Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
The Seven Last Words, 05 April 2023
After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in win on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.
This is one of the remarkable scenes in the fourth gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ feeling thirsty, the second time as recorded by John. The first was in the town of Sychar in Samaria when Jesus sat by Jacob’s well at noon and asked a Samaritan woman who came to draw water, “Give me a drink” (Jn. 4:7). A beautiful conversation followed between Jesus who was thirsty and the Samaritan woman, thirsting for God, for love and mercy.
Unlike being hungry for food which we can always bear because its feeling is localized in the stomach that we can easily forego by catching some sleep, thirst is different. When we are thirsty, we feel our whole body sapped dry even to our fingertips that we feel so weak, even affecting our mental faculties. That is why, thirst means more than physical but something deeper that concerns our very soul and being.
Here we find Jesus truly human, thirsting not just for water like us but most of all, for love and attention.
See also that for John, water is one of the most significant signs of Jesus Christ. His first “sign” as John would call his miracles was at the wedding feast at Cana when Jesus turned water into wine. After that wedding, Nicodemus came to Jesus at night where he first mentioned the need to be born in water and spirit (Jn. 3:5). It was after that night when Jesus went to Sychar and asked water from the Samaritan woman with whome he identified himself as “the living water (Jn. 4:10)”.
Here again is Jesus thirsty, but not just asking for water.
How foolish are we in responding to him like the Roman soldiers who gave him an ordinary wine. Worst, there are times we give him tepid, or perhaps turbid water that tastes so awful like that ordinary wine offered by the Romans at Golgotha.
Here is our living water, Jesus Christ who promised that “whoever drinks the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn. 4:14) thirsting for us, for our love and attention because he alone can quench our thirsts in life.
Jesus is the wife and mother who thirsts for the love and affection of her unfaithful husband and wayward son or daughter who think only of themselves.
Jesus is the husband and father who thirsts for simple calls and expressions of concern from his family those back home while toiling abroad or in the high seas as an OFW or thirsting for understanding and care from those around him when he forgets so many things due to Alzheimer’s or paralyzed by a stroke or handicap.
Jesus is the young man or woman who thirsts for time and presence of a sibling or parents who could not find meaning and directions in life despite the money, clothes and gadgets the world offers.
Jesus is the person nearest to you thirsting for warmth and company, or simply a smile or a friendly gaze that assures him or her that “you are welcomed”.
Let us not be like those Roman soldiers or that Samaritan woman looking for material water to give Jesus present in every person we meet. Many times, the best water is found inside our hearts, deep in our souls where Jesus dwells with his abounding love and mercy, kindness and forgiveness. Let us thirst more for Jesus for he alone can quench our thirsts!
Let us pray:
Dearest Lord Jesus,
when I quench my thirst
with things the world offers
that often leave me
let me have more of YOU
to share more of YOU
our living water
who quenches our
for life's meaning
40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Third Week of Lent, 17 March 2023
Hosea 14:2-10 >>> + <<< Mark 12:28-34
More than any other prophet, O Lord,
Hosea is the one who tells us most
of your immense love for us all;
his writing moves like a beautiful
love story so unbelievable
yet exists, so true.
After so many harsh words
against us your people for our
infidelity like prostitutes,
here at the last part of his book,
Hosea tells us to never lose hope
because you love us so much.
Moreover, dear God our Father,
what I like most in Hosea's writings
is how you yourself reveals to us
how we must approach you
like a teacher coaching us
for the best answers so we may pass
your final exam.
Thus says the Lord: Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God, say to him, “Forgive us all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls
Hosea 14:2, 3
Please Lord, help us experience
your promises of "healing our defections,
loving us freely, becoming like dew
so we shall blossom like the lily,
our splendor be like the olive tree
and fragrance like the Lebanon cedar,
allowing us to dwell in your shade again
and raise grain, blossom like the vine,
and our fame be like the wine of Lebanon"
(cf. Hosea 14: 5-8).
Cast away our doubts of your love
and mercy for us, Father for as your Son
Jesus Christ had revealed, all the commandments
is summed in LOVE, your great love for us
as the very reason why we must love you
not because you need our love but
so that we can have more of your love
when we love.
May we love,
40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday in the Second Week of Lent, 06 March 2023
Daniel 9:4-10 >< +++ >< +++ >< Luke 6:36-38
O God, on this first
working day in the second week
of Lent, I imitate Daniel's prayer
and confession of sins in the first
“We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. We have not obeyed your servants… we are shamefaced even to this day.”
Daniel 9:5-6, 7
It has been a long time,
dear Father, when I have been
bold and true enough to admit,
to confess before you that indeed,
I have SINNED, been WICKED...
I have REBELLED and DEPARTED
from your commandments...
I have NOT OBEYED...
and now SHAMEFACED.
for so long, I have followed
the trend of this world,
of this life,
of "diluting" my sinfulness and
culpability, of always looking for
somebody else or something to blame
for my sins and evil deed, of moving
the lines of morality so as to feel
less guilty, less sinful, not really bad
when in fact, it is when we are most evil,
when I am so far from you
God, help me recover
this being shamefaced;
help us all for we have no more
shame at all that we cover up
our sins and evil; worst, O Lord,
our lack of shame for our sins
prevent us to a large degree
in being merciful like you
and tragically pushes us to
being so judgmental of others
This Lent, O God,
let us recover our sense
of shame; let us be shamefaced
in Jesus Christ your Son.
40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Ash Wednesday, 22 February 2023
Joel 2:12-18 ><))))*> 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 ><))))*> Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Our opening antiphon
of today's celebration of
Ash Wednesday gives hint
of the joyful tone of our Lenten journey:
"You are merciful to all, O Lord,
and despise nothing that you have made.
You overlook people's sins,
to bring them to repentance,
and you spare them,
for you are the Lord our God."
Amid the shades of violet to signify our confession of sin and movement of repentance is also a profession of our faith in your love, kindness and mercy, O God our Father! The joy of Lent is YOU, O God our loving Father who lavishes us with mercy in Christ Jesus.
Thank you for calling us to enter into this holy season of Lent; let us not forget that YOU are the center and focus of this journey, never us despite the good works we all have to do like praying, fasting and alms-giving; YOU are the one whom we must please, not people so they may return to you; YOU are not appeased by what we offer and do; in fact, we are able to come to you because you are "gracious and merciful" - we have come to know you by your concrete actions of love and mercy, kindness and tenderness.
Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.
Rend our closed hearts, O Lord;
tear apart the hard coverings of
bitterness and rejection,
doubts and mistrust
so we may open ourselves
to your coming in Christ Jesus;
strengthen our hearts so we may
come back to you in genuine conversion,
to be reconciled to you, O God,
for "now is a very acceptable time,
the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 5:20,
Grant us the right attitude of heart,
take away our vanities and hypocrisies
that neither deceive you nor fool people;
let us get inside ourselves to meet you
right inside us where you dwell,
waiting for us
to console us,
to refresh us,
to comfort us.
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C, 30 October 2022
Wisdom 11:22-12:2 ><000'> 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2 ><000'> Luke 19:1-10
You must have heard so many times that rap music called Moon used as background music in almost every video posted on social media. The lyrics and its beat are simply amusing, easy to follow so fitted on everything including this Sunday’s gospel!
Sa'n ka punta? To the moon
Road trip, vroom, vroom
Skrr, skrr, zoom, zoom
So fake, no room, mga mata namumula
Asan ang trees, nadala mo ba?
Bawal ang tus at peke sa byahe
Kung isa ka d'yan, ika'y bumaba...
Written and performed by a certain Nik Makino, Moon speaks of a young man’s ambition of getting rich through rap music; he is also aware of the fact that his dream is so “high like the sky” with everyone’s eyes prying on him as he strives so hard in working while still young.
I gotta mission, pumunta sa top
Buhay mahirap, gawing masarap
Gawa ng milyon, gamit ang rap
Iwanan kasama na puro panggap
'Di mo 'ko magets, pangarap ay highs
Singtaas ng jets, tingala sa sky...
I have been asking some young people about the rap and mostly are stunned why I listen and so interested with it especially when I rap it too, saying how they find it so baduy (crass), meaningless or “walang kuwenta” with some calling it as ugly or “pangit”.
And that is how I realized this rap music Moon is so related with this Sunday’s gospel about Zacchaeus the tax collector who climbed a tree to see Jesus while passing by the city of Jericho.
At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
Again, only Luke has this story about Zacchaeus met by Jesus in Jericho, his final stop before entering the city of Jerusalem for his Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
Keep in mind that Luke’s narration of the Lord’s journey to Jerusalem is more of an inner journey into ourselves than found in maps. What happened in Jericho shows the importance of the events that would take place at Jerusalem when Jesus offered himself for our salvation and how we can participate in his pasch through the example of Zacchaeus who reformed his life.
Unlike the parable last Sunday, here we have a real tax collector named Zacchaeus described by Luke as a “wealthy man”. Notice how Luke described Zacchaeus was “short in stature” which is not only literal but most of all figurative in meaning. Like the publican in last week’s parable by Jesus, tax collectors were despised by Jews at that time who were seen along the ranks of prostitutes as the worst of all sinners because they were not only thieves but also traitors who collaborated with their Roman colonizers.
Calling Zacchaeus as “short in stature” was really something else, that he was nothing at all. That is why he had to exert so much to see Jesus by climbing a sycamore tree. And there lies the beauty of the story, of how God had come in Jesus to meet us and save us.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
This is the most startling move by Jesus in this event at Jericho that is repeated in many instances in Luke’s gospel account to show God’s loving mercy to all sinners who humbly make the efforts to come to him, to see him, and experience his healing and forgiveness.
Luke had repeatedly shown us this unexpected and even shocking gesture of Jesus to everyone – then and now – at how he would favor sinners and bad people like that sinful woman who poured oil on his feet while dining at the home of a Pharisee (Lk. 7:36-50) and Dimas, the “good thief” on the cross to whom he promised paradise (Lk.23:39-43).
Jesus always comes to meet us but are we willing to meet him too like Zacchaeus? How far are we willing to truly embrace and welcome Jesus by letting go of ourselves, of our sins and other possessions?
If we could just have that sense of sinfulness again, we would realize that in this world, we are all small in stature before God. All these titles and wealth that seem to give prestige to us are all temporary and nothing. What God looks in us is our admission of our being small in stature before him, of being powerless like the persistent widow the other Sunday and the publican last week begging his mercy for we are all sinful.
Imagine that beautiful image of Jesus passing through Jericho, coming to our daily lives, making a stop over right in our hearts to stay and dwell. Most of all, see at how Jesus looks up to find us!
I love that gesture of Jesus looking up to us so much. Normally, we are the ones who look up to God up in the sky, heavenwards when asking for his mercy and favors. But there are many times that it is Jesus our Lord and God who looks up to us mere mortals who are so small in stature before him! What happened at Jericho under that sycamore tree was a prefiguration of what would take place at the Last Supper when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, of how he bowed down before them and looked up while wiping their feet dry. So wonderful! And that happens every day when we go back to him, when we do everything to get out of our way just to go to Mass, most especially to Confessions.
In the first reading, we are reminded how we are nothing before God but he chose to preserve us, to save us because he loves us so much:
“Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent. But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls.
Wisdom 11:22-23, 25
There is no doubt about the love of God for us, of his mercy and forgiveness expressed to us in his Son Jesus Christ who comes to us everyday in various events in our lives, in the people we meet and most especially in our individual and communal prayers like the Mass and Sacraments.
Jesus is always passing by and would surely come again as St. Paul assured us in the second reading.
The grace of this final Sunday of October as we go to the last stretch of the Church calendar this coming November is that God gives us freely the grace daily to make the efforts in meeting his Son Jesus. Every day.
Our desire to rise above our present state and status is an expression of that grace within us to become better although many times due to other factors, we misconstrue this in aspiring for material things like wealth and money as the rap Moon tells us. But on a deeper reflection as we continue in our journey in this life, we realize sooner or later that more than the things we can physically have, there are always more precious than these.
Like going to the moon, of being high up there in the sky, being one with God, enjoying his peace and salvation.
Like Zacchaeus and, Nik Makino, let us continue our roadtrip to the Moon in Jesus Christ by being true to ourselves – vroom, vroom, skrr, skrr, zoom, zoom – that we are beloved sinners and children of God.
Tara bumyahe pa-ulap
Sakto 'yung auto ko full tank
Pero kahit maubusan, paangat tayo tutulak
Bawal na muna ang pabigat
Lalo sa byahe na palipad
Kailangan kong makatiyak
Bago magka-edad, 'di na 'ko taghirap
Alam kong marami ang nakamasid
Dama ko marami ang naka-abang
Kung ano 'yung mga kaya kong gawin
Malamang ay 'di nila nagagawa
Kaya siguro lagi nakatingin
Kasi 'yon na lamang magagawa
Inaabangan ako na mawala
Kaso lang ang malala nadapa kakatingala.
Stay safe everyone and dry during these storms. Have a blessed week! Amen.
*Photo credits: Moon over the city by Mr. Raffy Tima of GMA-7 News (2022); second and third by the author at Jericho, Israel (2019); fourth and fifth also by author in Tanay and Pililla in Rizal (2021).
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle-C, 11 September 2022
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14 ><}}}}*> 1 Timothy 1:12-17 ><}}}}*> Luke 15:1-10
Last Wednesday morning during breakfast, we heard on television news the interview of the undersecretary of agriculture blaming our farmers for the recent oversupply of garlic in Batanes and cabbage in Benguet, saying “they plant crops but they don’t think about the market for their harvests.”
We have been so used to such comments by many heartless government officials ever since; and, they also happen everywhere like in our schools where teachers blame students, at homes with parents blaming children and siblings blaming one another and of course, not to be left out is our church where priests always blame people for whatever problems and mishaps that happen in the parish.
No wonder, we feel more comfortable with God depicted in the Old Testament like in our first reading today when God was so angry and instructed to immediately get down from the mountain to punish the people who have created a golden calf to worship.
We find it so difficult to fully and truly accept despite Christ’s words and assurances that God our Father finds joy in forgiving as depicted today in our gospel. So often, we are like the Pharisees and scribes who could not understand why we have to share in the joy of God when a sinner repents.
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them. So to them he addressed this parable.
Jesus reminded us these past two Sundays of the demands of discipleship, of the need for us to conform to his very person and not just with morality and even religiosity. Discipleship is being like Jesus, always having him as our top priority in life.
This progression of Christ’s teaching on discipleship reaches its peak as we move into the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel account considered as the “heart” of the Gospel in presenting to us three parables showing God full of mercy and forgiveness for sinners. Actually, it does not merely present God as forgiving but in fact as the One who finds joy in forgiving, who is inviting us to share in his joy of forgiving repentant sinners.
There are three parables in Luke chapter 15: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son known as prodigal son. We have opted to consider the shorter form of the gospel which skips the third parable which we have already reflected in the recent Season of Lent.
The first two parables deal with things that are lost, a lamb and a coin; both deal with only one person like “one of you” and “a woman”. On surface, the two parables seem very ordinary but Jesus – and Luke – have a very captivating manner of narrating them, similarly ending each parable with great sense of rejoicing after finding the lost sheep and lost coin.
Simply put, Jesus is appealing to our common experience of how one lost item would surely claim our attention, no matter how small or even insignificant it may be compared with the rest of what we have.
How do you feel when after losing something you were so worried and disturbed searching for it then someone tells you, “para yun lang?”
We feel so mad, like being rubbed with salt on our wounds because such comment “para yun lang?” betrays their lack of concern and love for us, of not knowing at all or at least recognizing how much that missing thing means to us!
How much more with persons like family and friends who have gone wayward in life like the prodigal son and suddenly coming back to us, saying sorry, trying to pick up the broken pieces of our lives to be whole again as friends and family? Would we not also rejoice when they come home, when we finally find them again?
In narrating the two parables in such manner so common with us, Jesus now affirms the incomparable value of every repentant sinner. Moreover, Jesus is showing us in these parables the more deeper ties we have with each other that we must rejoice when a sinner is converted. Hence, the demand too on the part of the sinner, of everyone, to recognize our sinfulness first.
Notice how Luke began this new chapter by telling us how “Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So to them he addressed this parable.”
Look at the attitudes of the Pharisees and scribes that are not just snobbish but recriminating against the tax collectors and sinners; for them, those kind of people were hopeless, improbable to change that no one should be socializing with them like Jesus.
But, what really got to their nerves that they were complaining why Jesus was sharing meals with them was the fact that tax collectors and sinners were not turning to the Law but to Jesus himself, following him, and even preferring him more than everything! They felt left out when in fact they were the first to separate themselves from everyone.
That’s what they could not accept, that they were no longer relevant.
And the main stumbling block to that was their lost their sense of sinfulness as they have believed so much with themselves as if they were like God, so pure and so clean. Due to their lost sense of sinfulness, they have been totally detached from God and from others as well because they were playing gods, setting them apart from everyone even from God himself because they believed they were sinless. In that sense, they felt God had nothing to do with them because they were sufficient in themselves.
There is nothing God cannot forgive.
This is the grace of this 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Whenever we admit and confess our sins to him,
it is God who is first of all filled with so much joy
for he has long been searching
and waiting for us to return to him.
This is the problem we have in this modern time, when we have all kinds of excuses and alibis, reasons and arguments in doing just everything, losing our sense of sin that unconsciously, we feel like God, in fact always playing God when we presume to know everything that we would neither rejoice when people change for the better nor sympathize with those suffering and in misery. Like the Pharisees and scribes and those heartless people in power and authority in government and schools, at home and in the church, they have no time to even see and review why and what have caused people to sin.
In the first reading, Moses is teaching us the attitude of a true disciple, of one who intercedes for the people by confessing the tender mercy and fidelity of God to his promises and to his people; Moses did not bargain with God to relent in punishing the people. Notice his language, his manner of praying to God, appealing to him as “Lord” filled with faith in God’s boundless mercy and forgiveness. We all know how in a twist of humor, it was Moses who was so furious later when he saw the people worshipping the golden calf that he threw on them the two tablets of stone of God’s Ten Commandments.
In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us through Timothy of God’s boundless love expressed in his mercy and forgiveness to us all sinners. We can never experience this unless we first realize and admit and own our sinfulness like St. Paul who may be considered the worst of sinners for having persecuted the early Christians. There are so many other saints who followed after him with so dark and sinful pasts but became great men and women of faith because they first admitted their sins and sinfulness. As the saying goes, there is no saint without a sinful past and there is no sinner who is denied of a saintly future.
There is nothing God cannot forgive. This is the grace of this 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Whenever we admit and confess our sins to him, it is God who is first of all filled with so much joy for he has long been searching and waiting for us to return to him. Amen.
The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Wednesday in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time, 20 July 2022
Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10 ><}}}*> + ><}}}*> + ><}}}*> Matthew 13:1-9
Is it really true, O God?"
These are the words that
came from my heart as I prayed
over your words today through
the prophet Jeremiah:
The word of the Lord came to me thus: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you… See, I place my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, to root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5, 9-10
It is not that I do not believe you,
dear Father, but your words are so
comforting, so encouraging;
how wonderful indeed that I am no
accident, that I have a reason being here
because you have always have a plan
for me, for each one of us.
Thank you for believing in me, Lord;
thank you for sending me to a mission;
make me like a fertile ground, a rich soil
so that your seeds sown in me may grow
and mature and produce fruit;
in the name of Jesus your Son,
open my ears and my heart to always
listen to your instructions, give me
the courage most especially to be your
prophet like Jeremiah, "comforting the
afflicted and afflicting the comfortable"
by giving witness to your truth and
justice, mercy and charity at all times.
The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, 07 July 2022
Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9 ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*> Matthew 10:7-15
Your words today, O God,
are so touching
because you are so human,
so fatherly, to tender, so loving:
Thus says the Lord: When Israel was a child, I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me, sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols.
So true, O God:
you have always loved us
despite our unworthiness,
freeing us from sins and other
darkness in life yet,
we turned away from you;
and worst, the more you call us,
the more we turn away from you!
And despite that,
you kept on calling us,
even running after us so we
may return to you through your Son
Jesus Christ but, sadly, the more
we run away from you.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.
This part I love so much, God;
so touching, so picturesque
of you, so human, so fatherly
like a daddy teaching us
how to walk,
tenderly drawing us with
"human cords, with bands of love",
not with with ropes and sticks
used for animals;
most of all, your gentlest
and tenderest image of raising us
to your cheeks like an infant,
stooping to feed us that all show
your intimacy and deep love
we have brushed aside, even spurned.
And that is how ungrateful we are!!!
Yet, you are still here,
loving us, forgiving us
in Jesus Christ who suffered and died
for our sins.
My heart is overwhelmed; my pity stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.
Lord Jesus Christ,
thank you for letting us call
your Father "Abba!",
thank you for letting us experience
his touch that heals and cleanses,
his love that forgives and casts out
demons from us; let us be
reminders today that the
Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious, 21 June 2022
2 Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-35, 36 ><]]]'> + <'[[[>< Matthew 7:6, 12-14
God our loving Father,
thank you in giving us many
examples of people who have
chosen to take the narrow road
like our very young saint today,
Aloysius Gonzaga; despite his
being born into a wealthy family,
he insisted on becoming a Jesuit
to lead a simple life; most of all,
despite his youth and very poor
health, he chose to care for the
the sick during a plague in Rome
that led to his death in 1591 at a
young age of 23.
In this age of affluence when everything
is invented to make life so comfortable,
more and more are being lured to take
the wide road of greed and self-
centeredness, lies and deceits,
even violence that have destroyed
so many beautiful lives.
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”
Teach us to focus only on Christ,
to take his narrow and
difficult road of charity and love,
justice and mercy, truth and freedom,
sacrifice and self-giving; let us be
persevering in having discipline in
choosing the narrow road because
it is the only one that leads to life
and fulfillment, and redemption as
experienced by Hezekiah, the king
of Judah when you saved them from
the Assyrians. Amen.
The Lord Is My Chef Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday, Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist, 25 April 2022
1 Peter 5:5-14 ><]]]]'> + <'[[[[>< Mark 16:15-20
What a wonderful grace,
O God our Father on this
Easter Season that we celebrate
the feast of St. Mark, the first
evangelist who reminds us all
of writing our own gospel
And for us to write our own
gospel account, St. Mark reminds us
beautifully of something so essential
with Easter: speaking the new languages
of love and humility in Jesus Christ
our Risen Lord not only in words
but most especially in deeds.
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages….”
Mark 16:15, 17
While it is truly a gift
to speak different languages,
but what is most wonderful
in proclaiming your gospel
Lord Jesus is to witness to other
people your love and kindness,
your mercy and compassion,
your gentleness and humility
that is always the same in every
language spoken by everyone.