The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul
Wednesday, Second Week in Ordinary Time, 20 January 2021
Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17 >><)))*> +++ <*(((><< Mark 3:1-6
O God our Father, we praise and thank you in making us share in the priesthood of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and eternal Priest. So many times we forget – priests and lay people alike – the meaning of our priesthood which is to communicate your love to others, to become a bridge of men and women with God.
So many times we have become legalistic, paying more attention to the letters of the laws, to forms and to rituals forgetting the very essence of loving service for others. We always enter the church but never the community of believers.
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on then sabbath that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent.
What a shame, dear God when such moments happen when we refuse to look at the persons with their sufferings and pains, choosing to look at things around us like rules and conventions. That more sad part is as we have turned blind to others around us, we have also chosen to be deaf to their cries as well.
Forgive us, Father, when we fail to enter into oneness with others made possible to us in the coming of Jesus Christ who has become our “priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb.7:17).
Help us discard those old understanding of priesthood with emphasis on the mystery of being a priest, of the distinction and honor, forgetting the more important aspects of working for justice and righteousness, and most of all, for peace. Both can only be earned if we strive to be men and women of love and commitment to what is good. Amen.
Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-20 ng Nobyembre 2020
"Utos ng hari
Iyan ang kasabihang
tumutukoy sa kapangyarihan
ng sino mang naghahari
sa lansangan o tahanan
tanggapan at paaralan
maging sa simbahan
kung saan ang pari ---
O kay laking sawi!---
para ding hari...
ano man magustuhan
hindi maaring ipagpaliban,
ipagpipilitan upang makamtan;
parurusahan sino man
lumiban sa utos
na batas ang katumbas!
ito nga ba ang tamang gawi
ng sino mang hari
na ituring kanyang pag-aari
parang mga aliping nagapi
mga salitang binitiwan
ng Hari ng mga hari
at ating Dakilang Pari:
"Ito ang dahilan
kung bakit ako ipinanganak
at naparito sa sanlibutan:
na "ang Diyos ay pag-ibig"
naparito "upang maglingkod
hindi upang paglingkuran".
Iyan sana ating tandaan
ni Kristo Hesus
Hari ng sanlibutan
sa kanyang kabutihan.
Kaya kung si Hesus
nga ang ating Hari
Siya ang ating tularan
sa pagmamahal at kabutihan
huwag sirain yaring kaisahan sa sangkatauhan
dahil ano man gawin o ipagkait sa maliliit
siyang Kanyang pagsusulit sa pagbabalik!
Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog IIPaggunita sa Pagpapakasakit ni San Juan Bautista, Ika-29 ng Agosto 2020
Ama naming mahabagin,
ngayong ginugunita namin
pagpapakasakit ni San Juan Bautista,
Inyo sanang dinggin aming panalangin
para sa maraming kapatid namin na ginigipit, iniipit;
ang iba sa kanila ay nakapiit
marami ang lugmok sa pait at sakit na sinapit
mula sa mga makabagong Herodes at Herodias
na prinsipyo at pagkatao, ipinagpalit sa ginto.
Inyong patatagin paninindigan sa katotohanan
katulad ni San Juan Bautista
upang ipagpatuloy pakikipaglaban
nasaid man ang kabuhayan
at tanging pinanghahawakan
dangal ng katauhan.
Ikaw lamang Panginoon
ang nakaaalam ng higit na mainam
kami ay Iyong turuan at tulungan
katulad ni San Juan loob mo ay masundan
kami ma'y maging palatandaan
ng Iyong kapanatilihan sa gitna ng mga
pag-uusig at kahirapan.
*Mga larawan sa itaas: una ang painting ni Caravaggio ng pagpupugot sa ulo ni Juan Bautista mula sa wikimedia.org; biktima ng tokhang mula sa Philippine Daily Inquirer; umiiyak na empleyado ng ABS-CBN mula sa Reuters.org; at mga locally stranded individuals sa ilalim ng flyover malapit sa NAIA kuha ni G. Raffy Tima ng GMA-7 News.
Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-15 ng Hulyo 2020
Sa gitna nitong mga balita
sa garapal at walang kahihiyang
ginawa ng pitumpung mambabatas
na nagkait ng prangkisa sa Kapamilya
aking naalala sa Banal na Bibliya
kuwento ni San Lucas na ebanghelista
nang ang Panginoong Hesus humirang noon
pitumpung alagad o pitumput-dalawa
na sinugo Niya ng dala-dalawa
sa bawat pook at bayan na patutunguhan Niya.
Sinabi Niya sa kanila
"Sagana ang aanihin, ngunit kakaunti
ang mga manggagawa... Humayo kayo!
Sinusugo ko kayong parang mga kordero
sa gitna ng mga asong-gubat.
Huwag na kayong magdala ng lukbutan,
supot, o panyapak. Huwag na kayong titigil
sa daan upang makipagbatian kaninuman.
Pagpasok ninyo sa alinmang bahay,
batiin ninyo ng kapayapaan;
Manatili kayo sa inyong tinutuluyan,
huwag kayong magpalipat-lipat ng bahay.
Pagalingin ang mga may karamdaman
sa bawat bayan na inyong pupuntahan
mga taumbayan ay sabihang nalalapit na
ang paghahari ng Diyos sa tanan."
Inyong tingnan sa Banal na Kasulatan
ito ay malalaman, matatagpuan sa Lucas 10:1-12
kahanga-hangang misyon ng pitumpung alagad
ng ating Panginoon noong unang panahon
hatid sa tao pag-asa at pag-ahon;
inyong tingnan ngayon mga pahayagan
pakinggan mga balita ng labis na kasamaan
kawalan ng kahihiyan ni pakundangan
nitong pitumpung nilalang
turing sa sarili at mga kasamahan "kagalang-galang"?
Sila ma'y pinahayo, sinugo
ng pinapanginoon nilang Poncio Pilato
asal nila masahol pa sa asong-gubat
kaayusan at kapayapaan tinapakan
at niyurakan ng kanilang kapalaluan;
sa bawat halalan pangako paglilingkuran
nasasakupan agad namang tinatalikuran
palipat-lipat ng kakampihan kung saan makikinabang
sa sama-samang pagsamsam sa kaban ng bayan;
kunwari'y mabuti ang kalooban
kaban-kabang bigas pinamimigay
milyung-milyong kapalit naman ang dinudugas;
kunwari'y malasakit para sa may-sakit
pakilala sa lahat ay kuya na tila kapamilya
pati turo ng Diyos sinasalaula
manang mana sa kanyang ama.
Sa pagsusugo ni Hesus sa pitumpung alagad Niya
binigay din Kanyang babala
Araw ng Paghuhukom malapit na;
kaya sana itong pitumpung kongresista
pati na kanilang mga kasama
mabatid ang usapin ay hindi lang prangkisa
kungdi kanilang pagmamalabis;
huwag ninyong punuin ang salop
dahil ang Diyos Siyang kakalos
at baka sapitin ninyo ay kalunus-lunos.
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday, Week XI, Year II in Ordinary Time, 15 June 2020
1 Kings 21:1-16 ><)))*> ><)))*> <*(((>< <*(((>< Matthew 5:38-42
So many times in life, O God our Father, we hear so many stories of injustice, of how our neighbors are treated so badly that we feel so disgusted at how it could happen at all.
Like all these stories of people stranded in Metro Manila, of the lowly income earners who have to walk for hours just to get to work because there are not enough public transport system allowed to operate.
Of those made to suffer the strict quarantine rules when police officials and politicians were allowed to get off the hook or, the arrest and incarceration of a poor, elderly jeepney driver who had joined a protest rally while the former First Lady who was convicted of corruption charges two years ago was spared of any jail term because of her age.
So much inequalities happening shamelessly, with much impunity by those in power, O Lord!
Exactly like the evil Queen Jezebel who instructed her people to find two scoundrels to testify against Naboth so she could take his vineyard so desired by her husband King Ahab.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation, “Naboth has cursed God and king.” And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death. When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Go on, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite which he refused to sell you, because Naboth is nbot alive, but dead.” On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
1 Kings 21:13-16
Such stories are so revulsive, O God, not only of their nature but more because partly to be blamed is us — when we have refused to do anything good in fighting evil. Indeed, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Yes, O God, we are ashamed because we have unconsciously sided with the scoundrels when we chose to “see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing” of their lies, their harsh words and vulgarities, and their systematic killing sprees to solve the problems of the society.
We have misread the words of your Son Jesus Christ by becoming passive in the face of evil.
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.”
Matthew 5:38-39, 41
Give us the wisdom and courage to turn our other cheek, to go the extra mile in asserting to evil doers that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ who must treat one another with respect and equal dignity as a person created in your image and likeness, God our Father.
Inspire us, O God, especially our leaders in the Church who have gone so timid and silent except for a very few on how we can be more prophetic in this time of crisis under an unfriendly government. Amen.
Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-03 ng Hunyo 2020
dibdib ko'y nagsisikip
sa sobrang hirap at pasakit
sinapit marami nating kapatid
dahil sa makitid na pag-iisip
nitong mga namumuno sa atin;
Niluwagan ang quarantine
mga mall at tanggapan pinabuksan
upang ekonomiya ay buhayin,
pananalapi ay paikutin.
Bukod tanging pinahalagahan
kayamanang napawalan sa lockdown
kanilang tingin nasa salaping kikitain
sadyang tinalikuran pampublikong sasakyan,
hirap ng mga mamamayan, wala silang pakialam.
Ni hindi sila naantig sa mga tanawin
at nang makarating na sa kanilang pandinig
napakaraming daing at hinaing
sa halip na unawain,
mga sisi at kasalanan sa kanila pa ibinaling!
Ano nga bang katauhan mayroon
mga namumuno na puro mga damuho?
Mga manhid at hindi na naaantig
sa pintig ng pulso ng bayan?
Hindi man nila naranasan
at marahil kailanma'y di pagdaraanan
mga hirap na tinitiis ng karamihang mamamayan
wala ba silang kamalayan ng malaking
kaibhan ng hirap at kaginhawahan?
O marahil naisangla na kanilang mga kaluluwa?
Noong Linggo ng hapon,
dalawang kabataang dalaga nagsimba
kaya ako'y nagalak nang makita silang kasama;
pagkaraan ng Ama Namin, nahilo at nagdilim
paningin ng isa hanggang himatayin.
Nang aking tanungin baka siya ay gutom
o mayroong iniindang karamdaman,
aking nalaman dalawang kilometro
kanilang nilakad sa kainitan
makapagdiwang lamang sila muli sa Simbahan
na hanggang ngayon ayaw pabuksan
sa kabila ng kahalagahan ng espiritwal na pangangailangan.
Kaya nga napakalaking kahangalan
itong ating nasasaksihan sa gitna ng ating kahirapan
mga pinuno at upisyal kay raming pinag-aralan,
makapangyarihan at karamihan ay nakaririwasa
ngunit katauha'y nakalublob sa pusali ng kapalaluan;
mga batas dapat nilang ipatupad, kanilang niyurakan
walang iningatan kungdi kanilang pangalan;
mga tindahan at tanggapan pinabuksan,
wala namang mga pampublikong sasakyan,
malamang sila'y nagkahawahan sa katangahan
o mayroong ibang pinangingilagan at kinatatakutan
maliban sa mabangis na virus mula sa Wuhan?
Sana'y dumating ang panahon
muling maalala ng mga damuhong namumuno ngayon
mayroong Diyos sa atin ay hahatol
dahil siya lamang ang Panginoon at Hukom.
Hindi na ako nagtataka
ekonomiya kanilang pinahahalagahan
kapwa tao'y kinalilimutan, tinatalikuran
mga bahay-dalanginan ayaw nilang mabuksan
dahil walang pitak sa kanilang kalooban
Diyos na makapangyarihan
kaya naman mukha Niya ay hindi nila mabanaagan
lalo na sa mga kapwa na aba at nahihirapan.
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, 24 May 2020
Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11 ><)))*> Ephesians 4:1-13 ><)))*> Matthew 28:16-20
We are now at the penultimate Sunday of the Easter Season with the Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. Next Sunday we close the season with Pentecost and begin the Ordinary Time following Monday.
But, with our situation expected to last until 2021 when we shall have a vaccine against COVID-19, it still feels like Lent for many of us who now feel the economic and psychological impact of this pandemic.
More than ever before, we are challenged today to give testimony to Christ’s Resurrection so we can grasp the meaning and beauty of our celebration today.
The Ascension of Jesus is not about his movement or change of residence from earth into heaven or some remote part of the deep space to start his “working from home”: the Ascension of Jesus is the “leveling up” of the relationship of Christ with his disciples who include us all today.
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Giving testimony to the Risen Christ
Notice how our gospel today does not speak much about Jesus Christ’s ascension or his being taken up to heaven unlike with Luke both in his gospel account and Book of Acts of the Apostles.
With Matthew, it is very clear that with Jesus Christ’s departure comes the mission to give testimony to him who is risen from the dead. Every disciple’s testimony is essentially his/her mission to proclaim to the world that Jesus is alive, that he is Life itself.
Like during his Ascension on a hill outside Jerusalem, Jesus is calling us all today to gather again around him, to seek those who are lost and forgotten in order to bring them all together in Christ especially at this time when people suffer more from the neglect and double-standards of this government than from COVID-19 itself.
Where is God?
We are about to end two great seasons in our liturgical calendar but it seems that we are stuck in the Holy Week. We wonder what have happened to us in this pandemic when every scene we see, every situation we are into are unbelievable, something we see only in movies. And this one’s for real!
For those of us who have not lived through wars like our parents, the atrocities of Martial Law like others, or great catastrophes like the Baguio earthquake of 1990 and the recent “Yolanda” in Samar and Leyte, when the only sufferings we can “brag” are “Ondoy” and EDSA traffic, we now live life in the most uncertain way. In between the temporary escapes and respites offered by Netflix and social media platforms, we go through a lot of self-doubts, sometimes with fits of depression or sadness and loneliness especially when the day ends and darkness begins to envelop us.
For the first time, many of us have truly experienced of not having that much in life, whether they are family and friends, or money and things.
This is the call of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord: that we gather ourselves anew, our families and friends, our memories, most of all, our faith and hope in God whom we have always taken for granted all these years.
This is the great challenge of our time as Christians: how can we be like the Apostles and other followers of Jesus along with his Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary be filled with joy at his departure, bearing all the pains and sufferings of persecution in this time of the corona virus?
Can we gather ourselves anew – not only our family and friends but our very selves to proclaim in our lives, in our presence, in our social media posts, in everything that Jesus Christ is risen, that he is with us always?
Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might….
Opening our hearts
I have always loved that part of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, imploring God that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened, that we may be opened to the truths and realities of Jesus Christ truly alive in our midst.
Giving testimony that Jesus Christ is risen, that he is alive, that he is Life itself needs an open heart.
Our minds will never be enough to capture, to understand and process everything about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ because it is something beyond history, beyond logic. We are sure it had truly happened, leaving imprints in the hearts and persons of all of Christ’s followers, from his first witnesses like the apostles down to us in our own time. What we need are listening hearts, seeing hearts… hearts that are open to the realities of God dwelling in us.
You must have followed the news last week about Mang Dodong of Caloocan City who was detained for more than ten days in Navotas where he was caught buying fish without a quarantine pass.
We were all saddened and affected by the news because it was at that same time when the President had pardoned and retained in position a police general who had violated quarantine rules he had vowed to implement. In fact, so severely in many instances including with Mang Dodong!
Good news is how so many people helped him pay his bail to be set free. That’s the risen Jesus working in our own time!
The path of love towards Easter and Ascension
What really makes this quarantine period too difficult and painful is not COVID-19 itself but the incompetence and injustice of this government personified by officials who are mostly arrogant, inconsistent, liars, and closed from the realities of life. They are so blinded by material things that they see businesses like malls as more essential than houses of worship that remain closed up to this day (unfortunately, even our bishops are so silent about it except for a few of them).
Sometimes, I feel we are not doing enough as witnesses and disciples of Christ, that we must be bolder and more adamant in insisting what is right, what is just with various social media platforms offering us venues for expressing our views.
But, as I prayed more about the pandemic in the light of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, the more I see him present in his seeming absence by being silent amidst all these threats of the pandemic worsened by the government’s irresponsibilities, insensitivities, and injustice.
To give testimony to the Risen Lord, to make disciples of all nations, and to teach everyone all he had commanded us to observe need not use force. Like Jesus and the Father, we need to remain gentle and patient despite the violence prevailing around us.
See how God patiently waited for the fullness of time before sending us his Son; and when Jesus was born, notice also the many trials he went through from Bethlehem to Egypt and back to Nazareth, reaching its highest point in his Passion and Death on the Cross on Good Friday.
Then came Easter Sunday and now, his Ascension.
Everything happened in silence, so gently and gradually, mostly with only a few people present.
That has always been the way of God from the Old Testament to the New Testament and right into our own time: no use of external powers and violent forces, only freedom to offer and elicit love that conquers all.
Today we are also celebrating the 54th World Communication Sunday, the only feast mandated by Vatican II for us to realize the importance of modern means of communications in proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
For this year, Pope Francis has chosen the topic of the human story, of how our individual story is woven into our collective stories as a family, nation, and church. And the good news is, according to the Pope, all these stories of ours are made part of God’s story of love, the greatest story of all, the story that renews us.
Yes, we all have dark stories in this time of pandemic. Or even in childhood or the past. But, if we look into our hearts in prayer and in faith, we find Jesus there, loving us, keeping us, guiding us. Most of all, authenticating his resurrection in us, in our own life!
There are more beautiful stories we can tell during this pandemic that enable others to see the Risen Lord among us. Let us entrust ourselves to Jesus, to keep our hearts open as he authenticates our many experiences of witnessing to his Resurrection like he did to all others ahead of us.
Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-19 ng Mayo 2020
Kay hirap maunawaan
at hindi ko mailarawan
matay ko mang isipin
ngayong panahon ng COVID-19
pinaiiral nati'y karahasan
sa halip na kahinahunan
Minsa'y aking napakinggan
kaya aking tinunghayan
balita sa telebisyon nang
si Mang Dodong ay nakulong
mahigit sampung araw sa Navotas
nang siya ay dakpin dahil
walang papeles ng quarantine.
Asawa niyang si Aling Patring
di malaman gagawin
dahil ayon sa balita,
walang gaanong napag-aralan
mabuti't tinulungan ng mayroong
Kayo na mga mayroong pinag-aralan
napakaraming kaalaman at nalalaman
tingnan itong larawan kung pagdududahan
kakayahan at katauhan ni Mang Dodong
na kailangan siyang pahirapan
sa tanging pagkukulang sa panahon ng lockdown
hindi nakakuha sa tirahan sa Kalookan
ng quarantine pass upang makahango ng isda sa Navotas.
Sino ang hindi mababagbag
at mababagabag sa mga kuwento
ng karahasan at karanasang ganito
sa panahon ng pandemya
na sa halip tayo ay magtulungan at magdamayan
nagpapahirapan at nagmamatigasan
sa mga bagay na mapapalampas naman.
Hindi ba puwedeng pagbigyan na lamang
kung hindi naman gaanong kabigatan, kalala ang kasalanan?
Nasaan ang katarungan kapag mga makapangyarihan
pinalalampas, kinakatuwiran taglay na husay at galing
samantalang nagkamali rin naman at masahol pa sa karamihan?!
Hindi sasapat kailanman ating isipan
dapat mabuksan din ating puso at kalooban
dahil ang katotohanan hindi lamang
karunungang nababatid, naikakatuwiran
kungdi isang kapatid nararanasan
nararamdaman bawat pintig ng kalooban,
hangad makatawid sa gutom, mabuhay lamang.
Maraming pagkakataon sa iba't-ibang panahon
kapag nabubuksan isipan sa maraming kaalaman
mga kasangkapan pinahahalagahan, kapwa tao nalilimutan
tulad sa mga digmaan at labanan ng kanya-kanyang karapatan
hindi baleng tapakan at yurakan katauhan ng iba
pati sanggol sa sinapupunan
huwag lamang mahadlangan sariling kagustuhan.
O Diyos naming makapangyarihan,
Iyo sanang buksan aming puso at kalooban
upang sa amin Ika'y makapanahan;
Iyong mukha na puno ng awa at kabutihan
sa amin ay mabanaagan, huwag mong hayaan
paghariin kapos naming isipan at baka kami magkaubusan.
Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 ><)))*> + <*(((>< John 8:1-11
Our loving Father, today I pray in a very special way for all people who have been maligned, especially for those whose reputation have been destroyed in public by false accusations, those put to shame in our family and community by harsh words.
Like those two women in our readings today, Susana in the Book of Daniel and the woman caught in adultery in John’s gospel, these people unjustly accused in public or “in their face” are surely suffering so much in the loneliness of their homes, of their room in this period of lockdown.
Most especially, Lord, I pray for those languishing in jail especially those for crimes they did not commit.
But Susan cried aloud: “O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be; you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me.” The Lord heard her prayer.
Comfort, O God, those crying for justice.
Give them patience and perseverance, trust and confidence in Jesus Christ your Son who have come “to proclaim liberty to captives” (Lk.4:18b).
Grant them a healing of memories.
Most especially, I pray O God, that Jesus may touch them today with the same gentleness and love, mercy and forgiveness without any condemnation except to go and “sin no more” (Jn.8:11). Amen.