The golden calves we believe

40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday, Fourth Week in Lent, 18 March 2021 (St. Cyril of Jerusalem)
Exodus 32:7-14     ><}}}*>  +  <*{{{><     John 5:31-47
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God our Father in heaven, forgive us for being constantly in the same situation like your people at the wilderness when Moses was up conversing with you on Mount Sinai. So many times we are like them, creating our own golden calves, turning away from you our true God.

So many times in life, we simply want to be in total control of everything that we doubt you, even grow impatient with you because we have other agendas in life like being god like you! And so, we make golden calves of everything we like to believe in, including in our selves.

Jesus said to the Jews: “You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life. I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.”

John 5:39-43

You said it perfectly right, Lord Jesus: “I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.”

As we turn to idolatrous worship of our selves, then we stop loving you in others both in our hearts and in our hands. When we begin manipulating everything and everyone even our very own belief system, especially your gift of faith in each of us, that is when we become gods.

When we stop believing in you, then we stop loving, we stop relating, we stop authentic living as we forget others.

Forgive us, Lord, and look kindly upon us like at Sinai, reminding us always of the many blessings the Father showers us despite our sinfulness. Teach us to be grateful always so we may learn humility and embrace our humanity to start believing in you and love again by turning away from sins.

Once again, let your tender compassion, Lord, break upon us this Lent so we may begin to love and care, be tender with those who suffer amid our own pains and trials in life. Teach us to believe in you again to realize that wherever there is loving service, tenderness, and care for the weak and lowly, there you are too! Amen.

I believe!

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Tuesday, Week VI, Year II, 18 February 2020

James 1:12-18 <*(((>< 0 ><)))*> Mark 8:14-21

Photo by author, Mt. St. Paul, La Trinidad, Benguet, 03 February 2020.

“I believe, Lord!”

I believe, Lord, that is why I understand.

So many times I cannot understand you, Lord, especially your words and your ways because my mind and my heart are always filled with so many other things and even persons that I cannot find a space for you.

Believing in you, O Lord, is the starting point of everything that enables us to understand things and persons. Belief in you, O God who is all-powerful and all-knowing, is on whom everything begins, the starting point of everything. It is when I believe that I understand, Lord.

Like the apostles traveling with you on the boat, I always “presume” what you mean when you talk to me, especially that “leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod”. You are our leaven, our faith.

I am sorry, Lord, when my heart is so hardened that I cannot understand or comprehend your teachings that invite me first to believe so I can understand.

Let me always have that firm faith in you, Lord, to always believe in you so that I may not be deceived that even temptations come from you.

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.

James 1:16-17

Give me the grace to always look deep inside my heart, to look around and be surprised by nature proclaiming your loving presence among us.

To wonder and to believe always lead us to you, to believing in you even in the midst of trials and sufferings that never come from you. Amen.