Remaining in Christ

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist, 18 October 2022
2 Timothy 4:10-17   ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*>   Luke 10:1-9 
Photo by author, 2018.
Dearest Jesus:
as we celebrate today
the feast of your Evangelist
St. Luke, I pray for the grace
to be like him - prayerful
and faithful to you,
especially when 
things become so tough
and difficult.
Of the four Evangelists,
St. Luke emphasized most
your praying so often
to show your oneness
in the Father, of your
going to deserted places
to pray especially before
major events like the choice
of the Twelve Apostles
and the Transfiguration,
clearly showing that prayer
is the very center of the life 
of every disciple to be able 
to follow Jesus closely by
carrying the cross "daily" (Lk.9:23).

Like St. Luke,
may my life be a prayer,
a gospel in writing.
Photo by author, 2018.

Beloved: Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me.

2 Timothy 4:10-11
Let my prayers,
O dear Jesus, 
lead me to deeper
faith in you especially
when in severe tests
like St. Luke who remained
faithful to you by standing
by his mentor St. Paul 
even in prison.

Like St. Luke, keep me faithful
to you, Jesus, by always remembering 
the poor and marginalized in the
society especially the women
and the sinners this Evangelist
had put on the limelight
like Elizabeth, Anna the Prophetess 
and the widow of Nain 
as well Zacchaeus and Dimas.

Like St. Luke, keep me faithful
to you Jesus by being faithful too 
to your Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary: 
St. Luke was the only one who sought her
in Ephesus to give us the lovely story
of Christmas from the Annunciation 
to the Visitation, the Nativity and 
the Presentation up to her presence
at the Pentecost found in his
second book called the Acts,
the gospel of the Church
which is the other side of 
every fidelity to you and Mary
is fidelity to your Church!
Dearest Jesus,
in writing the Gospel 
and the Acts of the Apostles, 
you have touched St. Luke so deeply 
that he narrated your story in great details
as if he was touching you 
that in the process,
he has touched us too,
enabling us to experience 
as well as paint and picture 
your Divine Mercy for everyone
Painting of “Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin” by Flemish painter Roger van der Weyden (1400-1464); photo from  

Touched by Jesus, touching Jesus

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday, Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist, 18 October 2021
2 timothy 4:10-17   ><]]]]*> + ><]]]]*> + ><]]]]*>   Luke 10:1-9
Painting of “Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin” by Flemish painter Roger van der Weyden (1400-1464); photo from  
Of all your Evangelists, Lord Jesus,
Saint Luke is the most artistic of all,
giving us those rare glimpses with 
vivid details of your life and teachings
that began in the annunciation 
of the birth of your predecessor, 
John the Baptist to the birth and 
spread of your Church with unforgettable
characters and stories like the
Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan,
the Good Thief, and conversion of St. Paul.  
He wrote extensively like his teacher 
St. Paul, leaving us with
two volumes of your Gospel.
Though scholars could not ascertain
if St. Luke was indeed one of those 72
disciples you have sent out two-by-two
in today's gospel, his writings teem
with so many instances as if he was
with you in your preaching and 
journeys, Lord Jesus.
In his writings, you seemed to have
touched him as he narrated your
story that in the process, he appeared
like touching you all throughout!
It is not difficult to imagine that
because as St. Paul had told
Timothy today in the first reading,
it was only St. Luke who had remained
present with him in his darkest hours 
of imprisonment and trial in Rome.

Beloved: Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry.

1 Timothy 4:10-11
Indeed in his writings
and maybe in his paintings too,
St. Luke had shown us that true
"communication is more than the
expression of thoughts and
indication of feelings:
at its most profound level,
it is the giving of self in love"
like what you did on the Cross,
Lord Jesus Christ
(cf. Communio et Progressio, 11).
If we could just have that grace
and discipline to rediscover
the beauty of writing in this age
of electronic media
 when our communications are fleeting
 and superficial, always in a hurry,
mediated with many other things
like images and sounds,
teach us to rediscover writing letters,
journal writing, and even painting
so we may get in touch with our
inner selves to find you there
and eventually touch you too
for you have been touching us
for so long without us realizing it.
But most of all, like St. Luke,
give us the grace and courage
to write your Gospel
with our lives.

Imitating St. Matthew

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle, 22 September 2021
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13   ><}}}'> + <'{{{><   Matthew 9:9-13
Photo by author, pilgrims ready to walk at a site in Jerusalem, the Holy Land, May 2019.

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

Matthew 9:9
We know for sure, dear Jesus Christ
that you are always passing by,
calling us to follow you but
most often, we do not see you,
or worst, we refuse to look at you
nor listen to you.
Forgive us, dear Jesus
for choosing to be contented
and comfortable on our seats -
especially on those seats of power;
sorry when we are so glued on
our seats watching mostly trash
on television and internet;
drag us, if you may, if we choose
to be stuck on our seats of all
kinds of vices and sins.
Give us the grace, O Lord Jesus
of imitating St. Matthew
who immediately heeded your call:
open our eyes and our ears
to await your daily coming to us;
may we have the will and resolve
to change ourselves, to arise from our
being seated and slumped on our 
comfort zones of mediocrity and sins;
most of all, strengthen our knees and our feet,
our limbs that as we arise 
to listen to your voice, we may follow
you closely every step of the way
to the Cross.

Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3
Merciful Jesus Christ,
teach us to forget our desires
for positions and recognition,
for fame, power and wealth;
make us realize that what really
matters is not where we are seated
but where we make a stand -
and to how far can we go walking
in standing up for you always.
Like St. Matthew, 
your Apostle and Evangelist,
let us arise and follow you
daily in faith, hope and love
as we write another gospel of
 Jesus Christ according to each one of us.

Urgency and Trust

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul, Saturday, Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, 25 April 2020

1 Peter 5:5-14 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Mark 16:15-20

Statue of St. Mark and his symbol the lion below him at the western facade of St. Mark Cathedral in Venice, Italy. Photo from Google.

Lord Jesus Christ, as we move into the final week of April and face – with dismay – the extension of this enhanced community quarantine into May 15, the celebration of the feast of your evangelist St. Mark today gives us the much needed boost to persevere in these trying times.

In writing the first gospel account, St. Mark stressed two important things that are very helpful for us today in this time of the corona virus: urgency in proclaiming your gospel and trust in you.

It is something very similar to Stephen Covey Jr.’s concept of “the speed of trust” that when there is trust among people like in a relationship or a team, speed goes up wherein costs are minimized, productivity is increased due to trust.

Give us the grace to trust in you, Lord Jesus, so we can urgently proclaim your gospel of salvation most especially at this time when people are feeling worn out by this lockdown.

So many people are already suffering not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.

Help us to bring them more joy and hope, healing and renewal not only through our gifts and financial aid but also with our presence and concern for them.

Let us not worry in doing your work with the assuring words of St. Peter in the first reading:

The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little.

1 Peter 5:10

Like in the beginning of the gospel by St. Mark, may we always proclaim your good news Lord whenever and wherever there is a wilderness, emptiness, and weariness among peoples for you are always faithful in enabling us to fulfill your work. Amen.

Nuns bringing relief goods to remote villages in this time of Luzon-wide lockdown due to COVID-19.

Remembering Mary and our own mother on this month of Rosary

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Friday, Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, 18 October 2019

2 Timothy 4:10-17 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Luke 10:1-9

From Google.

Lord Jesus Christ, on this feast of your Evangelist and Apostle St. Luke that falls in the month of the Holy Rosary, we remember your Mother and our Mother too, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It is so edifying to learn that St. Luke did not only write a two-part series of your gospel but is also considered as the first iconographer of the Blessed Mother Mary.

Mother of Perpetual Help. Photo from Aleteia/Google.

How wonderful that there are four popular icons of Mary attributed to him: the Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Our Lady of Vladimir, and the Salus Populi Romani or Mother of the Savior of the Roman People.

These are considered as the earliest icons of Mary and although there are not enough historical proofs to ascertain these traditions of whether St. Luke could have painted these icons or not, one thing clearly remains: St. Luke had a particular trait of the Blessed Mother of being faithful in Jesus Christ.

Our Lady of Czestochowa. Photo from Aleteia/Google.

St. Paul tells us in our first reading this wonderful distinction of St. Luke that is so similar with the Virgin Mary for being faithful and true to Jesus most especially during his darkest moments in life while there on the Cross. See how St. Paul narrated in the first reading his sad plight with no one else left to accompany him but St. Luke.

Our Lady of Vladimir. Photo from Aleteia/Google.

Beloved: Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me.

2 Timothy 4:10-11

Mary stayed at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ, remaining faithful and true to her Son and Lord. Like Mary, St. Luke stayed behind with St. Paul in prison.

Too often, O Lord, we feel like St. Paul, of being so alone and abandoned with no one to turn to in times of trials and sufferings.

Like that famous tune by the Beatles, we find solace in the warmth and love of our own mother who has become like Mother Mary to us. Paul McCartney admitted that those lines of their last famous song was inspired by his own mother and the Blessed Mother herself.

When I find myself in times of troubles

Mother Mary comes to me.

Speaking words of wisdom: Let it be.

Paul McCartney, “Let It Be”

Maybe, St. Luke must have developed that devotion and love for the Blessed Mother Mary from the great love he had experienced from his own mother who must had been so loving and merciful, faithful and simple in her ways.

Salus Populi Romani. From Aleteia/Google.

Most of all, in both his gospel and Acts of the Apostles accounts, St. Luke never failed to mention the important role Mary played in giving birth to Jesus and taking care of his infant community, the Church, after he had Ascended into heaven.

Mary has always been there, her presence inspiring the Apostles and early Christians to strive further in the mission of evangelization.

And so, we pray for all mothers, especially our own mother who taught us our first prayers, narrated our first stories from the Bible, and taught us as well as made us feel the immense love of Jesus for each one of us.

Behind every evangelist and missionary is always a faithful and loving mother like Mary. In response to calls by Jesus Christ to pray that the Master of harvest may send out more workers for his harvest, bless all mothers to ensure that children continue to experience the love of the Father for everyone.

Always misunderstood in her ways and concern for us, we pray for all mothers may have the strength and patience to stand by their children even in their old age. And when their final hour comes to leave this earth, we pray Lord Jesus that you make it peaceful as you grant them eternal rest with your Mother Mary. Amen.

St. Luke, pray for us to genuinely love our mother and the Blessed Mother Mary too!