Praying to find meaning of life in our work

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday, Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, 01 May 2023
Genesis 1:26-2:3   ><]]]]'> + <'[[[[><   Matthew 13:54-58
Photo by author, Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, QC, 20 March 2023.
Glory and praise to you,
God our loving Father
in giving us a share 
in your work in making
this world a better place;
despite our sinfulness and
turning away from you
in the time of Adam and Eve,
you still call us to participate
in your work of holiness
by calling St. Joseph to
marry the Blessed Virgin
Mary, the Mother of your Son
and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Despite the difficult situation
and work ahead of him, 
St. Joseph obeyed you,
working in silence,
doing your will, 
taking care of Jesus and Mary
that in his work, 
people recognized

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son?”

Matthew 13:54-55
Like St. Joseph,
may we not find only
the labor and amount
of work to be done
in our tasks and jobs
but most of all,
that we may find
you in Jesus Christ,
the very meaning of 
our life and work.


Lawiswis Ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-01 ng Mayo 2023
Larawan kuha ng may-akda noong 2017, ang tinuturing “gawaan” ni San Jose sa Nazareth sa ilalim ng isang kapilya sa kanyang ngalan ngayon.
O San Jose na aming
patron ng mga manggagawa
bagama't marami ang hindi
nakaka-unawa sa iyong
mga ginawa 
ng buong katahimikan
at katapatan
Panginoong Jesus 
Manunubos natin 
pati na Kanyang Ina,
ang Birheng Maria
upang matupad 
banal na layon ng Diyos
kaligtasan ng sangkatauhan;

Bagama't walang sinsasaad
mga Banal na Kasulatan
sa iyong katauhan
maliban sa iyong pagiging
matuwid na mula sa lahi
ni Haring David,
sa iyo San Jose
mababanaagan ang 
kabutihan at kadalisayan
ng kalooban nang si Jesus
ay kilalanin at ituring
"anak ng karpintero"
dahil marahil
kayo ay magkapareho
sa maraming aspekto.
Turuan kami
San Jose, aming pintakasi
higit sa mga gawain at
trabaho, aming hanapin 
diwa at kahulugan ng buhay;
lahat ng pagpapagal
ay isang pag-aalay
sa bawat obra
si Kristo ang taglay
sa Kanya lahat nakasalalay
dahil Siya ang buhay
kaya kami ay tulungan
gumawa ng kabutihan
sa gitna ng katahimikan
ng aming paghahanap-buhay!

Jesus calling us to work for him, follow him, and suffer for him

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Third Week of Easter, 28 April 2023
Acts 9:1-20   ><}}}}"> + ><}}}}"> + ><}}}}">   John 6:52-59
Photo by author, Lian, Batangas, 2022.
Thank you dear Jesus
for your wonderful words
today that remind us of your
personal call to each one of us
like St. Paul; sometimes we envy
O Lord the manner you have called
the saints to follow you but at
closer look, you have called us all
in the most personal manner,
in the most unique way 
according to our person
and situation, 
our own "Damascus".
Today's first reading is so
marvelous because we too
have experienced you personally
calling us in our name like "Saul",
who like us too, many times do not
know you nor recognize you at all;
sometimes, we are like Ananias
arguing with you, telling you what
we know as if you do not know!
Dearest Lord Jesus,
like Saul or St. Paul and
Ananias, give us the grace to
answer and respond to your calls:
First, to work for you, the Christ:
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city
and you will be told
what you must do" (Acts 9:5,6).

Second, to follow you, the Christ:
"Go, for this man is a chosen
instrument of mine to carry
my name before Gentiles, kings,
and children of Israel" (Acts 9:15).

Third, most of all, to suffer for you, O Christ:
"and I will show show him
what he will have to suffer
for my name" (Acts 9:16).
Let us keep this in our minds
and hearts, Lord Jesus:
that each day you come to meet
us in our various "Damascus",
calling us to work for you,
follow you,
and most of all,
suffer for you.

Stop us, dear Jesus,
in our many quarrels
 like the Jews at your time;
let us go with you
and suffer with you to be
a bread too for others
in sustaining their
journey with you.

Faith + works = discipleship

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday, Week VI, Year II in Ordinary Time, 18 February 2022
James 2:14-24, 26   ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*>   Mark 8:34-9:1
Photo from, 2021.
Awaken us, O Lord,
from our mistake and
error of insisting 
that our pious and religious 
exercises are the "good works"
that express our faith in you;
let us realize that it is not 
enough that we simply 
celebrate Mass, recite the
Rosary, join processions and
pilgrimages and keep other 
devotions that make us good
practicing Catholics; these are
not the good works that St. James
is asking from us in the first reading:
faith is the true living out 
of our faith in you, Jesus Christ!

For just as a body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

James 2:26
True faith in you,
O Lord, is forgetting 
one's self to reach out
to those in need, fighting
for justice and peace,
being more loving and kind,
forgiving and understanding
of others just like you, dear Jesus.
True faith in you,
dear Jesus, is being 
your disciple which is  
a call to deny one's self,
to take up one's cross in life,
and to follow YOU always
(Mark 8:34).
Give me the grace
this day, Jesus, 
to sincerely look into
myself and examine 
how true is my
faith in you, 
how my very life
and actions reveal
the faith I have
or simply do not have
at all.  Amen.

Praying to be in the world, not of the world

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Wednesday in the Seventh Week of Easter, 19 May 2021
Acts 20:28-38   ><)))'> ><)))'> ><)))'>   John 17:11-19
From Facebook, 04 April 2021: “There is an urgency to announce the Joy, the joy of the Risen Lord.”
Lifting up his eyes to heaven,
Jesus prayed, saying:
"I do not ask that you take them out 
of the world but that you keep them
from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
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, 15-19)

Oh what a feeling, Lord Jesus Christ for us to be prayed for by you! What an honor and a great privilege for us all to be prayed for and consecrated by you, the Son of God to the almighty Father in heaven.

Thank you very much, Lord, for putting us in the world and consecrating us to you to be not of the world! Help us to keep this in our minds and in our hearts, that we are in the world but not of the world.

Help us remember your beautiful prayer when things are getting so difficult, when troubles bombard us daily, when our burdens get heavier that the temptations to follow the ways of the world by escaping pains and sufferings become so strong and even so enticing.

Make us remember this beautiful prayer you said for us all during your Last Supper so we may remain one in you as brothers and sisters, one as husband and wife, one as a family, one as a community, one in our places of work and studies, one as a nation.

May your prayer, sweet Jesus, prepare us in facing every kind of hostility and indifference of the world as we witness your gospel of salvation in the world through love and mercy, joy and kindness especially to those losing hope, those tired and exhausted, and those in the margins of the society.

Photo by author, November 2020.

Give us the grace to be like St. Paul who faithfully completed his mission at Ephesus that as he bid goodbye to the people there, “they were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship” (Acts20:37-38).

We are all “overseers” of your people and wealth entrusted to our care, Lord; keep us true and faithful, honest and sincere in taking care of them. It is you, O Lord Jesus, whom they must experience and love, not us.

We pray today for those holding positions in government and in the Church, in the private sector specially in our places of work and studies that they may always keep in mind all powers are from God that must be exercised for the good of the people they serve. Keep all authorities aware of their great responsibilities in the world and be careful not to fall into the traps and evil of the world. Amen.

When troubles happen

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday in the Seventh Week of Easter, 17 May 2021
Acts 20:17-27   ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*>   John 16:29-33
Smoky skies from the northern California wildfires turn the sky a glowing orange in San Francisco, California on 09 September 2020. Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

What a blessed Monday you have given us today, our loving Father, filling us with so many hopes for better days ahead of us. Yes, work has piled up for most of us with so many demands and targets to be met, so many obligations and responsibilities to fulfill this week, not to mention our many concerns in the family and with our very selves.

But, like the apostles in the gospel today, we are joyful even if we do not fully understand everything in life because you have assured us of your loving presence especially when troubles and problems arise.

"Behold, the hour is coming 
and has arrived when each of you
will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, 
because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that 
you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world."
(John 16:32-33) 

Truly, indeed, Lord, troubles have never stopped coming our way especially since the start of this pandemic.

We have so many worries and anxieties at the moment but we are thankful to your love and mercy. Your blessings and grace far outweigh all the troubles we have at the moment. Your kindness is more than enough as you give us everything we need.

Teach us to be content and grateful. Most of all, to remember and reach out to those with less in life, those who go through more troubles these days.

Like St. Paul who chose to travel “through the interior of the country down to Ephesus” instead of taking the usual and easier route to meet more people in need and rarely seen by almost everyone.

Give us the grace today to be one with those having many problems and troubles today. May our presence make them realize they are not alone, like you, dear Jesus who is always with the Father.

We pray most especially today for those going through many troubles whether by their own making or by others. Amen.

Prayer to work centered on the Lord like St. Joseph

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, 01 May 2021
Genesis 1:26-2:3   <*(((>< + ><)))*>   Matthew 13:54-58
Photo by author, site of St. Joseph’s workshop in Nazareth beneath the chapel in his honor, May 2017.

God our loving Father, we praise and thank you for the gift of St. Joseph whom you have called to be the husband of Mary and the foster father of your Son Jesus Christ here on earth. In him, you have shown us the value of sharing in your work to nurture earth and its resources.

Most of all, in St. Joseph you have taught us to work centered on our Lord Jesus Christ by integrating work with family and with fatherhood to become truly a provider not only of food, clothing and other material needs but most of all in providing love and guidance to the family.

In St. Joseph, the motivation and the purpose of work is solely to serve Jesus Christ which is very evident in the gospel today.

Jesus came to his native place
and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son?"
(Matthew 13:54-55)

How beautiful that in the “wisdom and mighty deeds” displayed by Jesus, the people remembered St. Joseph the carpenter – what a marvelous job he must have done in forming and providing for our Lord!

He must have worked diligently for you, dear God, never focusing attention to himself so unlike these days when we have categories of workers like those doing “white collar jobs” and “blue collar jobs”.

Dearest God our Father, in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic when so many people have lost work and are now suffering the adverse effects of quarantine, we pray in the most special way for our workers to please protect them from all harm and sickness especially those working in the hospital.

We pray for those trying to find work these days so they may continue to provide for their families.

Photo by author, Chapel of St. Joseph, Nazareth, Israel, May 2017.

Open our hearts on this year of St. Joseph as proclaimed by Pope Francis last December 8 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his proclamation as patron of the universal church:

The crisis of our time, which is economic, social, cultural and spiritual, can serve as a summons for all of us to rediscover the value, the importance and necessity of work for bringing about a new “normal” from which no one is excluded. Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work. The loss of employment that affects so many of our brothers and sisters, and has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, should serve as a summons to review our priorities. Let us implore Saint Joseph the Worker to help us find ways to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!

Pope Francis, “Patris Corde” #6

O most chaste St. Joseph, pray for us! Amen.

Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa

Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-23 ng Hunyo 2020
Larawan kuha ng may-akda sa Marcos Highway pababa ng Baguio, 2019.
Isang kasabihang
ating kinalakhan
at pinananaligan
dahil sa katotohan:
"Nasa Diyos ang awa,
nasa tao ang gawa."
Sa paglipas ng panahon
napansin ko na mayrooon
tila kulang, hindi sang-ayon
tuon at tugon sa nilalayon
nitong kasabihang kinamulatan noon
na kailangang liwanagin ngayon.
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, Katedral ng Malolos, 2019.
Paano kung ang tao
gumawa nang gumawa
sa buong pag-asa
sa kanya ang Diyos ay maaawa
gayong kanyang mga ginagawa
hindi naman sang-ayon ang Bathala?
Kay rami nang binuhos na panahon
lakas at talino ngunit hindi nagkagayon
planong nilalayon
kaya luhaang bubulong
luluhod at didipa sa Panginoon
tapunan siya ng awa sa madaling panahon.
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, Tam-Awan, Baguio City, 2019.
Hindi maikakaila 
walang hindi magagawa
ang Mabathalang Awa ng Diyos
ngunit ito nga iyong hindi nating alintana
sa marami nating ginawa
ang Diyos ay nabale-wala.
Kaya nga hindi ba dapat
bago pa man tao ay gumawa
sa Diyos maunang humingi ng Kanyang awa
upang mabatid ano ibig Niyang ipagawa?
Ito ang diwa nitong ating kasabihan kung saan nauuna
tuwina "nasa Diyos ang awa", saka pa lamang "nasa tao ang gawa"! 

Doing the work of God

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul, Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, 01 May 2020

Genesis 1:26-2:3 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Matthew 13:54-58

Photo by author of the site of St. Joseph’s shop in their home at Nazareth found beneath the Chapel of St. Joseph near the Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Israel. May 2019.

As we start the third extension of our quarantine period, you have gifted us O God, our loving Father, with this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker to guide many of us working at home during this time of the corona pandemic.

St. Joseph must have been a very good father to Jesus at Nazareth and a very wonderful carpenter too to their neighbors that long after he had died, the people still remembered him being the father of the Lord.

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is he not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?”

Matthew 13:54-56

Remind us always, O Lord, that like St. Joseph, our main task in life is to do your work in the way you would want it to be done because all our work is just a sharing in your creation completed in six days, setting aside the seventh day of sabbath as a day of rest in you.

In this time of the corona virus when many of us are working at home with almost all establishments including churches are closed, may we find again the true meaning and value of all work and material endeavors in the light of Jesus Christ who did and spoke only what you willed, our heavenly Father.

May we break free from our works and be not their slaves that have destroyed our personal and family lives as well as our environment as we pursued in recent years material wealth and fame now useless in the face of COVID-19.

May we always find you, Lord, in all our work and undertaking as our only fulfillment. Amen.

Photon by Mr. Raffy Tima of GMA-7 News, March 2020.

Prayer to keep our “fire burning” for God

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Friday, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, 22 November 2019

1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59 ><)))*> <*(((>< Luke 19:45-48

Candles seen from our altar onto our church rear, 18 November 2019.

Lord Jesus Christ, Light of the World, please keep your fire burning within us, always aglow with your firm faith, fervent hope and unceasing charity and love.

On this memorial of your virgin and martyr, St. Cecilia who is also the patroness of sacred music, may we imitate her to keep on “singing the song of God in our hearts”, whether in good times or in bad.

Let us praise you both in words and in deeds without ceasing.

How sad that we are like the Jews after their victory over the Gentiles in the Maccabean revolt: very enthusiastic at first that eventually waned, becoming complacent that after a hundred years, the Romans easily conquered and subdued Jerusalem.

On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled the temple, on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised heaven, who had given them success.

1 Maccabees 4:55-56

Forgive us, Lord, on the many occasions when we are so eager and full of zeal in praising you and doing your will after we have gained particular blessings and intentions from you that later on, we become complacent like your contemporaries.

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, my house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”

Luke 19:45-46
Candle in our sacristy, 19 November 2019.

Let us not be complacent, Lord.

Remind us that our work and mission from you will continue until we rest in you, O Lord.

Keep our lights and fire burning. Amen.