Talinghaga ng ugnayan natin

Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-26 ng Setyembre 2022
Larawan mula sa bloomberg.com ng isang homeless sa New York habang dinaraos noon ang fashion week, 2019.

Sinabi ni Jesus sa mga Pariseo, “May isang mayamang nagdaramit nang mamahalin at saganang-sagana sa pagkain araw-araw. At may isang pulubing nagngangalang Lazaro, tadtad ng sugat, na nakalupasay sa may pintuan ng mayaman upang mamulot kahit mumong nahuhulog mula sa hapag ng mayaman. At doo’y nilalapitan siya ng aso at dinidilaan ang kanyang mga sugat.

Lukas 16:19-21
Alam na alam natin 
ang talinghagang ito
na marahil isasaysay muli 
sa atin ni Kristo
upang magising ating pagkatao, 
makilala sinu-sino
mga tinutukoy 
nitong kuwento
na walang iba kungdi tayo.
Tayo ang mayaman
sagana sa pagpapala di lamang
ng magagarang damit at gamit,
pagkain at inumin
kungdi ng biyaya ng buhay
handog ng Maykapal
na sawimpalad ay ating 
sinasarili, manhid sa kapwa
sarili ang sa tuwina ay tama.
Mayaman tayo 
sa mga pagpapala
ngunit hindi mabanaagan
ni masilayan aliwalas
nitong mukha, ipinagkakait
mga ngiti sa labi, hindi mabati
nakakasalubong upang mahawi
lambong ng kalungkutan,
mapawi pati mga sakbibi.
Ang tunay na mayaman
Diyos ang kayamanan
kanyang nababanaagan 
sa mukha ng bawat kapwa 
na kanyang pinahahalagahan
kesa sa gamit o kasangkapan;
hindi siya kailangang lapitan
ni daingan sapagkat dama niya
hirap at kapighatian ng nahihirapan.
Huwag tayong pakasigurado
na tayo ay mabuting tao
hindi tulad ng mayaman
sa talinghaga ni Kristo
sapagkat si Lazaro
ang taong pinakamalapit
sa iyo, nakalupasay,
nariyan lang sa tabi mo
nilalapitan ng aso maliban sa iyo.
Si Lazaro ang nanay
at ginang ng tahanan
tadtad sa sugat ang katawan
mula sa paglapastangan
ng mga anak at panloloko
ng sariling esposo;
ang mga lola at lolo rin
si Lazaro na namumulot ng mumo
ng pansin at kalinga mula sa mga apo.
Kung minsan si Lazaro
yaong nagtatrabaho sa barko
o malayong dako ng mundo
gaya ni tatay o nanay, ate o kuya
nasaan man sila, tanging pamilya
ang nasa puso nila
 hindi alintana kanilang
pagtitiis at pagpapagal
winawalwal ng kanilang minamahal.
Sino nga ba ako
sa talinghagang ito?
Ang mayaman na manhid
walang pakialam sa kapatid
o si Lazaro nagtitiis ng tahimik
walang imik sa kanyang sinapit
tanging sa Diyos nakakapit
nananalig sa Kanyang pagsagip
upang langit ay masapit!

Panalangin para sa napaka-sungit na panahon

Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-25 ng Setyembre, 2022
Larawan kuha ng may-akda sa Pangasinan, Abril 2022.
Diyos Ama naming
mapagmahal,
kami ay ipag-adya 
sa lahat ng kapahamakan
at mga kapinsalaan sa 
pagdaraan ngayon ng
super-typhoon;
hindi namin mapigilang
maalaala malaking pagbaha
noong petsa Setyembre 26 din
ng taong 2009 nang manalasa ang
bagyong Ondoy; kaya't dalangin
namin ang paghupa nitong
napaka-sungit na panahon
kung tawagi'y super typhoon.
Sa mga sandaling ito
ng malalakas na buhos ng ulan
at walang tigil na paghampas
at pagbugso ng malalakas na
hangin, aming idinadalangin maliliit
naming mga kapatid, lalo't higit mga
naroon sa mga baybaying dagat at 
malapit sa ilog, yaong mga walang 
sariling tirahan, at mga nasa barong-
barong:  sila nawa ay makalikas sa 
mga ligtas na lugar hanggang 
makalipas malalakas na ulan at hangin.

Ipinapanalangin namin mga 
volunteers nasa rescue operations:
ingatan po ninyo sila sa lahat ng
kapahamakan, iligtas at pangalagaan
po Ninyo kanilang mga pamilya at
mahal sa buhay habang sila ay 
abala sa paglilingkod sa mga mamamayang
apektado ng kalamidad; gayon din po
ang mga nasa iba't ibang sangay ng
pamahalaan at mga nasa media na kumakalap
ng mga balita upang magkaroon kami ng 
tumpak na kalagayan ng mga nasalanta.

O Diyos naming makapangyarihan,
hindi man mapipigilan pananalasa ng
kalikasan, buksan at panibaguhin
aming mga kalooban upang kami
ay magdamayan, magtulungan
bilang iyong pinili at hinirang na
sambayanan; gayun din naman,
sana amin nang mapagtanto at
pangatawanan pangangalaga sa
kalikasan na aming pinabayaan
sanhi ng mga pansariling kaluguran.
Hinihiling naming ang lahat ng ito 
sa ngalan ni Hesus na Iyong Anak at
aming Tagapagligtas, 
sa kapangyarihan ng Espiritu Santo,
magpasawalang-hanggan.  
Amen.

O mahal na Birheng Maria
aming Ina, kami ay iyong
ipanalangin at samahan,
liwanagan at tanglawan
paglalakbay sa gitna ng 
kadiliman nitong buhay,
sa malakas na unos
kami ay magtiwala 
tanging kaligtasa'y 
kay Kristo lamang.
Amen. 

Agosto beinte-uno

Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-21 ng Agosto, 2022
Larawan mula sa inquirer.net, 21 Agosto 2021.
Agosto 21, 2022. 
Ganito rin noong Agosto 21, 1983.
May kakaibang pakiramdam.
Mayroong nangyayari.
Mayroong nangyari.
At mayroong mangyayari.
Pero, sayang.
Matatagalan na yata na
mayroon pang muling mangyari
na gayong uri ng kabayanihang
limutin ang sarili para sa bayan;
sayang, bakit natin pinabayaan
rurok ng kasaysayan
upang muling ilugmok sa kadiliman?
Gayon nga yata ating kapalaran,
tulad ng ugoy ng duyan itong kasaysayan;
hindi ko maiwasan maramdamam
ni Simoun sa El Filibusterismo
na hindi ko na nga yata maabutan
pagbubukang-liwayway ng Inang Bayan
kaya sa mga nalalabing panahon
nitong kadiliman, maging munting liwanag
upang aking mabuksan mga mata at
kamalayan ng kabataan sa katotohanan;
higit sa lahat,
huwag nang asahan mga karamihan
tularan si Ninoy
talikuran sariling kapakanan
para sa bayan.
At magbakasakaling mayroong
muling matauhan
sa awa at biyaya
ng Diyos na siyang hantungan
ng lahat ng kasaysayan.

“Sinasabi ko sa inyo ang mga bagay na ito upang makahati kayo sa kagalakan ko at malubos ang inyuong kagalakan. Ito ang aking utos: mag-ibigan kayo gaya ng pag-ibig ko sa inyo. Walang pag-ibig na hihigit pa sa pag-ibig ng isang taong nag-aalay ng kanyang buhay para sa kanyang mga kaibigan.”

Ang Panginoong Jesus noong Huling Hapunan, Juan 15:11-13

Pag-ibig sa paglisan

Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-03 ng Hunyo, 2022
Larawan kuha ng may-akda sa Bolinao, Pangasinan, ika-20 ng Abril 2022.

Habang tayo ay nagbulay-bulay sa pagpapala at biyaya ng bawat paglisan noong kamakalawang araw, noon din naman nag-trending sa social media ang hiwalayan ng mag-asawang Jason Hernandez at Moira dela Torre, dalawang sikat daw na mga mang-aawit na ni hindi ko alam ni kilala.

Sumabay din naman kinagabihan ding iyon ang desisyon ng korte pagkaraan ng anim na linggong hearing na sinubaybayan ng marami sa social media (ako po hindi) ang demandahan ng mas sikat na mga taga-Hollywood at dating mag-asawa na Johnny Depp at Amber Heard. Magandang pagkakataon ang dalawang naturang balitang showbiz upang suriin nating mabuti ating mga ugnayan o relationships at tingnan nasaan na nga ba ang pag-ibig sa isa’t isa.

Gaya ng ating napag-nilayan noong Miyerkules, ang bawat paglisan ay biyaya at pagpapala sa kapwa umaalis at naiiwan kapag ang pagpapasiyang lumisan ay napagnilayan at napagdasalang mabuti.

At higit na lumalalim ang ugnayan ng isa’t-isa at pag-ibig sa bawat paglisan kapag ito ay humahantong sa wakas ng buhay at kamatayan.

Kaya ang aking tanong na bunsod ng awit ni Bb. Cookie Chua noong dekada 90, sa bawat paglisan, sino nga ba ang may higit na pag-ibig, ang umaalis o naiiwan?

Larawan kuha ni Bb. Jing Rey Henderson sa Taroytoy, Aklan noong ika-30 ng Abril, 2022.

Palagi ko sinasabi sa bawat kinakasal ko na hindi paligsahan ang pag-ibig. Sino mang mayroong higit na pag-ibig, siyang dapat magmahal nang magmahal, umunawa at magpatawad, unang kumibo at bumati sakaling sila ay may di-pagkakasundo o tampuhan.

Hindi rin paligsahan sa pag-ibig ang aking nais mabatid sa aking naturang tanong kungdi ito’y sumagitsit sa aking puso at isip noong ilibing ng Martes kapatid ng yumao kong kaibigan.

Unang pumanaw noong Enero si Ate Priscilla sa sakit na kanser. Simple at tahimik na nakaibigan ko siya sa dati kong parokya na pinaglingkuran. Apat silang magkakapatid na mga dalaga na iniukol ang mga sarili sa mga pamangkin at simbahan. Nitong pagpasok ng 2022, nagkasakit si Ate Illa at ako pa ang nagkumbinsi sa kanyang pumasok na sa pagamutan kasi, ayaw niyang mahirapan sa pag-aalaga sa kanya at sa gastusin ang mga kapatid.

Kuha namin noong Enero 01, 2022 nang dumalaw sa akin si Ate Illa at mga kapatid. Hindi kasama si Ditseng Baby.

Ngunit huli na pala ang lahat.

Biglang lumala kanyang kalagayan at binawian ng buhay pagkaraan ng dalawang araw sa ospital. Noong kanyang lamay, palaging sinasabi ng nakababata niyang kapatid, si Ditseng Baby, na siya man ay ayaw nang pahirapan mga kapatid niya sa kanyang pagkakasakit din ng kanser. Halos magkasunod silang nagkaroon ng kanser bago mag-COVID pandemic. Hindi nga nagtagal, noong ika-27 ng Mayo, biglang inatake sa bahay si Ditseng Baby at pumanaw.

Kaya ako ay bumalik sa kanilang tahanan at simbahan upang siya naman ang Misahan at ihatid sa huling hantungan kamakailan.

Isa na namang paglisan na biglaan ngunit napaghandaan ng mga pumanaw.

Hindi naman natakot ang magkapatid na Ate Illa at Ditseng Baby sa buhay at kamatayan; katunayan sa aking pananaw, buong tapang nilang hinarap lalo ang kamatayan. Mas mahirap sa may katawan siguro ang maramdaman na ikaw ay papanaw at buong tapang itong tanggapin at sabihin.

Larawan kuha ni Dr. Mylene A. Santos, MD, 2021.

Biyaya pa rin ng Diyos ang magkaroon ng gayong lakas ng loob sa gitna ng panghihina ng katawan. At ang pangunahing biyaya na binubuhos ng Diyos sa isang lumilisan ay pag-ibig, lalo na kung ito ay hahantong sa kamatayan. Pag-ibig ang dahilan kaya ayaw na nilang mahirapan pa mga kapatid nila sa pag-aalaga at gastusin kahit mayroon silang kakayahang magpagamot. Pag-ibig hanggang sa huling sandali ang kanilang handog at ibinahagi sa lahat.

Kaya nga kapag mayroong isang taong lumilisan – pansamantala man tulad ng pangingibang- bayan o panghabang-buhay tulad ng mga naghahabilin sa banig ng karadaman – higit ang kanilang pag-ibig na binibigay sa mga naiiwan o nauulila.

Mas marami silang pabaon na pag-ibig sa mga naiiwan kung titingnan.

"Kung ang buhay ay isang umagang nakangiti
At ikaw ay ang lupang sinusuyo ng bituin
Di mo man silip ang langit
Di mo man silip, ito'y nandirito pa rin

Kung ang lahat ay may katapusan
Itong paglalakbay ay makakarating din sa paroroonan
At sa iyong paglisan, ang tanging pabaon ko
Ay pag-ibig"
- Bb. Cookie Chua ng Color It Red, "Paglisan"
Larawan kuha ng may-akda sa Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, QC, 2016.

Sino man ang magpasyang lumisan batay sa maka-Diyos na pamantayan at konsiderasyon, nakatitiyak ako siya ang mayroong higit na pag-ibig dahil handa siyang iwanan ang lahat para sa mga minamahal.

Pang-apat sa walong pagpapala o beatitudes na ipinahayag ni Hesus sa kanyang sermon sa bundok ay mayroong kinalaman sa paglisan:

“Pinagpala ang mga nagdadalamhati, sapagkat aaliwin sila ng Diyos.”

Mateo 5:4

Kapag mayroon umaalis, tayo ay nagdadalamhati, lumuluha kasi masakit ang maiwan, pansamantala man o pangmagpakailanman.

Nasaan ang pagpapalang sinasabi ni Hesus kung tayo ay lumuluha, nagdadalamhati dahil naiwan ng isang lumisan o pumanaw?

Naroon sa pag-ibig!

Pinagpala ang mga nagdadalamahati kasi mayroon silang pagmamahal, sila’y nagmamahal kaya lumuluha sa lumisan na kamag-anak o kaibigan; subalit, higit ang kanilang pagpapala dahil sila ay minahal ng lumisan!

Higit pa rin ang pag-ibig ng lumilisan kung tutuusin.

Kaya tayong naiiwan ay umiiyak, nasasaktan.

Subalit, lahat ng kalungkutan ating mararanasan sa paglisan ay pagbabadya ng higit na tuwa at kagalakan. Wika din ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad noong Huling Hapunan nila na mas mabuti na siya ay lumisan upang sa gayon ay maisugo niya ang Patnubay o Espiritu Santo (Jn. 16:7).

Gaya ng ating napagnilayan noong Miyerkules, ito yung ikalawang mahalagang bagay dapat nating pakaisipin sa pagpapasya kung tayo ay mananatili o lilisan: ang ating kaganapan at paglago ng katauhan (https://lordmychef.com/2022/06/01/pagpapala-sa-paglisan/).

Muli, ating makikita ang higit na pag-ibig na bigay pa rin ng lumilisan dahil sa bawat pag-alis, naroon din ang pagkakataong lumago ang katauhan ng naiiwan gaya ng lumilisan.

Larawan kuha ng may-akda sa Bolinao, Pangasinan, ika-19 ng Abril 2022.

Ganyan ang paraan paanong lumago ating pananampalatayang Kristiyano dahil sa paglisan ni Hesus, lalong nag-ibayo sa pagmamahal at pagsusumakit ang kanyang mga naiwan sa pagpapahayag sa salita at gawa ng ipinadama niyang pag-ibig para sa ating kaligtasang lahat.

Dahil sa pag-ibig na iyan ni Hesus, naging pagpapala ang bawat paglisan dahil hindi na lamang ito pagtungo sa isang dakong malayo kungdi pagpasok sa panibagong antas ng ugnayan. Wika nga ng mga kabataan, level up ang ating mga relationships.

Sa bawat paglisan, hindi tayo nababawasan o nawawalan kapag pag-ibig ang dahilan nito.

Kaya sana, ngayon pa lamang atin nang pakaingatan at pahalagahan bawat isa upang bawat paglisan ay maging makabuluhan. Nawa sa ating paglisan, bantayan at pagpalain tayo ng Diyos palagi. Mizpah (Gen.31:49)!

Priests and the elections

Quiet Storm by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, 19 May 2022
Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images.

Like many of you, the people I elected lost last May 9. Fact is, I felt the same sense of loss and sadness and disappointment – but not depression nor anxiety – many of you feel today as early as 2016 when not even one opposition made it into the Senate.

It was in the 2016 elections when I realized that our people would continue to be less discerning in electing their leaders, of how it would get worst before getting any better, not even in my lifetime. The following morning after Duterte was elected president in 2016, our kasambahay came to me during breakfast to apologize, saying, “sorry po Father… binoto ko po si Bung (Bong Revilla) kasi baka wala pong bumoto sa kanya.”

You see, I have been trying to educate Manang to be more discerning in choosing candidates since the start of the 2016 elections campaign period but no amount of explanations seemed to have convinced her. Hence, I just told her, “kakaawa mo sa kanya, hayun, naging topnother si Bong Revilla, ngayon kawawa ang bayan natin.” The same thing happened last week that we now have Robin Padilla as Senator of the Republic too.

However, I am still filled with hopes in our future. We are not a hopeless case of going to the dogs if we start learning the lessons of these 2022 elections that were similar with 2016’s if we priests return to our original mission of teaching and sharing Jesus, only Jesus and always Jesus. Enough with our political partisanship, of endorsements and campaigns for candidates no matter how worthy they may be.

Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images.

This may sound very simple, even simplistic. As a priest, I feel and fear we have forgotten Jesus in these recent elections. Even a week after, many have not stopped in their “fight”, making all those unChristian comments in social media that prove we have indeed lost Christ lately.

“Oh, men of little faith!” is how Jesus would probably exclaim at some of us priests and bishops in this post-elections period.

Instead of educating the people, some priests and bishops went too far into campaigning even at the pulpit for particular candidates that led to disillusionment than enlightenment. And now, we are into this mess – the second elections in a row since 2016 – when the people resoundingly rejected not only the clergy’s candidates but also the Church we represent as an institution. What is tragic is how we priests still do not get it, even that simple lesson in history that every time priests endorse candidates, they turn out to be kiss of death!

It is so disappointing how most of the priests and bishops were so quiet, not silent, in 2020 when the quarantine period was prolonged more than twice or thrice that kept our churches closed, denying the people much needed spiritual guidance and nourishment during the pandemic. Sadly when the campaign period for the elections started last year, many priests were suddenly out, vocal and filled with courage in joining rallies even on Saturdays and Sundays when they should be celebrating the Mass in their parishes, when they should be praying and reflecting on the gospel to nourish souls but were instead baffling the faithful if their pastors were leading them to heaven or hell.

The double standard cannot be denied: when Leny declared her candidacy last October, some priests and parishes posted on social media pictures of Gaudete and Laudete Sunday’s pink motifs but, when Red Wednesday came in November to honor those persecuted in the Church, the same priests and parishes issued clarifications that the liturgical red motif was not in any way political.

Of course, it has always been non-political until they started it! Unfortunately, the bad taste of insincerity was all over and no one felt ashamed at all. Which brings us to the many sanctimonious “sermons” – not homilies (they are different) – that followed during Lent, filled with self-righteousness and holier-than-thou attitudes as if there are no thieves and liars among us.

Photo by author, Stations of the Cross at the Parish of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, March 2022.

The question being asked by the faithful – where is God? – following the results of the recent elections is an indictment of the priests who have abandoned Jesus and so believed in themselves and their candidates, denying Christ the chance to do that much-needed miracle we were all hoping for since the start of the campaign period.

A former student now based in Canada recently narrated how he and his wife told their eight year-old daughter the need to stand and defend the truth. I was impressed and touched that I congratulated him as I recalled those first 12 years of my priesthood teaching them in our diocesan school in Malolos City. I mentioned to him how it pained me that some of our graduates have joined the “dark forces” in politics with one notoriously grandstanding during the proceedings revoking the franchise of ABS-CBN.

We can only do as much but the most important thing is to remain focused in Jesus, in words and in deeds despite our weaknesses and unworthiness. When people experience and get to know Jesus, everything good follows. We called it in my former school assignment “Sanctitas in Sapientia” or “Holiness in Wisdom” – the more we get to know Jesus, the more we grow in wisdom and holiness becoming like him so that we also follow him and love him through others.

That is the challenge to us this post-election period: let us double time, spend our energies in bringing back the people, especially the young inside the churches not to the streets to learn more about Jesus in the Sacraments. Most of all, to reach out to those in the margins, the majority we love to bash in putting into office the same “unworthy” candidates as leaders of the nation.

A few days after the elections, we had the first Confession and first Holy Communion of our Grade III and IV students at the Basic Education Department of Our Lady of Fatima University in Valenzuela City. It was then when I got more convinced how in the past 24 years that priesthood is bringing Jesus to the people first through the meaningful celebrations of the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist where his words are proclaimed and cracked open to let Jesus touch the hearts of everyone.

Both in the parish and in the school, I have seen that Jesus is the One transforming people, the One who changes people, not us priests nor anyone. We are merely his instruments.

Photo by Mr. Paulo Sillonar, Basic Education Dept., Our Lady of Fatima University, 11 May 2022.

In the beautiful story of the feeding of 5000, we are told that when Jesus saw a large crowd coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do (Jn.6:5-6).

Jesus knows very well what he is going to do in every situation, especially elections. Our job is to listen to Jesus, to make Jesus present to everyone, to share Jesus.

Later after the feeding of 5000 in the wilderness, Jesus gave his bread of life discourse to the people who have followed him to Capernaum but they could not take his words that eventually, they left him along with the other followers of Christ. Only the Twelve remained with him whom he asked, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn.6:67-68).

Do we have the same faith and focus of Simon Peter in Jesus? Why worry after we have lost these elections?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that all our affairs in this life and in this world must always be seen beyond its social and economic, even medical and political implications but always in the light of Christ and his Cross. This reality is perfectly captured by the Inquirer photographer last August 2021 when the chapel of the QC General Hospital was converted into a COVID ward during a surge. The photo speaks loudly and clearly of the one reality we always forget, especially us priests.

Again, my views may be simple, even simplistic, compared to the learned but so many times, that is how God works too. Thank you for taking time to read. Join me in praying:

Lord Jesus Christ, 
so many times we leave you behind, 
following ourselves and others 
instead of you alone who is 
"the way and the truth and the life"
(Jn.14:6). Amen.

Have a blessed weekend!

Front page photo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 20 August 2021.

Jesus and our Vote

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Third Week of Easter, 06 May 2022
Acts 9:1-20   ><))))*> + <*((((><   John 6:52-59
Photo by author, Puerto del Sol, Bolinao, Pangasinan, 19 April 2022.
Our readings today,
O God our Father, 
are very much alike with
our situation these days:
so many tensions, so many
quarrels among friends and
families due to elections on
Monday.

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.

Acts 9:1-2

The Jews quarreled among themselves…

John 6:52
Only Jesus Christ your Son,
our Lord can dispel all these 
negative feelings and disharmony
if we can be humble like Paul and 
Ananias who prayed over him;
"level up" our thoughts to higher
realities in life, in spirituality so
that we may realize the inner truth
and beauty of Jesus our bread of life;
how sad that in this highly advanced
age and time, we can "shift" our 
thoughts to higher levels or 
advanced stages in terms of material
things only like garnering most scores
or sales or followers and other numbers
that rarely speak about realities in life.
In this final stretch of the campaign
period, remind us anew like Paul that
we are all brothers and sisters in Christ,
that whatever we do to one another,
we do exactly to you, dear Jesus;
open our minds and hearts to listen
to your voice, Lord Jesus Christ
on whom to vote this Monday based
on your teachings of love and truth.
Amen.

Lent is for uniting

40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday in the Third Week of Lent, 24 March 2022
Jeremiah 7:23-28   <*(((>< + ><)))*>   Luke 11:14-23
Photo by author, 11 March 2022.
Bless us, dear God our Father
this Lent which happens to be
the campaign period for our
coming elections in May, a day
of deliverance towards true 
freedom and democracy, 
most of all, political maturity
if we choose rightly.
But, I have long felt so saddened
at how this election campaign has
been going on, pushing aside the
beautiful and rich and meaningful
lessons of Lent:  we have not only 
forgotten that we are in a 40-day journey
in you and to you with Jesus Christ
but we have forgotten to listen to 
your voice.

This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.

Jeremiah 7:28
Awake us, O Lord,
before we perish and lost again:
many among us in the Church
have taken side with candidates
pretending to take side with 
truth and with you; many among
us have drag your holy name
in the pulpit, trying to be modern 
prophets when our lives are not
prophetic at all, when we have forgotten
to tend the sick and poor among your flock,
when we smell more like politicians we
rub elbows so often than smell like
your sheep; worst of all, O God, is how
we hurl harsh words, spewing them like
an erupting volcano when deep within
us are all the dirt and sins 
we have refused to face and clean 
amid our many double standards.
How easy, indeed, for us to find
the devil, the power of Beelzebul
present in our society specially in 
politics without seeing more 
and presenting more your Son,
Jesus Christ to everyone that too often,
we scatter than unite; teach us to
speak and act more to unite your
people than divide them.  Amen.

Praying for EDSA ’86

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday, 36th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power, 25 February 2022
James 5:9-12   ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'>   Mark 10:1-12   
Photo by Roger Buendia/Presidential Museum and Library via esquiremag.ph.
Forgive me, Lord,
a veteran of EDSA 1986
for having lost these past
years the joy and fervor in
celebrating your miracle at
the world's first 
"People Power Revolution";
I really had no plans of praying today
so as not to remember the 
February Revolution of 1986
because I have always felt 
betrayed by our so-called
"EDSA heroes" who turned out
to be modern Judas Iscariots 
who have used us for
their personal interests and 
prostituted the People Power Revolution.
I have long felt within this pain, this anger,
frustration and disappointment at
how our supposed leaders 
have wasted the victory and 
most importantly, the lessons of 
EDSA '86; oh how my stomach 
burns in acid, making me belch
and throw up whenever I would 
see or remember those traitors, Lord! 
Photo from en.wikipedia.org.
But, as I prayed today and see
our nation's precarious situation,
I felt ashamed, Jesus, at how I have
acted like Judas Iscariot,
not so much in betraying EDSA '86
in some ways too
but in losing hope in you,
the giver of that precious gift of
freedom and democracy
now under threat again from the
same people who enslaved us,
aided by these traitors.

Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged. Indeed, we call blessed those who have persevered… let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,” that you may not incur condemnation.

James 5:9, 11, 12b
Take our hearts so
hardened with bitterness,
frustrations and disappointments;
and yes, also of personal desires
not met after 1986 and give us
natural hearts that beat with
firm faith, fervent hope
and unceasing charity and love
for you and our Motherland.
EDSA is not just a clogged
highway of vehicles;
EDSA was first of all a sea
of humanity who have banded
together to stand for what is true,
for freedom and democracy
all meant to bring back each
person's dignity, created in your
image and likeness.
You are the God of history, Lord,
bring us back to the spirit
 and ideals of EDSA '86
 to claim again its grace
and promise of a matured nation
you have gathered and joined
together to become one
in Jesus your Son with his Blessed
Mother Mary who is our Mother too.
Amen.
From Pinterest.

Salamin, sabihin sa akin

Lawiswis Ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-14 ng Pebrero 2022
Larawan kuha ni Jenna Hamra sa Pexels.com
Salamin, 
salamin sa dingding
sabihin sa akin at
ipakita rin
mga puwing 
na hindi ko pansin
ni ayaw kilalanin
ni tanggapin!
Ayoko sanang sabihin
ngunit ito binubulong
ng aking damdamin:
paano nga ba tayo humantong
at ganito ating narating
sa tuwing halalan darating
nagpapanting mga tainga natin
sa mga usaping alam na natin?
Paulit-ulit pinag-uusapan
walang kinahihinatnan
pagkatapos ng halalan
kaya paulit-ulit na lamang
walang katapusang 
mga pangakong binibitiwan
nakakalimutan, pinababayaan
pasan ng taong-bayan, di maibsan.
Tingnan nga natin
at suriin ang sarili
kung atin ding sinasalamin
magagandang adhikain
o mga paratang at
pambabatikos natin
dahil kung tutuusin
ang pamahalaan ay larawan natin.
Larawan kuha ni STANLEY NGUMA sa Pexels.com
Galit tayo sa mga sinungaling
dahil tunay nga sila'y magnanakaw rin;
nguni't paanong naaatim
ng marami sa atin araw-araw
magsinungaling sa kapwa
lalo na't nagtitiwala sa atin
maging Panginoong Diyos
pinagtataksilan natin?
Paanong diringgin
panawagan ng nagmamalinis
gayong batid kanilang
mga bahid na dungis
kaban ng simbahan
pinakialaman
para sa sariling kaluguran
maging kahalayan?
Sila ba'y naparusahan
marahil ni hindi pinagsabihan
at ang masaklap
hinayaan na lamang
alang-alang sa habag
at awa, palaging katwiran
kapatawaran
ng mga kasalanan.
Katapatan sa pangakong
sinumpaan, hindi rin mapangatawanan
kunwa'y maraming kaabalahanan
 ang totoo'y puro kababalaghan
maraming pinupuntahan
kasama'y mayayaman
mga aba at walang-wala
kanila ring iniiwan.
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, 2020.
Totoo na malaki ang papel ng Simbahan
na ginagampanan tuwing halalan
ngunit huwag sanang makalimutan
sa araw-araw na katapatan ang tunay na labanan
kung saan mga alagad at pastol ng kawan
magsilbing huwaran sa paglilingkod
kaisa ang bayan ng Diyos
sa karukhaan, kagutuman at kapighatian.
Salamin, salamin sa dingding
kami ba'y marunong pang manalangin?
Bakit tila hindi dinggin ating mga panalangin
gayong mabuti ating layunin?
Diyos pa ba pinagtitiwalaan,
pinananaligan natin o baka naman
lumalabis mga salita natin
habang salat mabubuting gawa natin?
Salamin, salamin sa dingding
kung kami ay magising
maging kasing ingay ng batingaw
katapatan namin sa araw-araw
na gampanin, hindi katiting
pinagaganda lang ng kuliling
lalo na kung mayroong nakatingin
para lang mapansin.
Ang dapat nating ipanalangin
hindi lamang ang halalang darating
kungdi makatotohanang pagsusuri
at pag-amin sa mga kasalanan natin;
pagkaraan ng limang-daang taon
pagkakanya-kanyang dinatnan ni Magellan
umiiral pa rin habang mga puna at pansin 
nina Rizal at GomBurZa nananatiling pangarap pa rin.
Larawan mula sa commons.wikimedia.org

Parol ating pastol

Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-16 ng Nobyembre 2021
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, 11 Nobyembre 2021.
Hindi ko maiwasang umindak
sa awiting "kumukuti-kutitap,
bumubusi-busilak" tuwing 
makakakita ng mga parol 
nakasabit sa mga binatana,
binebenta sa kalsada
kahit malayo pa ang Pasko.
Ang mga parol ay tulad ng pastol
umaakay sa atin sa gitna ng dilim
hatid ay liwanag at galak
upang matunton at marating
Sanggol na sumilang sa sabsaban
habang mundo ay balot sa kasamaan
upang tayo ay tubusin sa ating mga kasalanan.
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, 11 Nobyembre 2021.
Makukulay, puno ng sigla
alalaong-baga, buhay na buhay
itong mga parol at iba pang mga palamuti
hatid ay hindi lamang ngiti sa labi
kungdi tuwa at kagalakan sa puso at kalooban
isang taon na naman matatagpusan
kahit COVID-19 kayang lampasan!
Katulad ng mga bituin at tala
mga parol at palamuti ng Kapaskuhan
matutunghayan lamang sa gitna
ng malaking kadiliman kagaya sa ating buhay
kung kailan mayroong kapighatian 
at lahat ay nalalabuan, doon naman
nagiging maliwanag at makulay ang lahat!
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, 11 Nobyembre 2021.
Isang kabalintunaang tunay
ganda at busilak ng mga parol
sa atin nagpapastol tungo sa
liwanag ng kinabukasan;
sana manatiling nagningning 
liwanag ni Kristo sa puso at 
kalooban natin. 
Aking dasal at hiling
ngayong Paskong darating
sana matapos na itong COVID-19;
matularan sana natin mga parol
magpastol sa kawan, huwag silang maligaw
sa kadiliman  ng mga mapanlinlang 
tanging Diyos ang maging sandigan.
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, 11 Nobyembre 2021.