Bearing with one another

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 21 October 2022
Ephesians 4:1-6   ><000'> + ><000'> + ><000'>   Luke 12:54-59
Photo by Mr. Jim Marpa, 2018.
Another week is closing,
another week is beginning
and still, Lord Jesus,
as you have noticed,
we still can't interpret
the present time as
your very presence
in everyone of us.

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain – and do it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot – and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

Luke 12:54-57
St. Paul's admonition
to the Ephesians is most
timely even to us these days
when our season is in transition
but not our sensitivities to one another;
teach us to live in a manner worthy of
our calling as "Christians" - brothers and
sisters in you, dear Jesus and most of all,
your followers.
Teach us, dear Jesus, 
to "bear one another through love,
striving to preserve" our unity
as one family in one loving Father above;
so many times, we can read the weather
but not people, becoming callous
and numb to one another's presence
and needs, pains and hurts;
heighten our sensitivities so
we may be more compassionate
with everyone, be more consoling
and caring, most of all, understanding
and kind by seeing God's image and 
likeness in each one's face.
Amen. 

Imitating Job

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest, 27 September 2022
Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23   ><000'> + ><000'> + ><000'>   Luke 9:51-56
Photo by author, Makati skyline from Antipolo, August 2022.
Thank you again,
dear God our loving Father
in keeping us safe from the 
powerful super typhoon that
hit us Sunday evening;
most of all, thank you in giving
us that faith within us like Job
when we go through storms in
life, sometimes so violent and
devastating like the real ones.
Bless us, O God, to be like Job:
to have that grace of crying out
our hearts, of venting out our pains
and even anger when like him,
we curse the day but never you:

Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said: Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, “The child is a boy!” Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?

Job 3:1-2, 3
Help us realize, dear Father,
these little "deaths" we go through
daily in life like sickness and loss of
loved ones are the realities of life
itself that prepare us for our eternal
union in you that would surely come
on our Death with a big D;
we are indeed "being-towards-death"
beginning on the day of our birth when
we have to cry out loud and kick hard
to be alive! 
It is through our pains and sufferings
that we become truly human,
when we feel with others in 
empathy and sympathy,
when we stay with others
in consolation,
when we strive to be like
Jesus in raising up others
by being "resolutely determined
to journey to Jerusalem" (Lk.9:51)
to face death that have inspired saints
like your servant Vincent de Paul
who worked so hard for the sick, 
the abandoned, and the poor,
inspiring other saints in the 
process!
We pray for everyone 
going through darkness,
battered by storms in life
to keep their faith,
that it is okay to cry and
complain because it is really
difficult; most of all, 
remind us, Jesus, that
without pains and 
sufferings in this world,
then this life would be
so dull, even meaningless
because that is when we
are totally by ourselves,
utterly selfish because we can
only find life's meaning in others,
never in our selves.
Amen.

When courts “court” troubles

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday in the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, 06 September 2022
1 Corinthians 6:1-11    ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'>   Luke 6:12-19
Photo by Greg on Pexels.com
Dearest Lord Jesus,
you have always told us
in many occasions in your
teachings that we try to settle
our cases with one another
instead of waiting for the courts to
decide on them that we might 
end up in jail (Mt. 5:25);
Paul reiterates this wise teaching
to the Corinthians and to us today.
Open our minds and our hearts,
Lord, to the many implications of
our search for justice in our court
and judicial system that often leave
us with too much bitterness and
hurts not only when justice is not 
rightly served but the painful process
it entails, draining us of energies as
well as of goodwill for one another.
In this age of social media 
when even legal tussles in the 
courtrooms are televised for all
to see and make fun of, 
the more it becomes clear 
why we must avoid it at as much
as possible because Paul was 
absolutely right that as brothers 
and sisters in Christ, we must not 
resort to the courts of law at all!

I say this to shame you. Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers? But rather brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers? Now indeed then it is, in any case, a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another. Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers.

1 Corinthians 6:5-7, 8
Lord Jesus Christ,
teach us to live harmoniously
with each other despite our many 
differences; teach us to always
find our similarities as beloved
and forgiven children of the Father;
teach us to always be one in the
Father like you; may we find the
great honor and value of being 
called by you to be your apostle,
to be specially close to you and 
to each other; most of all, let us
reach out to you like the sick who
find hope and healing only in you
in their afflictions and troubles,
not in man-made remedies that
often hurt us in the process.
Dear Jesus,
we pray in the most special
way today for those awaiting
court decisions in their cases,
especially those who have been
waiting for so long, for the
disadvantaged like the poor
and innocent.  Amen.

Jesus as friend and family

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday, Memorial of Sts. Mary, Martha, & Lazarus, 29 July 2022
Jeremiah 26:1-9   ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*>   John 11:19-27
An icon of Jesus visiting his friends, the siblings Sts. Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Photo from crossroadsinitiative.com.
Glory and praise to you,
O Lord Jesus Christ who 
had come to us not just a 
family but most especially
as a friend you have stressed
during the Last Supper 
(cf. Jn.15:14-15).
And even before that evening
of Holy Thursday came, you have
been a friend to the siblings 
Mary, Martha and Lazarus so 
dear to you, visiting them often,
sharing not only in their meals but
in their lives and death, joys and
pains; what a beautiful imagery 
not only of friendship but of the
neglected ties that bind brothers
and sisters in this time when
family is being destroyed 
by new emerging thoughts
and ways of life.
In this time of the pandemic
you know how, dear Jesus,
we have finally come together 
as families free from all excuses 
of work and studies, of being far and away; 
but sadly, many have ignored and missed
the opportunities to bond together
and mend many gaps long festering
among siblings; instead of fighting and 
rivalries, may brothers and sisters
in every family emulate the love and 
respect among Saints Martha, Lazarus and Mary. 
We pray for all siblings to gather anew
as one family in prayers before you, Lord, 
like Saints Martha, Lazarus and Mary;
help them create a space anew for God in our
lives, the surest bond among us despite 
our many differences as we open our ears 
and hearts like St. Mary to your words,
to heed and fulfill them unlike the people 
of Judah who cursed your prophet Jeremiah 
when he spoke to them
of the truth.
“The Raising of Lazarus”, 1311 painting by Duccio de Buoninsegna from commons.wikimedia.org
Most of all, give us the grace
to be the presence of Jesus Christ
when our siblings are sick and burdened 
with all kinds of sufferings and miseries 
like Martha and Mary present to each other
awaiting Christ’s coming after Lazarus had died:
Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died."  Jesus told her,
"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever
believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me
will never die.  Do you believe this?" (John 11:21, 25-26)
Like St. Martha, and most likely
her siblings, too, St. Lazarus
and St. Mary who may not have
understood fully your words and teachings,
keep us open to your coming,
to your visits, sweet Jesus;
make our hearts like theirs
filled with warmth and hospitality
to let you stay and reign inside us;
most of all, like the three holy siblings
let us share with others the gift of kindness,
of being a kin to everyone in you, with you.  Amen.