord and our God.
Let us never shrink in our love and understanding, patience and wisdom.
Likewise, fill our hearts with your joy and humor like St. Philip Neri who attracted many followers and believers to you with his infectious cheerfulness.
Despite our many limitations and sinfulness, may your Holy Spirit, dear Lord Jesus Christ help us to continue loving you among one another especially to those with special needs in this time of crisis.
And Lord, despite the continued abuse of those in power and authority in pushing and shoving us, shouting and cursing us for everyone to hear and see on national TV, let us never shrink in choosing to be peaceful and understanding. Amen.
Lawiswis Ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-20 ng Abril 2020
Nakita lamang kita
kamakalawa sa balita
ng social media
karga-karga isang matanda
habang lumilikas mga nasunugan
sa gitna nitong lockdown
doon sa inyong tirahan
kung tawagi'y "Happyland"
sa Tondo na napakaraming tao.
Hindi ko sukat akalain
sa sumunod na pagtingin
naiba at nabago ang lahat sa akin
sa larawan ng naturang balita pa rin
matapos ito ay guhitan at kulayan
dahil kinabukasan ay kapistahan
ng Divine Mercy
at ikaw pala iyan, Jesus
aming Panginoon at Diyos.
Sa gitna ng naglalagablab na apoy
nag-aalab mong pag-ibig Panginoon
ang umantig sa pananalig
ng Iyong dibuhista at pari
Marc Ocariza kaagad nagpinta
gamit bagong teknolohiya
upang ipakita kakaiba niyang nadama
na sadyang tamang tama naman pala
upang itanghal iyong Mabathalang Awa talaga.
"Panginoon ko at Diyos ko!"
ang panalanging akin ding nasambit
katulad ni Tomas na apostol mo
nang muli Kang magpakita sa kanila;
tunay nga pala
mapapalad ang mga nananalig
kahit hindi ka nakikita
dahil hindi itong aming mga mata
ang ginagamit kungdi aming pagsampalataya.
Nawa ikaw ang aming makita
sa gitna ng dilim nitong COVID-19
Iyong Dakilang Awa aming maipadama
sa pamamagitan ng paglimot sa aming sarili
at pagpapasan ng krus upang Ikaw ay masundan
tangi Mong kalooban ang bigyang katuparan
upang Ikaw ay maranasan at masaksihan
ng kapwa naming nahihirapan.
Turuan mo kami, maawaing Jesus
na muling magtiwala sa iyo
kumapit ng mahigpit
hindi lamang kapag nagigipit
at huwag nang ipinipilit
aming mga naiisip at mga panaginip
na kailanma'y hindi nakahagip
sa ginawa Mong pagsagip at malasakit
upang kami ngayo'y mapuno ng Iyong kariktan at kabutihan! *
*Maraming salamat kay Marivic Tribiana (hindi ko kakilala) na nagpost sa kanyang Facebook ng unang larawan ni kuya pasan-pasan lolo niya sa kainitan ng sunog sa Happyland noong Abril 18, 2020.
At higit ding pasasalamat ko kay P. Marc Ocariza sa pagmumulat sa aking mga mata ng kanyang pagninilay at obra gamit ang Digital Art Timelapse na kanyang tinaguriang “Nag-aalab na Pag-ibig”.
Ang lahat ng ito ay para sa higit na ikadadakila ng Diyos na nagbigay sa atin ng Kanyang Anak “hindi upang tayo ay mapahamak kungdi maligtas” lalo ngayong panahon ng pandemiya ng COVDI-19.
At sa inyo, maraming salamat po sa pagsubaybay sa Lawiswis ng Salita.
40 Shades of Lent, Friday, Week III, 20 March 2020
Hosea 14:2-10 ><)))*> +++ <*(((>< Mark 12:28-34
That’s the only word you spoke to me Lord in my prayers last night and this morning.
As the days move on, God our Father, the more I could not believe all these things going on. What have happened with us, Lord?
Bakit kami nagkaganito at paano kami humantong dito, Panginoon?
Your words today, O Lord, are so true. It is you indeed who speaks to us especially in the first reading through the Prophet Hosea. You have spoken so well — we have all sinned.
We have disregarded you and others. We have relied so much in our own powers and abilities. We have insisted on doing things our own ways totally discarding your teachings.
But more unbelievable in this unbelievable situation is your immense love and mercy for us, O God our Father.
Thus says the Lord: Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the Lord… I will heal their defection, says the Lord, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily.
Hosea 14:2-3, 5-6
Help us, Father through your Son Jesus Christ that we may look more inside ourselves these trying times, that we may see you more and as we see you as the most essential, the most important of all, we also see our value as persons.
Let us experience that love you have for us that we ought to share with one another, beginning in our family, in our neighborhood.
How unbelievable that some of us, like that scribe who asked Jesus “which is the first of all commandments”, we keep on categorizing, ranking things and even persons to determine who or what is the most important — the first.
Unbelievable but true, this pandemic is happening because we have forgotten you and we have forgotten others too. We have forgotten YOU are always first, always great. Semper Primus, semper Major!
Teach us to see more of you so that we also see you among one another. Amen.
So many times I cannot understand you, Lord, especially your words and your ways because my mind and my heart are always filled with so many other things and even persons that I cannot find a space for you.
Believing in you, O Lord, is the starting point of everything that enables us to understand things and persons. Belief in you, O God who is all-powerful and all-knowing, is on whom everything begins, the starting point of everything. It is when I believe that I understand, Lord.
Like the apostles traveling with you on the boat, I always “presume” what you mean when you talk to me, especially that “leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod”. You are our leaven, our faith.
I am sorry, Lord, when my heart is so hardened that I cannot understand or comprehend your teachings that invite me first to believe so I can understand.
Let me always have that firm faith in you, Lord, to always believe in you so that I may not be deceived that even temptations come from you.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
Give me the grace to always look deep inside my heart, to look around and be surprised by nature proclaiming your loving presence among us.
To wonder and to believe always lead us to you, to believing in you even in the midst of trials and sufferings that never come from you. Amen.
Tuesday, Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, 21 January 2020
1 Samuel 16:1-13 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Mark 2:23-28
The Lord said to Samuel: “How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill yor horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among is sons.” But Sameul replied: “How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me.” To this the Lord answered: “Take a heifer along and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.” Samuel did as the Lord had commanded him.
1 Samuel 16:1-4
How many times have I found myself, O God, in the same situation as Samuel? You know very well how I felt so afraid to do your work, so fearful for my reputation and most especially of other people who might harm me in doing your work.
But what really makes it so difficult in obeying you, O God, is when I doubt if you are the one truly speaking to me, when I doubt myself if I get it right from you to do something opposite the way and thoughts of most people.
Oh… how sweet it is to remember those days when I just threw myself to your will, when I just did and say whatever you willed!
It was very scary, Lord, but we did it!
You did it very well, every step of our way!
Thank you, so much, O God! Thank you!
Send us your Holy Spirit to center our lives in your Son Jesus Christ like the disciples “who began to make a path picking heads of grain one Sabbath day” (Mk.2:23) and the Pharisees lambasted them.
Surely, the disciples would have not done that without seeking permission from Jesus. And even if Jesus had allowed them to go and pick heads of grain, I am sure there were some who still doubted him giving the permission to do it!
So nice that they trusted Jesus, like the young and lovely St. Agnes who remained adamantly faithful to him in the face of death. May I be given that same faith and courage today, Lord, to find you in every step I take. Amen.
The Lord Is My Chef Simbang Gabi Recipe, 17 December 2019
Genesis 49:2.8-10 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Matthew 1:1-17
Today we shift our focus in our Advent preparations to the first coming of Jesus Christ when he was born in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago. Strictly speaking, the Christmas countdown officially starts only today especially with our very long but beautiful gospel from Matthew.
Maybe you are wondering what’s good with our gospel today when it is all about names that mostly sound very funny.
Importance of names: origin and mission
In ancient time, giving name to children was a very serious matter among peoples, especially the Jews.
For them, a name indicates two very important things about a person: one’s origin and mission in life, something parents of today have entirely forgotten, even ignorant because they are more concerned with fad and being unique in naming their children that always end up as a joke as it is always bizarre and weird.
And their poor kid suffers for the rest of his/her life like that man named “Fantastic”. All his life he felt so sad being called Fantastic that he told his wife when he dies, never put his name on his tombstone.
Eventually Mr. Fantastic died and the wife kept her promise not to put his name on his marker. But she felt the need to honor her beloved husband who was so good and honest that in lieu of his name, she asked a tribute written to honor him.
It said, “Here lies a very gentle and loving husband and father who never looked at other women except his wife.”
Every time passersby see and read that tribute, they would always exclaim “Fantastic!”
Going back to the importance of giving names….
Corporations are more serious than parents in choosing names and trademarks to their products and services. Every trademark and brand always evokes deeper meanings than just being a product or entity that some of them have entered the vocabulary of many languages like Google, Xerox, and Frigidaire.
And the sad thing about this is how many babies are now being named to follow things and products than the other way around, giving more value to things than human beings!
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Genealogy of Jesus as direction of Matthew’s Gospel
St. Matthew opens his gospel account with the genealogy of Jesus to settle right at the very start the question about the origin and mission of Jesus Christ.
Here we find the artistry and genius of St. Matthew, some 2000 years ahead of the late Stephen Covey’s third habit of highly effective people: “begin with an end in mind.”
By starting his genealogy with Abraham and David, St. Matthew gives us the whole gospel message in a glance because they are the two key figures in the beginning and realization of God’s promise to send Jesus Christ who would save us all.
Let us just focus on Abraham which means “he who is the father of many.”
It was to him that the story of God’s promise began after the dispersal of mankind following the collapse of the Tower of Babel.
From then on, Abraham points to what is ahead in God’s divine plan, not only for himself but also for the whole mankind for it is through him that blessings come to all. His journey from his birthplace of Ur into Canaan is symbolic of his journey from the present into the future, walking in faith following the Lord’s path and divine plan.
In Abraham we find God starting anew the history of mankind after the Fall that leads up to Jesus Christ who came to lead us all back into the Father.
With Abraham as the main header of Christ’s genealogy, we find not only the beginning but also the end of St. Matthew’s gospel which is the universality of God’s plan of salvation with Jesus telling his disciples to make disciples of all nations (Mt.28:19).
Imitating Abraham into our time
Last December 10 was a very important date for me and my parish: it was the ordination date of our first priest.
While waiting for the start of the Mass at the front door (which is actually the back of the Cathedral or any church), I just prayed in silence thinking about my role in the ordination of Fr. RA Valmadrid.
While I marveled at the beautiful renovations of our Cathedral, my sight was slowly moved towards the altar.
It was like an “Abraham experience” in Matthew’s genealogy for me: a wayfarer on a journey into the future, towards God, walking in faith.
In a quick glance, I kind of saw the future glory of every faithful coming to the altar to receive Jesus Christ in the sacraments especially the Holy Eucharist.
I just felt the beauty of entering the Cathedral, or any church which is more than stepping into a building but more of entering God himself, our point of origin and final destination.
Do we realize this tremendous blessing and grace of being baptized, of being a child of God, not only given with a name but most of all, of being counted into the family of God our Father?
In the first reading we have heard Jacob calling his 12 sons. What is so striking here is the blessing Jacob had bestowed upon Judah, instead of Joseph who was the best of all his sons, the holiest and most intelligent.
Like Abraham and Judah, or anyone in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, we can find our own selves too not as the vida or contravida but simply being called to be God’s instrument in fulfilling his plan in sending his Son Jesus Christ.
Truth is, God always comes in the most unexpected situations and peoples most of the time.
In Christ Jesus through our Baptism and faith, we find our genealogy – our origin and mission – as children of God.
If you want to get a feel of this reality, try reading aloud, very slowly, the genealogy of Jesus Christ. At the end, include your self, mention your name, your mother and father. Then close your eyes and let your life flash back in silence.
In the silence of your heart, do you find God coming more to you than you to God?
So amazing, is it not? We are all part of Christ’s genealogy. Let’s bring him forth into the world in our life of faithful witnessing like Abraham. Amen.
Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-29 ng Oktubre 2019
Tula na aking hinalaw sa “The Portal of the Mystery of Hope” ng makatang Pranses na si Charles Peguy (pe-gi). Bagamat hindi siya debotong Katoliko, nang maglaon malaki ang naging impluwensiya sa kanya ng Katolisismo hanggang sa siya ay mamatay noong 1914 sa Villeroy, France.
Sa tatlong pangunahing birtud nating taglay mula sa Kanyang mapagpalang kamay sinabi ng Diyos: "Pag-Asa ang aking pinaka-paborito" sapagkat ito lamang aniya ang "nakasosorpresa" sa kanya.
Paliwanag ng Diyos, hindi siya nasosorpresa sa Pananampalataya dahil sa kanyang kaningningang taglay aba'y bulag at manhid lamang ang sa Kanya'y hindi magkamalay!
Hindi rin Siya aniya nasosorpresa sa Pag-ibig sapagkat maliban na lamang kung sing-tigas ng bato ang puso ng tao at hindi pa sila magmamahalan sila na aniya pinaka-aba at kaawa-awa sa lahat ng kanyang nilalang.
Ngunit itong Pag-Asa ay kakaiba Diyos ay laging nasosorpresa dito nakikita kapangyarihan ng kanyang grasya para mga tao ay umasa pa kahit wala nang nakikita!
Alalahanin sulat ni Apostol San Pablo sa mga taga-Roma: "ang pag-asa ay hindi pag-asa kapag nakikita na ang inaasahan. Sapagkat sino ang aasa sa nakikita na?"
Kakaiba sa pagiging positibo ang Pag-Asa dahil nakabatay ito sa mga nakikitang palatandaan o mga senyales upang mahulaan at matanawan tinatantiyang kalalabasan ng isang inaasam.
Optimistic ang tao na umaasa gaganda panahon o iigi sitwasyon batay sa mga indikasyon na kanyang nakikita; ngunit ang taong umaasa batid niya mas lalala pa mga bagay at sitwasyon, mas malamang hindi na iigi pa.
Ito ang kaibahan at kaibayuhan nitong Pag-Asa na kahit talo na at wala nang nakikita kumpiyansa sa Diyos ay di nawawala.
Sa ating panahon ng social media kung saan ang lahat ay nakikita at ipinakikita, kitang-kita pa rin ang katotohanang mga dakilang bagay sa buhay ay mula sa mga hindi nakikita.
Iyan ang nakasosorpresa sa Pag-Asa, kahit wala ka nang nakikita kitang-kita Kita pa rin Panginoon namin kaya aking hiling ako'y lagi mong sorpresahin!
Romans 8:18-25 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Luke 13:18-21
But hope, says God, that is something that surprises me…
And my grace must indeed be an incredible force.
Charles Peguy, “The Portal of the Mystery of Hope”
Whenever I come across the word “hope”, O Lord, I always remember this lovely poem by your faithful writer Charles Peguy (1873-1914) of France.
And I agree with Peguy, hope is your favorite virtue because it always surprises you and everybody else!
Again Jesus said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like the yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough is leavened.”
Hope surprises us, Lord, because it is often so small, almost negligible for some.
And that is how you work, how your wonders perform, Lord.
Hope is not positive thinking because hope is still believing in you even if things do not get any better at all. In fact, things can get worst and that is when hope surprises us!
St. Paul said it so well.
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.
In positive thinking, we hold on to at least something tangible, something we can see and feel clearly like the weather or the stock market.
But in hope, we only have you, Lord, whom we cannot see but can simply feel, believe and rely on that we hope would always remain and be still with us til the end.
In this world when size always matters, when everything has to be bigger and biggest, what remains true is the fact that no matter how big or great is anything, it surely came from a minute, little something.
Like the yeast that has become a wonderful bread or any baker’s creation.
Nobody had seen how it would turn out except that hope in one’s heart and mind that teases us with something big and wonderful and surprising.
Please surprise us today, Lord and let us live differently in you! Amen.