Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 10 Nobyembre 2020
Ang problema sa mabait -
hindi iyong daga at mga bubwit -
kungdi mga tao nating pinipilit
ituring na mabubuti
dahil lahat sa kanila ay maaari:
lahat pinapayagan, pinalalampas
kahit malayo sa katuwiran.
Laging tandaan malaking kaibhan
ng mabuti sa mabait
dahil mas malamang ang mabait
hindi patas tumingin,
Ang problema sa "mabait"
ibig nila sila'y kagiliwan
walang imik sa mga kamalian
dangal at paninindigan
ng mga makatuwiran.
Ang problema sa mabait
sa simula lamang kaakit-akit
paglaon napapanis, nabubulok
sinasabing "nasisiraan ng bait" -
bait ay pansamantala
likha ng ating isip
sakim at sarili ang ipinipilit;
kaibayo nito ang kabutihan
na bumubukal mula sa kalooban
kung saan nanahan
ang Diyos na tanging mabuti:
hindi humahanay sa kasalanan
at kasamaan dahil Siya ang kabanalan.
Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you… If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector… Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Matthew 18:15-16, 19-20
In our Sunday gospel today, Jesus is asking us to have love as basis of our relationships, whether at home or in the community, in the church or in the society. When there is love, there is Jesus, there is order, there is peace and harmony. Even when there is imperfection and sin, when love prevails, life and its struggles become bearable, even fulfilling. But when there is no love, there is always disorder and chaos and life becomes more difficult.
And that is why we go back to Black Eyed Peas’ 2003 hit “Where Is The Love?” for our Sunday music today which is very timely and relevant in this time of the pandemic.
People killin’ people dyin’ Children hurtin’, I hear them cryin’ Can you practice what you preachin’? Would you turn the other cheek again? Mama, mama, mama, tell us what the hell is goin’ on Can’t we all just get along? Father, father, father help us Send some guidance from above ‘Cause people got me, got me Questioning (Where’s the love)
Of course, we all know our kababayan apl.de.ap is part of this group and one of the composers of this smash hit that was also the largest selling record of 2003, earning a nomination to the Grammy the following year for Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung collaboration. From their third album Elephunk, “Where Is the Love?” gave Black Eyed Peas its first commercial success that also put them onto the mainstream music scene. Not mentioned at its single release was the back-up vocals rendered by Justin Timberlake who showed support to the group even though he was from another record label.
Very interesting is the last stanza which I just realized while reflecting on the song relating it to the gospel this Sunday: our problem is not really the corona virus but a disease within us when we refuse to accept and share that love freely given us by God.
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders As I’m gettin’ older y’all people gets colder Most of us only care about money makin’ Selfishness got us followin’ the wrong direction Wrong information always shown by the media Negative images is the main criteria Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinemas What happened to the love and the values of humanity? (Where’s the love) What happened to the love and the fairness and equality? (Where’s the love) Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity (Where’s the love) Lack of understanding leading us away from unity (Where’s the love)
Some people have been asking me this early how would Christmas 2020 be?
We need not read the news for we can feel and readily see around us the bleak prospects of this coming Christmas — financially and materially speaking. But I am filled with hope that Christmas 2020 amid the pandemic will most likely be one, if not the most meaningful Christmas we shall ever have because when we have less of the material things, that is also when we have more of the spiritual things in life, more of love, more of kindness, more of the person next to me, and most of all, more of Jesus. All we have to do is honestly answer the question, “where is the love?”
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, 16 August 2020
Our Sunday gospel today is so touching at how great is the love of Jesus Christ for us who knows no boundaries when he “withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon” to heal the daughter of a Canaanite woman “tormented by a demon” (Mt.15:21, 28).
Two Sundays ago we heard how Jesus fed more than 5000 people who have followed him to a deserted place from just five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish; last week, he walked on water to rescue his disciples in a boat caught in a violent storm at the middle of the lake at night.
Very clear in all his actions is the immense love of Jesus Christ for everyone, doing everything in love and for love.
And that is why we have Rock n’ Roll’s dynamic duo, Daryl Hall and John Oates singing their eighth #1 hit released in 2003 “Do It For Love” from their sixteenth studio album of the same title.
I have always considered Hall and Oates as my topmost favorite musicians standing side by side with the equally great tandem of Walter Becker (+) and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan fame.
Smooth and sophisticated with their characteristic Phillysound, Hall and Oates’ Do It for Love tells of how a man would go to great lengths to express his love for his beloved.
I would fly ten thousand miles In the pouring rain Just to see your face
I’d bare my soul to a total stranger Just to say your name And I’m not ashamed Just to love you into every morning
I would change my name And run away I won’t do it for money I won’t do it for pride
I won’t do it to please somebody else If it don’t feel right But I’ll do it for you And at least I’ll try
I don’t need any other reason Than I feel it deep inside I’ll Do It For Love
I have used it so many times in counseling single and married men having problems with their girlfriend and wife; and so far, it seems to have always worked with most of them still together and happily married!
Try it yourself this Sunday… with a lot of prayers and honest-to-goodness soul searching, miracles may still happen!
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, 09 August 2020
Don’t you feel it is like a Good Friday on this gloomy and rainy Sunday in August? Problems and trials continue to come our way this year 2020 that we are like the Apostles together in a boat in the middle of the sea caught in a violent storm at night with Jesus nowhere in sight!
But, we know the rest of the story, of how Jesus rescued the Twelve by walking on water, calmed the storm upon joining them in their boat until they reached the shore.
Sometimes in life, we need to get away from our “comfort zones” and cross to the other side of the lake or sea like in our gospel especially when life becomes so artificial that we need to experience it in its “rawness” from deep within our souls until we desire and meet God anew wherever we may be (https://lordmychef.com/2020/08/08/meeting-jesus/).
And because of the storms that continue to rage in us and among us in this ghost month of August, we offer you with inspiring songs from two lovely female artists that we hope will uplift you and soothe your tired body and soul.
First in our double header is Ms. Pauline Wilson’s 1997 solo version of their 1979 classic “Follow Your Road” when she was the lead singer of their Hawaii-based jazz fusion band called the Seawind.
So enticingly warm, Follow Your Road teems with a lot of Christian teachings that have strongly influenced Ms. Wilson and partners who are also into Gospel music. The song invites us to reflect on our lives in order to find its meaning and direction – exactly what Jesus has been telling us to follow him especially when we are into storms and darkness in our lives.
We are all but travelers living in a foreign land Just trying to find our way – best as we can Looking for an answer, trying to find some light And though we have journeyed far, it’s not quite far enough.
Have you wondered where your road will lead you? Maybe to a song that needs singing, or a summer rain Or it might be you’re afraid to go, afraid to go But you’ve got to follow your road, or you’ll never know
Our second song on this rainy Sunday is from another Gospel singer Ms. Oleta Adams who was nominated to the Grammy Award as Best Female Pop Vocal Performance the following year after releasing “Get Here If You Can” in 1990.
Ms. Adams first caught the world’s attention in 1989 when she was invited by Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears to join them as singer and pianist for their 1989 “Seeds of Love” album from which came the hit single “Woman in Chains” with her singing a duet with Orzabal.
Get Here If You Can is a song putting to the test the love and fidelity of the song’s lover.
Faith, like love, is always an encounter, especially with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The experience of Peter sinking in water as he approached Jesus is a lesson in being focused with our love and faith in Christ despite the heavy storms and darkness that come into our lives.
There are hills and mountains between us Always something to get over If I had my way, surely you would be closer I need you closer
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, 02 August 2020
Our Sunday music for today is specially for all the doctors, nurses, and everyone serving in hospitals since this pandemic began. You are exactly like Jesus Christ in the gospel today who went to a deserted place to rest but upon seeing the crowds who have followed him, “his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick” (Mt.14:14).
And this is the reason we have jazz artist Tom Scott’s 1991 hit “Keeping This Love Alive” as our featured music this Sunday: with the excellent vocals by David Pack, the song tells us how amid so many trials and tests, a man keeps on coming back to the woman he loves so much.
I don't know why my faith gets so low
I'm helpless to control my fears
I turn to you and somehow I know
No matter how far I fall
You will answer my call,
becauseI keep coming back to you
Heal me one more time
I keep coming back to you
You're the reason why (the reason why)
The reason I (the reason I)
I've got to keep this love alive (alive, alive, alive)
Oh, gotta keep this love alive (alive)
Ultimately, it is the love of Jesus Christ that we have experienced that we keep this love alive – in our family and circle of friends, in our community and nation. It is his love that sustains us, enabling us to believe more and hope more.
Thank you dearest doctors, nurses and everyone serving in our hospitals around the world to care for the sick.
Wisdom 2:1, 12-22 ><)))*> +++ <*(((>< John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man but out of them all, the Lord delivers him.”
God our heavenly Father, we come to you today, begging you for more strength, more courage, more faith in you as the pressures and stress increase and worsen due this COVID-19 pandemic the whole world is suffering with.
Like your Son Jesus Christ in today’s gospel, we can feel so strongly the tremendous pressure he was going through from his enemies in the weeks leading to his Passion, Death, and Resurrection that he could not openly go to Jerusalem.
But, still he went there in secret to continue his mission of proclaiming the good news, trusting in you, our Father in heaven, who alone designates each one’s “hour”.
So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.
Give us the grace, Lord, to withstand all the pressures and stress going on within us, in our family and community as we enter the second week of lockdown.
Most especially, we pray for our frontliners in health and medicine who are subjected to intense pressures by the pandemic. Some of them have lost their lives fulfilling their mission. Bless their souls, bless their loved ones left behind.
We pray, Lord, for those who have to work today so we can have food on our table, electricity and communication lines, water, and also security we have seem to take for granted these days.
May this lockdown provide us with the much needed rest to fight all the stresses and pressures we have been carrying on our shoulders for a long time.
May this lockdown be a Sabbath for us like you have envisioned in the beginning when you created everything. Amen.
Which is more difficult to confront, the fact of dying or that of suffering through a serious sickness? I have been thinking these for the past couple of days following my recent visitations of sick parishioners.
Today I visited a parishioner sick for the past three months with a lung disease. She’s 76 years old.
Right upon seeing me, Lola Milagros cried, telling me to ask God to take her because she’s so tired of suffering and waiting for death.
I just let her cry, holding her hands, as I listened to her pouring out of her aches and pains.
After that, I whispered to her the words of St. Teresa de Avila whose feast we are also celebrating today:
Nada te turbe… Solo Dios basta! (Let nothing disturb you… only God suffices!)
St. Teresa De Avila
So beautiful to hear and yes, easier said than done.
Can anybody with a serious ailment be not disturbed?
Been asking myself the same questions too. It is difficult not to be disturbed when one is sick. Aside from the costs of treatment are the enormous pains and sufferings one has to go through with the medical procedures and its many effects to the patient, who eventually would die.
It is a reality getting closer to home with me and I must confess, I am disturbed. Worried. And afraid.
The other week I visited another sick parishioner named Charlie, a former cook paralysed waist down due to a spine injury. He is only in his early 50’s.
What struck me when I saw him were the ropes tied to his both feet. I could not figure out how he could be restless when he is paralysed that his feet have to be tied?
He explained, “Father, I pity my wife when I have to wake her up every night just to move my legs. So, I improvised these ropes tied to my feet so I can just pull them with my hands in case I have to change positions even at night.”
Oh God! What a great love of a man to his wife!
Charlie loves his wife so much that he does not want her to be disturbed with his ailment and condition.
When there is love, we are not disturbed. And the only true love that can make us undisturbed is the love of Jesus Christ, the only perfect love we can have and find.
Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.
St. Teresa de Avila
“Love calls for love in return.”
So beautiful words by St. Teresa de Avila.
We can only truly feel that personal love of Jesus if we are also personally in love with him.
We are disturbed with so many things in life when there is not enough love in our hearts, when we have not felt loved enough by others too.
Without love, we would always be disturbed.
I told Lola Milagros this morning to thank God for the gift of tears because they are prayers coming straight from her heart. That God knows very well all her pains and sufferings. Most of all, I told her tears are clear signs of love in her heart.
Later on my way home, Lola Milagros’ daughter was also teary-eyed as she told me she was so glad to see her mother cried. According to her, Lola Milagros is a very tough woman of the “old school” who tried to bear everything and even hide what’s inside her so as not to disturb them. She always wanted them to be assured all’s fine.
Lola Milagros and Charlie do not want to disturb their respective family because they love them. It is love that moves the sick not to disturb others and it is also love that enables us to assure them not to be disturbed.
The challenge therefore is not to reflect on whether to die instantly or slowly but to always love truly!
Human love is always imperfect. Only God can love us perfectly. This he did exactly to us when he sent us Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for us.
To love truly is be personally one in Jesus Christ. When we were still seminarians, Fr. Memeng used to tell us in our class “Priestly Spirituality” that “if we can really cultivate a deep prayer life, we can also experience Jesus Christ in the most personal way.” It is the experience of St. Teresa de Avila and all the other saints.
Nothing can disturb us in this life when our love is borne out of a personal relationship with Jesus in prayer.
Prayer life is more than reciting prayers by following a schedule. Prayer life is a relationship, a communing with God, of being our true selves before him, seeing ourselves as he sees us. And because of this assurance of his love despite our many sins and flaws, that is when we are not disturbed because God loves us no matter what.
When we are not disturbed, then we become silent. Presence is more than enough to share and experience God’s love. St. Paul said “love is not pompous” because true love is always silent, more on deeds than on words.
One thing amusing with death is that it always comes in silence, when we least expect it. Whether we die instantly or slowly, it always happens in silence. And that is also why many are disturbed of dying.
But, if we love patiently our self, others and God, nothing can ever disturb us because when we love, we are already in God. That is when we realize too the wisdom and truth of St. Teresa’s contemporary who claimed that
A soul that walks in love is neither tired nor gets tired.
San Juan dela Cruz
Let us love, love, and love until the end onto eternity.
Our Sunday gospel today speaks about true hospitality that leads to an encounter of Jesus Christ in our home and family.
Burt Bacharach’s “A House Is Not A Home” composed in 1964 for a movie of the same title easily came as our choice for this Sunday’s music.
Problem was choosing which of the many versions to feature in our blog today.
Though the different versions do matter a lot with slight variations in the lyrics, we decided in favor of the original recording by Ms. Dionne Warwick in 1964 that was the B-side of her top 40 single “You’ll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart)”.
Despite her excellent voice (a favorite of Bacharach), Warwick’s “A House Is Not A Home” did not fare well in the US charts. However, since its release in 1964 it has become a classic for its lovely tune and truthful lyrics.
A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home When there’s no one there to hold you tight And no one there you can kiss goodnight….
A room is a still a room, even when there’s nothin’ there but gloom But a room is not a house and a house is not a home When the two of us are far apart And one of us has a broken heart
Hospitality is from the Latin hospes that means to welcome. From this root came also the word hospital.
The story of Martha and Mary reminds us of the need to first welcome our family members so Jesus could dwell in our home. And this calls for love and respect for one another, for kindness and care.
How sad that right in our own family we could feel unwelcomed, or even hostaged which is from another Latin word hostis that means enemy.
This Sunday, experience Jesus and his good news of salvation in your family by breaking those barriers that prevent you from welcoming one another.
Have a “home sweet home” in Christ Jesus with a lot of love and kindness to one another in the family. God bless everyone!
It’s a beautiful, warm and sunny Sunday on this side of the earth, perfect for reflecting anew on the meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan proclaimed in all churches today.
And of course, we do it with popular music.
For our Lord My Chef Sunday music today, we have a song from the OST of the 2005 Cameron Crow movie “Elizabethtown” starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst.
Though it did not do good in the box office like the critically-acclaimed “Vanilla Sky” and “Almost Famous”, “Elizabethtown” speaks so well of Crowe’s reflections about that inner stirrings or movements within us all, of a longing for something more meaningful than just driving in the fast lane of life like “Jerry Maguirre”.
Written by Crowe with a help from his former wife who used to be a member of Heart, Nancy Wilson, our Lord My Chef Sunday Music “Same In Any Language” speaks a lot about being a neighbor to everyone, regardless of color and creed.
The song teaches us like the parable of the Good Samaritan that the question we should be asking is “am I a neighbor” to others especially to those in need than searching for “who is my neighbor”.
My neighbor is the one with whom I identify myself with, seeing with compassion and mercy when down in sufferings.
My neighbor is the one with whom I get down on the road to help and raise because I also feel his or her pains.
My neighbor is the one with whom I see Jesus Christ, the God who became human reaching out to me, asking me to care for him, to love him, teaching me the things to do so I may inherit eternal life.
Try listening to the laid back music of “Same In Any Language” that is refreshing with lyrics so simple yet very reflective. Better, try also watching “Elizabethtown”.
Have a blessed Sunday and a new week ahead of you!
Thank you for following our LordMyChef Sunday Music.
It is nice to be back again this Sunday with a music from the Bee Gees with their second international hit single called “To Love Somebody” released in 1967.
According to Barry Gibb, the only surviving member of one of the world’s most successful musical group composed of his late brothers Robin and Maurice (and Andy), To Love Somebody is his most loved composition because of its “clear, emotional message” (Piers Morgan’s Life Stories interview in 2017). In another interview earlier in 2001, Barry said the song was meant for their long-time producer Robert Stigwood’s gift and brilliance, as a sort of a tribute. He explained that Stigwood asked him to compose a soul for Otis Redding in 1967; they presented To Love Somebody to Redding in New York who liked it very much. Unfortunately, Redding never had the chance to record the song when he died in a plane crash that year. To Love Somebody was then offered to other artists but despite their good reviews of the song, nobody wanted to record it. Hence, the Bee Gees included it in their first international debut album Bee Gees 1st, releasing it as a single that reached the 17th spot in the US charts and 41 in UK. The brothers reissued it in 1980 and the song has been covered by so many other artists worldwide that included Michael Bolton, Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin and Nina Simone.
To Love Somebody sounds so close to our gospel today when Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment to love one another as he has loved us, which is, “to love somebody the way I love you”!
Of course, the song is romantic in nature but it gives us also a hint of the newness of Christ’s new commandment to love like him that is always unitive, creating a communion and bond of unity with the lover and the beloved. That unity for Jesus is rooted in God our Father who is love himself.
Human love is always imperfect. There will always be people so difficult to love or deal with or simply accept. Even more difficult to forgive. But when we love in Christ Jesus, in him and with him, our love becomes more truer and doable and possible. After all, as the Bee Gees sing in this song, it is Jesus Christ who first loved us too and desired so much that unity in him. We are able to love because of Christ’s gift of love for us. Let us not waste that gift of love. Love somebody, the way Jesus loves you! Amen.