Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 26 April 2021
Patring the lovely lady
behind this community pantry
said it so well "this is not a charity"
but "like a mutual aid of helping each other in need".
All she did was make us see
those in need as a person like you and me
who lives and breathes
but worries and cries alone
creating the spark unknown
that we started to believe
we can feed the hungry
with whatever we have
if everyone tries to live simply
by seeing everyone's dignity
of not taking anything
more than what is necessary.
The beauty of every community pantry
more than the food aplenty
is the overflowing of the spirit of humanity;
kindness and tenderness again caressed
everyone who has been stressed
and depressed not only by the distress
caused by COVID-19 but mostly
the lack of interest for persons
blinded by personal interests
who thought money as ayuda
will solve the plight and misery
of the many going sick and hungry.
The humility and simplicity
of every community pantry
are the key to its mystery
when everyone begins to see
the needy as another person with dignity
a brother and a sister, a kin and family
thinking of everybody not just self entirely;
everybody is suffering
but at the community pantry
generosity is overflowing
because everybody is thinking
somebody can be in deeper misery.
There is something holy about the pantry
where everyone goes when hungry
that Patricia has brought out in the community
to remind us we are one big family
a normalcy replaced with greed and apathy
with everybody wanting so many
using manipulation to control even the nation;
pray thee may this community pantry
be the start of a beautiful journey
to a brighter future for our country
where everyone lives simply and responsibly
not taking what is more than necessary!
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Third Week of Easter, 23 April 2021
Acts 9:1-20 ><)))'> ><)))"> ><)))'> John 6:52-59
Praise and glory and thanksgiving to you, God our loving Father in heaven for this amazing movement sweeping our country called “community pantry” started by a young lady in a quiet neighborhood last week in Quezon City.
Your ways, O God, are indeed strange, filled with so many extraordinary turn of events.
Who would have thought how this community pantry will awaken the whole nation to suddenly see one another as brother and sister, sharing according to one’s abilities and taking according to one’s needs that for over a week, we have never ran out of food with a lot of smiles and tenderness that delight the hearts and souls of everyone?!
You are so amazing, O God that I feel like Jesus your Son rejoicing while filled with the Holy Spirit, giving you praise, Father, “for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike” (Lk.10:21).
Full of confidence in your power, I believe you can still win over the hearts of many of our generals and government officials to be converted like St. Paul on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians; how ironic, dear God, are the similarities of that story with how our government and military officials malign the people behind the community pantry movement!
Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him for letters to 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.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do."
Please, Lord, despite the malicious words some government and military officials have said about the people behind the community pantry movement, we still believe they can still be converted like what happened at EDSA in 1986.
Come, Jesus our Lord and Savior, blind us with your light of truth and humility so we may imbibe the true meaning of the Eucharist which is more than the sacramental partaking of your Body and Blood but, most of all, meeting and being one with you always in our daily lives, becoming the very food for others like you.
We pray also most specially for the well-being of Ms. Ana Patricia Non and her followers. Bless them and keep them, O Lord, and may they continue to inspire others in seeing everyone as a brother and sister in you. Amen.
Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 22 April 2021
The beauty of this community pantry
that have sprouted all over the country
in just a week exactly
is not found only in the wide variety
of food to the needy but most of all
for food that enrich so many souls:
kindness and tenderness are aplenty
with everyone considered a family.
It was the Lord Himself
who gave us the first community pantry
intended for soul when he said:
"All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life."
What is so amazing now happening in the country
is how those with least to offer
are always the ones with most to share
like that widow praised by Jesus in her poverty
gave her all in the temple treasury:
for the community pantry
there was so much camote
coming from hard pressed farmers
from Paniqui and another load from Mindoro
shared by the child of a Mangyan aged nine
while an elderly man peddling chicharon for a living
asked for two cans of sardines
leaving the pantry with a precious smile of gratitude
with a plenitude of goodwill,
donating two packs of his precious chicharon.
Like manna in the wilderness
the community pantries were heaven-sent;
like the feeding of five-thousand in the wilderness
the community pantries of sharing was the miracle;
like Jesus Christ at the Last Supper,
the community pantries have taught us
to be the bread ourselves, broken and shared
if only to prove there is enough for everyone's needs.
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday in the Third Week of Easter, 22 April 2021
Acts 8:26-40 ><)))'> + ><)))'> + ><)))'> John 6:44-51
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace, that is, the queen of Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship,
and was returning home. Seated in his chariot,
he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
"Do you understand what you are reading?"
He replied, "How can I, unless someone instructs me?"
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
(Acts 8:27-28, 30-31)
Today, O Lord, I pray for teachers. For true and good, honest teachers who are also witnesses of your gospel. Give us more teachers like your deacon Philip who can teach to clear and clarify in the minds of the people the essential truth of this life which is about you, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
And we pray for good teachers, for witnesses of your gospel, so unlike of the other teachers today especially our officials in government and the military who continuously peddle lies, maligning people without any qualms at all.
Send us teachers who will reawaken in us your presence among one another like Ms. Ana Patricia Non and all the others who have followed her witnessing in setting up community pantries that not only help those in need but also teach others to share.
In their witnessing as good teachers, they have brought out the innate goodness of so many people, rich and poor alike, men and women, young and old all over the country.
In their witnessing as good teachers, they have drawn so many people closer to you, dear Jesus Christ, our good Teacher!
At the same time, we pray for our professional teachers who continue to labor with love and dedication in forming young minds and hearts not only with modern knowledge but with wisdom based on fear of the Lord as they themselves struggle amid the many challenges of this COVID-19 pandemic.
Keep their minds and their hearts open in the promptings of the Holy Spirit so they may go wherever they are needed most for your greater glory. Amen.
Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.
Lawiswis ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-21 ng Abril 2021
Tila magpapasko, presko at mahangin ang panahon noong Lunes ng umaga dito sa Pambansang Dambana ng Birhen ng Fatima sa Valenzuela.
Natutuwa ako noon sa napakabuting balita ng paglaganap nitong tinaguriang mga “community pantry” na nagsimula sa kalye Maginhawa sa Quezon City noong a-kinse lang ng Abril. Wala pang isang linggo ay kumalat na sa buong kapuluan ang kilusan na kung isasalin sa ating sariling wika ay “paminggalang pampamayanan”.
Sa mga kagaya ko na inabot ang singko sentimos na de bote ng Cosmos, bago dumating ang pridyider ay paminggalan ang puntahan ng lahat lalo na sa bahay na matanda kung saan nakatira ang mga impo at lola.
At ang turo sa aming mga bata noon, maaring kumuha ng pagkain sa paminggalan pero huwag uubusan ang ibang kasama sa tahanan.
Higit sa lahat, magsabi lagi upang mapalitan o mapunan sakaling mauubusan lalo na ng kape at asukal.
Kaya naman napakagandang makitang muli itong mga paminggalan hindi na sa tahanan kungdi sa lansangan na tila baga bawat pamayanan naging isang malaking pamilya pinamamayanihan ng pagkakapatiran.
Iyon ang pinaka-buod at kahulugan nitong mga paminggalang pampamayanan na siya rin namang ipinahayag ni Bb. Ana Patricia Non: hindi aniya ito pagkakawanggawa o “charity” kungdi pakikipagkapwa-tao o mutual aid upang matulungan ang bawat isang nangangailangan.
Sa Banal na Kasulatan ay ating natunghayan kamakailan paglalarawan ng pamumuhay ng mga unang Kristiyano:
At nagsasama-sama ang lahat ng sumasampalataya at para sa lahat ang kanilang ari-arian. Ipinagbibili nila ito at ang pinagbilhan ay ipinamamahagi sa lahat ayon sa pangangailangan ng bawat isa.
Mga Gawa ng Apostol 2:44-45
Isinaysay sa atin ni San Lucas ang naturang bahagi sa buhay ng mga unang Kristiyano upang muling mahimok sa atin ang pagkakapatiran, ang magising ating mga kaisipan at kamulatan na sa buhay hindi pinag-uusapan at batayan ang ano mang kakayahang gawin kungdi ang pagkakakilala sa bawat isa bilang ka-patid, ka-dugtong, at ka-putol. Alisin mo ang unlaping “ka”, ika’y patid at putol. Hiwalay at nag-iisa, walang karugtong.
Kapatiran, samahan ng magkakapatid, hindi ng mga gawain.
Kung babalikan natin yung tagpo matapos mag-ayuno at manalangin ang Panginoong Hesus sa ilang, ang unang panunukso sa kanya ng demonyo ay gawin niyang tinapay ang mga bato.
Ganyang-ganyan pa rin ginagawa ng diyablo at kanyang kampon sa ating panahon na ang palaging tanong ay “ano ba ang nagawa mo?” o “mayroon ka bang naambag?”: para sa kanila, pinakamahalaga yung nagagawa kesa makipag-kapwa.
Hindi nila batid na ang sino mang tunay sa pakikipag-kapwa, laging kasabay ang gumawa ng mabuti.
Kaya hindi rin kataka-taka sa kanila na ang mga addict at kriminal ay patayin dahil para sa kanila walang nagagawang mabuti mga ito sa lipunan.
Isang magandang pagkakataon itong pag-usbong
ng maraming paminggalang pampamayanan
na muli nating mapagtanto dangal ng bawat tao
na dapat mahalin at igalang bilang larawan
at wangis ng Diyos na lumikha sa tanan.
Isang magandang pagkakataon itong pag-usbong ng maraming paminggalang pampamayanan na muli nating mapagtanto dangal ng bawat tao na dapat mahalin at igalang bilang larawan at wangis ng Diyos na lumikha sa tanan.
Inyong pagmasdan, madalas mga taong mapagbilang at mapaghanap ng mga nagawa ay siya ring mga mapanaghili, binibilang mga gawain na tila lahat dapat tumbasan o mayroong kapalit.
At ang pinaka-masaklap, sila din yaong mga wala ring ginagawa, puro salita kaya sila’y katawa-tawa parang sirang plaka katulad ng kanilang pamumula at “red tagging” sa mga nasa likod ng paminggalang pampamayanan o community pantry.
Ayaw nila sa paminggalang pampamayanan dahil doon ang batayan ay pagtuturingan bilang magkakapatid; walang ganid at sakim, nasa isip palagi ang kapwa na maaring mas kawawa kaysa sarili.
Kaya heto ang aking awit na handog sa mga nagpasimuno at nagpapalaganap nitong community pantry.
Kasama na rin ang mga hindi naniniwala, namumula.
Humuhuni ang ibon
Nagsasayaw sa hangin
At laging masaya
Bakit kaya ang tao may isip at talino
Nalulungkot pa siya
Matutuhan lang ng bawat nilikha
Ang umibig sa tao't daigdig
Lungkot nila'y mapapawi ligaya'y ngingiti
Pagibig at pag-asa
Ang damdaming gigising sa taong mahimbing
Ang tunay na ligaya sa ating puso
Ikaw at ako
Hindi man magkalahi
Ay dapat matutong magmahal
Ituring mong tayong lahat ay magkakapatid
(New Minstrels, 1980)
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday in the Third Week of Easter, 21 April 2021 Acts 8:1-8 ><)))’> + <‘(((>< John 6:35-40
And this is the will
of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything
of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
Oh, dear God our loving Father! How can we stop praising and thanking you especially in times like this when those in power harass and malign us working for your people when in their efforts to ignore and dismiss they red tag us and see commies and enemies instead of the beauty of the “community pantry”.
But like the first Christians when they were persecuted and scattered, driven out of Jerusalem except for the Apostles, the more that the Gospel of Jesus was proclaimed to the known world, the more followers were added to the early Church.
After calling us communists and maligning the efforts of the those behind this movement of community pantry, the more it is now spreading far and wide, the more people are beginning to see each other’s face again as a brother and a sister in Jesus Christ hungry and thirsty for food and drink of the body and soul.
Thank you, dear Jesus, in keeping company with us in doing your work ever since.
We trust that not one of us will ever be lost as we lift up to you the organizers of the community pantry, the people who support and the people who benefit from this worthy cause.
Indeed, so many times in life, we need to move out from our comfort zones in order to move in to your divine plan to be realized. Amen.
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday in the Third Week of Easter, 20 April 2021
Acts 7:51-8:1 <*(((>< + ><)))*> John 6:30-35
Praise and glory to you, O God our loving Father in heaven! Thank you in sending us your Son Jesus Christ our Bread of life who taught and showed us how to be a food ourselves to one another by giving and sharing our very selves in loving service especially in times of crisis like this pandemic.
Thank you very much for the grace and inspiration by the Holy Spirit for the people behind this movement fast spreading called “Community Pantry” teaching us to see one another as a brother and a sister who needs to be helped, that each can be of help to anyone in need.
So many times, in our search for food that perishes like wealth and power, we get more focused on “doing” than “being” and “becoming” like those people who have followed Jesus in Capernaum after being fed with bread and fish at the wilderness last week.
The crowd said to Jesus:
"What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?"
Forgive us, Father, when until now we still ask the very same question to you and one another, “What can you do?” like the devil’s first temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Lk.4:3).
Make us aware of this ploy of the devil to keep us doing everything, to claim everything as our work in order to forget you or even discredit you.
How sad that we are so concerned with doing than with being and becoming, forgetting the value of every person, asking more of “what you can do” than “who are you?” which is more essential because we are all from you, O God our Father, our image and likeness.
No wonder, we have become like the members of the Sanhedrin addressed by Christ’s first martyr, St. Stephen during his trial:
"You stiff-necked people,
uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors."
We have never grown and matured in our relationships because we have refused to see each one’s worth as a person, measuring our value in what we can do than in who we really are as your beloved children. As a result, we continue to refuse surrendering ourselves to the Holy Spirit for you to do your work in us. Unfortunately, as we keep on doing everything, the results are always miserable. And the more we get into bigger mess in life.
Teach us, especially our leaders in government, to open their minds and their hearts to what your prophets are saying from the various sectors of the society, especially the masses involved in the Community Pantry movement.
May our government officials led by the President realize that ever since this pandemic started, what we have been saying has always been for the good of one another as brothers and sisters, valuing life above all, and not for any achievement nor fame at all that they are so intent on having.
How sad that the more government officials dare and insult people with what they can do, the more it becomes truer that they cannot do anything good at all. Amen.
Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 19 April 2021
The beauty of this movement
sweeping our country
called "Community Pantry"
is its essential Christianity:
"The community of believers
was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any
of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common."
Earlier in our Church history
the esteemed theologian Tertullian
was so delighted to see
how the early Christians
loved one another
and how they were ready
to die for each other
exactly the same scenery
we are having in our country this 21st century.
It all started simply
when in the street translated loosely
as living comfortably (Maginhawa)
somebody suddenly see
"any body" as a "some body"
can help alleviate our poverty
when we start to see "every body"
as a brother and a sister living simply
with one community pantry so "no body" goes hungry.
And the rest was history
as the story of good deeds inspired many
putting up their community pantry
and the best part of the mystery
there is no talk of money and popularity
plain and simple spirit of humanity
in the spirit of fraternity and equality
fulfilling the minimum requirement of charity
that is justice and mutuality.
There is a saying that
"Necessity is the mother of invention"
but this community pantry that I see
is more than an invention or an innovation
but an extension of the fellowship of the table
where Jesus Christ is the invisible guest
appearing, speaking, and sharing a meal
that fills our stomach and delights our soul
animating our hopes for a better future.
This community pantry
is a bright ray of hope,
a silver lining in the storm
that hit our nation last year
when this administration
not only belittled but was also
unprepared for the pandemic.
Is it a new kind of people power revolution?
Then, by all means, let it bloom!
*All photos used are from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 April 2021.