Imitating Job

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

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

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

Living in God

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Taegon & Korean Martyrs, 20 September 2022
Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13     <*((((>< + ><))))*>     Luke 8:19-21
Photo by Dr. Mai B. Dela Peña, Santorini, Greece, 2014.
God our loving Father,
today I offer myself to you,
everything I have,
all my plans and undertakings
because everything is ultimately
in your hands!

Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the Lord; wherever it pleases him, he directs it. All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the Lord who proves hearts. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Proverbs 21:1-3
Slow me down,
caution me,
and if necessary,
stop me to yield to
your Holy Will and
better plans especially
when I am overwhelmed
by my many preparations,
when I feel stressed and
compelled by people and
situations; remind me, Lord,
people and their welfare
are better than programs
and things; open my heart
and my ears to listen to your
words, to your voice always the
faintest one deep in my heart
covered by the noises of the world
and of my many confusions and 
selfish ambitions.
Like the first martyrs of Korea
whom we remember today,
grant me courage and perseverance
to hold on to what is true and good,
to remain steadfast in faith
in the face of persecutions
and trials,
ready to sacrifice and
let go of my pleasures and
comforts, so inspire others
to find and follow you, dear Jesus.

St. Andrew Kim Taegon and
companion Martyrs, 
Pray for Us!
Amen. 
St. Andrew Kim Taegon, first Korean priest with his lay associate St. Paul Chong Hasan with 113 other Koreans died as martyrs between 1839 and 1867. There are now about four million Korean Catholics, one of the most vibrant in the world, ranking fourth with the most number of saints.

Praying for discipline

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, 09 September 2022
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27   ><]]]]'> + <'[[[[><   Luke 6:39-42
Photo by Mr. Jim Marpa, 2019.
Your words today from St. Paul
are so timely, dearest Lord Jesus; 
in a time when so many of us have
become so complacent and even
lazy in this life characterized by
comfort and ease, please reset our 
perspectives and points of view,
Jesus, when all we think is ourselves,
of being famous and popular;
worst of all, like in your stern warning
in the gospel, we have become self-
righteous, blinded by our ego that
we see ourselves better than everyone
when all we see are others' faults
without noticing our bigger faults.

Brothers and sisters: If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! No, i drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:16, 27
Grant me the grace,
O Lord, to be truly your follower,
your disciple, a person of
discipline who treads the path of
truth and mercy, light and understanding,
justice and mercy, honesty and sincerity; 
give me the courage to persevere in 
following you amid all pains and
difficulties.  Amen.

Every birthday a small Christmas

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday, Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily), 08 September 2022
Romans 8: 28-30   ><}}}*> + <*{{{>< + ><}}}*> + <*{{{>< + ><}}}*>   Matthew 1:18-23
Photo by author, Christmas 2021 at Our Lady of Fatima University Chapel at the Basic Education Dept., Valenzuela City.
"Every birthday is a small Christmas 
because with the birth of every person 
comes Jesus Christ."  

These words by the great St. John Paul II from his 1995 encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” (The Gospel of Life) is most truest today as we celebrate the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ.

It is right and proper that we celebrate her birthday today because of her coming to life and later her becoming a woman of deep faith in God, Christmas became a reality when she bore in her womb Jesus Christ our Savior.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.  When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:18

Matthew beautifully tells us in his genealogy of Jesus Christ followed by this brief explanation of the Lord’s birth through the annunciation to Joseph how every birth, every coming of us is part of God’s plan.

Like Jesus Christ, we all came from God ultimately.

No one is an accident, nor a “chamba” as we say in Pilipino for we are not just lucky to have been born and alive but most of all, blessed. This is the gist of that beautiful alternative first reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans.

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.

Romans 8:28, 30
“The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, a 1305 painting by Renaissance artist Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. The two babies are Mary: below is Mary upon birth wrapped in swaddling cloth and washed by attendants and then above being handed to St. Anne her mother. Photo from en.wikipedia.org.

It is part of God’s purpose and plan that we were born, from our “election” or calling, to our “justification” or redemption and “glorification” in Jesus Christ — these did not happen by chance but are parts of God’s grand design for each of us.

Every person, every life is a gift of God, so valuable and precious. That is “the good news of life” expressed by St. John Paul II in his 1995 encyclical we have cited earlier. We are all sharing in the very life of God with each one of us a sign of Jesus Christ, the Emmanuel which means “God is with us” (Mt.1:23).

But, are we with God in Jesus Christ – in our trials and sufferings, in our joys and pains, in our victories and defeats, ultimately, in our life and death?

This is something very important we must always examine in our lives, at least during our birthday if we can truly say that it is a small Christmas because Jesus comes through us!

Like Mary, we have to conform ourselves to the image and likeness of her Son Jesus Christ especially in this time when we have reduced life into mere lifestyles and every person into a commodity who can be possessed and used, then discarded just like things.

In this time of Tiktok with everyone vying to be instantly popular, would we trade our dignity as persons just to be trending and viral, doing all those inanities on camera, wearing almost nothing with all kinds of filth and obscenities spewing from our mouths?

How sad that despite the affluence we now enjoy with everything almost within reach of everyone, we have become more lost and more empty these days than before. Everything has become so decadent that the worth of life and every person is being measured in external factors so that everybody wants to be somebody else except their true selves!


Most of all, the best birthday gift we can give Mama Mary
 is to bring out the giftedness of everyone 
so that each one may find in themselves Jesus 
who was born into this world more than 2000 years ago 
by the Blessed Mother herself! 

In celebrating the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are reminded that we are all good and pleasing in our very selves. We are so good that when Jesus chose to become human like us in everything except sin, he entrusted himself to us as his carriers or bearers so that we may rediscover our giftedness as God’s beloved children.

Photo by author, La Niña Maria at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Valenzuela City, 07 September 2021.

Now that we are slowly going back to our “normal” ways of life with more “face-to-face” activities, may we keep in mind this great honor from God, of how he trusted us so much to bear his Son into this world like Mary by being his very sign of presence and love especially to those feeling alone and left out. Like Mary, may we bring the joy of Christ and his good news of life and salvation to those in despair, those sick, and dying inside because of bitterness and being so unforgiving not only to others but to their very selves.

It is said that whenever we greet someone with a “happy birthday”, what we really tell them is “I love you and thank you for making me who I am today”. Do we truly feel that way when we greet Mama Mary with happy birthday today?

The best birthday greeting we can give the Blessed Mother Mary today is to be like her, of being conformed in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ so that people may truly feel God is with us, that through our kindness and simplicity minus all those stunts and excitements that exist only on Facebook, people may have a glimpse of the beauty and majesty of God in us.

Most of all, the best birthday gift we can give Mama Mary is to bring out the giftedness of everyone so that each one may find in themselves Jesus who was born into this world more than 2000 years ago by the Blessed Mother herself! Amen.

Photo by author, the patio of the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem (2017) that was dedicated on September 8 sometime in the sixth century from which originated the celebration of Mary’s birth on this date since then until it spread to Rome and the whole world; the date stuck to become the basis in setting December 8 as the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary which is exactly nine months preceding her birth.

“What about me?”

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Memorial of St. Roch, Healer, 16 August 2022
Ezekiel 28:1-10   ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'>   Matthew 19:23-30
Photo by Dr. Mylene A. Santos, MD, near Lamon Bay, Polilio, Quezon, 15 August 2022.
"What about me?" and 
"How about me?", are our two most
frequently asked questions to you, God
our loving Father and to everyone as well; 
our Filipino expression is more "dramatic" 
or "maarte" when we say "Paano naman ako?", 
as if we are abused and
taken for granted when in fact,
like Simon Peter in today's gospel,
just feeling proud and entitled,
deserving to be rewarded or
making sure not to be forgotten 
with the little sacrifices, charities and
services we have rendered to others. 

Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?”

Matthew 19:27
Forgive us, dearest Jesus,
when we count everything we
have given and shared without
realizing you have given more than
so much because whatever we give, 
whether things or kindness, forgiveness 
and love, they are all yours not ours
to brag or be proud of!
Many times we play like God
as the Father had told Ezekiel
in the first reading; many times
when everything is flowing and 
going on so well in life, we claim 
everything, every success as our
efforts and triumph; many times we
believe we are so intelligent and wise
that we know everything that 
because of our wealth and power and
wisdom, our "hearts have grown haughty"
and have thought ourselves to "have the mind
of a god" (Ezekiel 28:5, 6).
Teach us, O Lord Jesus Christ,
to imitate St. Roch, who, upon contracting
disease while caring for the sick and the
dying, he never complained to you nor
anyone, preferring to go into the woods
to mend himself with his sickness, 
trusting in your healing and care 
that you provided through a dog that
brought his daily bread.
Indeed, as the psalmist proclaimed
today, it is you O Lord who deal death
and give life; make us realize first that you
alone is our God, our everything in life and in
death; and secondly, let our faith and trust in
you be firm that you will never abandon us nor
forsake us; and lastly, like St. Roch and all the 
saints, following you is never easy but with you
everything is possible (Mt.19:26).  Amen.
St. Roch,
Pray for us!
From Radio Veritas.

Problem with overconfidence

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday in the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 02 August 2022
Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22   ><]]]]'> + <'[[[[><   Matthew 14:22-36
Photo by Mr. Jay Javier in Taal, Batangas, 15 February 2014.
I like your words today,
God our loving Father;
they are so true, and yes,
so hurting. They are a 
bull's eye or "sapul" as
we say in Filipino.
Many times, I feel so
confident with myself,
with my goodness, or
holiness; many times I
feel I am so equipped 
to hurdle everything in
life; and many times, I feel
so sure I have done nothing
wrong and sinful like Peter
in the gospel who asked
Jesus to make him walk
on water.

Thus says the Lord: Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; there is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you; they do not seek you. I struck you as an enemy would strike, punished you cruelly; why cry out over your wound? Your pain is without relief. Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you. Thus says the Lord: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; city shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was.

Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18
Give me courage, O Lord,
to look inside myself and
confront my true self;
build me up anew, Lord,
as your people and you
our God.

Forgive us, O God, 
for the many times we
have misread your coming
in Jesus Christ as like a ghost 
in the dark sea; so many times
we are so sure of our swimming
skills like Peter, confident we 
would not drown, unaware 
of the strong winds that can beat
and pummel us into pieces.

When overconfidence
drown us, let us shout like
the disciples in the boat,
"Truly, you are the Son of
God, Lord Jesus!"
Amen.

Put Christ before everything

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday, Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot, 11 July 2022
Isaiah 1:10-17   ><))))*> + ><))))*> + ><))))*>   Matthew 10:34-11:1
Photo by author, Church of St. Agnes, Jerusalem, Israel, May 2018.
Your words today, O God
are not only disturbing but 
also puzzling; it is disturbing
for us who continue with all of
our fake religiosities that are more
of a show than an intimacy with you.
Your words through Isaiah
should awaken us to be more truthful,
to show more our love for you in our
actions that are just and fair to others.

“Trample my courts no more. Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me. Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load… learn to do good. Make justice your aim, redress the wronged; hear the orphan’s plea; defend the widow.”

Isaiah 1:13, 14, 17
Your words are also puzzling,
as spoken by Jesus Christ your Son
who declared: 

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.”

Matthew 10:34
Puzzling and disturbing are
your words, Lord, and we thank
you for disturbing us, for puzzling us:
may we have the courage to confront
our true selves, strip ourselves naked 
of our pretensions of being good and
faithful so we may be true to your call
to be holy and just, loving and merciful;
so many times, even in our religion and 
faith, it is not you whom we put first but
our very selves.
Through the prayers and examples of
St. Benedict, may we put Christ before
everything by thinking more of others
than of ourselves; may we always begin
our works by appealing to Jesus our Lord
to bring these to perfection and lead us to
everlasting life.  Amen.

St. Benedict, 
Pray for us!

Pentecost for “top gun” Christians

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Solemnity of the Pentecost, 05 June 2022
Acts 2:1-11 ><]]]]'> Romans 8:8-17 ><]]]]'> John 20:19-23
Photo by author, St. John the Baptist Parish, Calumpit, Bulacan, 02 May 2022.

Today we close the Easter Season with the Solemnity of Pentecost, 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus when he sent the Holy Spirit to his Apostles gathered with his Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

As promised by Jesus at his Last Supper, the Holy Spirit which he called the Advocate in the form of “tongues of fires” came to fill each disciple with wisdom and courage to remember and understand everything he had taught them, moving them from fear to courage to boldly proclaim his good news to everyone from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. It continues to happen in our days wherever the Sacraments are celebrated and every baptized Christian becomes open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is the “schooling” of every Christian to become a “top gun” – the “best of the best” – disciple of Christ. That is why he sent us the Holy Spirit! St. Paul perfectly said it to Timothy to “stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control” (2Tim.1:6-7).

Photo from themoviedb.org.

I know. Some of you might not agree with my using of a very secular term “top gun” but if you have seen this latest Tom Cruise starrer, you will find it has some semblance with the Pentecost.

While it is about fighter pilots who are the best men and women on air with their sophisticated planes, Tom Cruise as their instructor insisted how everyone should be deeply grounded with themselves and with everyone. That is his first lesson to them: it is the pilot, not the plane.

For me, the turning point of the movie is when Tom Cruise realized the need for his pilots to play football at the beach in order to have bonding as a team.

That scene shows us the essential downward movement of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to break all barriers and remove every excess baggage with us and among us so we may rise, go upwards to higher level of relationships and living in Christ and with Christ who ascended last week to the Father. See how at the first reading Luke describes to us the great joy among peoples that despite their differences in language and even in cultural background, they understood each other. There was openness and understanding that led to communion, exact opposite at the Tower of Babel that the builders failed to rise to their desired heights as everyone became a burden to each other.

Pentecost is grounding below to be rooted with one’s self and with others to realize our higher goals in life who is God in heaven which we said last Sunday as intimacy with the Father in Jesus Christ. Pentecost reminds us of God’s belief and trust in each of us, of how much he loves us that he gave us his Son Jesus Christ who now sends as the Holy Spirit to fill us with his life and breath.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20:19, 21-22
Photo by author, St. John the Baptist Parish, Calumpit, Bulacan, 02 May 2022.

Our gospel this Pentecost Sunday may be short but it is so rich in meaning. First of all, it is reminiscent of the story of the creation of the first human when God breathed on him his very life (Gen.2:7) and became alive. But, that life was destroyed with his fall into sin. God then promised to transform human life that had become like dead and dried bones by breathing on them the Holy Spirit (Ez.37:9-10).

That prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ at his Resurrection when his first official act upon seeing his disciples was to greet them peace and breathed on them the Holy Spirit, the breath of God, to transform their lives. It is a beautiful imagery of us being filled with God, the literal meaning of the word “enthusiasm” which is from the Greek words en theos.

When we are enthusiastic of something or someone, we feel so energized, even inspired to do and achieve great things (inspired/inspiration literally mean to be filled with spirit of God too). That is why the Pentecost is also considered as the birthday of the Church not because it was established on that day but it was on that event when it came out to the world to transform not only individual lives but the whole world and creation itself.

Recall three Sundays ago when Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper that whoever loves him and keeps his words, he and the Father will dwell on that person (Jn.14:23). What a beautiful imagery of us being the indwelling of God!

Here at the Pentecost as Jesus breathed on us the Holy Spirit, we have become his very presence in the world – not just his proxy because he is not absent at all.

It has always been said that if you want to change the world into a better place to live in, you must first change yourself. In Jesus Christ’s saving works, from his Incarnation to his Passion, Death and Resurrection and now in his sending of the Holy Spirit, we have no more reasons to be at the pit of life’s basket. We are God’s greatest miracle on earth – he has not only equipped us with a marvelous body so capable of doing many things but had even blessed us abundantly with every spiritual blessings in the world (Eph.1:3), primary of which is the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

Everyday is a Pentecost, a coming of the Holy Spirit who enlivens us, inspires us to be the very best disciple of Jesus, truly the presence of God in this world so badly damaged with so much darkness and divisions, pains and sufferings, poverty and injustices happening not merely in individual cases but even on a large-scale basis. That is why the world needs top gun Christians these days to show everyone how wrong and erroneous are the ways that the world has chosen, that despite all the affluence and technology it has, people are more sad and lost, with some rejecting life itself resorting to violence and subtle attacks on life like abortion.

From pinterest.com.

Pentecost is something we have to live out daily as St. Paul reminds us in the second reading, of trying to shift our sights and way of life to God, of living in the spirit and not in the flesh as the world would teach these days.

How sad that this past week, the two most trending topics in social media are the separation of popular husband-and-wife music tandem of Jason Hernandez and Moira dela Torre plus the court decision in the multi-million dollar defamation case of former couple Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The sad thing about these viral showbiz news items is how people closely followed them as if they are the most vital topics in the world at the moment, forgetting all about human trafficking, peoples displaced by wars, the many people without the basic necessities of life like decent housing and water. Until now, nobody is talking about keeping our population safe from violence especially the children except having more laws and more weapons. And most insane in the country as a result of the Jason-Moira split, people are again clamoring for the passage of the divorce bill as if it would solve all marital woes of infidelities.

Despite the coming of the Holy Spirit trying to level up our lives and existence by grounding us to the more real and essential issues in our person, we choose to ignore them and would rather sink ourselves deeper into the dirt of others.

Here, we really need a lot of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit like what Tom Cruise insisted to his team members in Top Gun: Maverick – it is the pilot not the plane. Yes, it is the person who must first be thought of, giving importance to his/her well being – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I think what makes this Top Gun sequel better than its 1986 original is the aspect of redemption of the characters played by Tom Cruise and Miles Teller who played “Rooster” as the son of his best friend who had died.

That is what the Pentecost is all about: the Holy Spirit was sent and continues to come to uplift us all, to transform us into better persons and disciples of Jesus. Are we ready to do the hard work of letting go of our personal issues and agendas to let the Holy Spirit fill us and lead us to higher heights in Jesus?

Have a blessed week ahead! God bless you all! Amen.

Photo from polygon.com.

Grace and blessedness of leaving

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Wednesday after the Ascension of the Lord, 01 June 2022
Acts 20:28-38     ><}}}}*> + <*{{{{><     John 17:11-19
Photo by author, Ubihan Island, Obando, Bulacan, 31 December 2021.
As we begin the first day of
the end of first half of the year,
your words today, O God, are full 
of wisdom worthy for us to keep 
about the blessedness and grace
of every leaving, of every departure;
how ironic when every leaving is
characterized with sadness because
of separation, your words today, O
Lord speak of lavish joy, of your desire
that our joy may be complete in you.
In the first reading, St. Paul is bidding
goodbye to the Ephesians on his way
to Rome for imprisonment and sure death;
there was so much grief among the 
people and yet, there is the pervading 
atmosphere of blessedness and grace.
First is the grace of the gift of person,
of St. Paul and ultimately, of Jesus Christ.

Dear God, may we be like St. Paul truly a
grace to everyone with his sincerity of
love and service, dedication to your
Son Jesus Christ and his gospel of salvation;
teach us to imitate St. Paul of being a
blessing ourselves to others as we make
people experience and feel your love 
and care, your concern and goodwill;
evidently, his concern up to the end is you,
O God and your people whom he warned
on guard against those who would come
after his departure in "perverting the truth", 
reminding them how he loved and 
"admonished them with tears" 
(Acts 20:30-31).
And of course, the greatest blessing
and grace of all who have "left" us
physically is your Son Jesus Christ.
How wonderful that at the Last Supper
before his arrest, he prayed for us
all his disciples he would leave behind.

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one… Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.

John 17:11, 17-19
Thank you, dear Jesus, for the
gifts of being one like you and the
Father and being consecrated to
the truth - to you yourself!
To be consecrated is to be separated
from the rest in order to be holy for you,
O Lord for the sake of the people;
you alone, Lord Jesus, are the holy one
and thank you in immersing us into you,
making us like you, apart from others in
holiness but united with everyone in
loving service.
Let us not forget this tremendous
blessing and grace you have given
us before returning to the Father,
Lord Jesus.  Keep us one in you with
the Father in loving service of others.
Let us not forget this tremendous
challenge too as part of our mission
that we always leave your marks of 
holiness and truth with everyone 
we serve and meet.  Amen.

TikTok ngayon, Tiktik Magasin noon?

Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-25 ng Mayo 2022
Larawan mula sa gettyimages.com at bbc.com.
Huwag sanang masamain
aking pagkagambala
pagkahumaling sa app 
na kung tawagin ay TikTok;
batid ko ang maraming kabutihan
dulot nito sa pakikipagtalastasan
at ugnayan ngunit bakit tila
nauungusan ng mga kahalayan
at kabastusan makabagong laruan?
Nakakaaliw mga katatawanan
at kalokohang napapanood
ngunit nakakabagabag mga
kalaswaan nilalarawan at
napapakinggang usapang
natutungahayan sa munting screen
buong kamalayan ang winawasak,
murang isipan nalilinlang
habang oras at panahon nasasayang.
Hindi sa pagmamarunong
ibig ko ring itanong,
"kailangan pa bang picturan"
maski sa lansangan, dalampasigan 
at may pampang mga pasiklaban
sa pag-giling ng katawan at
suot-suot ay kakapiranggot?
"Kailangan pa bang picturan"
ipangalandakan kagandahan ng katawan?
Kung ating babalikan
sariling kapanahunan 
dekada ochenta mayroong
lathalain kung tawagin Tiktik Magasin, 
mga kuwento at dibuho pulos 
seksuwal at kabastusan 
pinararaan sa panitikan 
bilang pagsasalang-alang 
sa karamihang tao na maselan.
Ang kahalayan saan mang
paraan ipahayag ay masagwa
at masama pa rin; ngunit may
higit na banta sa lahat, lalo samga bata  
nababantad sa mahahalay na 
panoorin lalo na sa TikTok at Youtube:
mga mura nilang kaisipan at kamalayan 
nasisira at nalalason na tila ang buhay
ay puro palabas na lamang.
Kaya sana ay pagnilayan
makabagong teknolohiya 
sa pakikipagtalastasan 
ay biyaya ng Diyos upang
mga tao ay mapaglapit at
mabuklod sa kanilang ugnayan,
mapalawak ang kanyang kamalayan
sa kagandahan nitong buhay at 
sariling dangal bilang kalarawan ng Maykapal! 
Larawan mula sa pinterest.com.