The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II First Friday, Dedication of St. Mary Major in Rome, 05 August 2022 Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7 ><]]]'> + ><]]]'> + ><]]]'> Matthew 16:24-28
Dearest God our loving Father: You surely know how often we wonder why you allow bad things to continue to happen in our lives, in our community, even in our country; so many times we feel you seem to have forgotten us, of must have fallen asleep unaware of the sufferings we are going through.
You know these thoughts and feelings we often have but today, you assure us you are always with us, that you never forget us nor abandon us; sometimes, you allow our sufferings to happen longer because you believe in us, and most of all, you want us to become stronger and better.
See, upon the mountains there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows! For nevermore shall you be invaded by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed. The Lord will restore the vine of Jacob, the pride of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined the tendrils.Nahum 2:1, 3
Finally, you have liberated Israel from the clutches of the "scoundrel", Assyria; perhaps like us today, the Israelites at that time of the Assyrian conquest wondered if it ever would end with all the evils perpetrated by men and women alike; but it did! History teems with many episodes of great countries and empires falling, collapsing from their towers of success and dominance, reduced to nothingness because evil never lasts, it is so bad that it has all the factors contributing to its destruction and end. Good always triumphs, always prevails. Storms and dark nights end, the sun always rises, shining brightly to gladded our hearts, drying our tears and giving us all the chances in life.
Like the good news brought by Nahum, may we be your messengers of good news, of peace to those suffering for a long time from illness and other problems in life, including the many evils that seem to have become so endemic in our country; give us the grace to persevere in following Jesus Christ your Son, forgetting our very selves for what profit would there really be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit one's life (Mt.16:25)?
As we celebrate the dedication of St. Mary Major in Rome today, may we imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary who not only bore your Son Jesus Christ but continues to lead others to him by being the messenger of your love and salvation. Amen.