40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent, 23 March 2023 Exodus 32:7-14 >>> + <<< John 5:31-47
God our merciful Father
for our forgetfulness and
thanklessness; more than
being forgetful, we are also
ungrateful like the Israelites at Sinai.
Many times in life,
we rarely appreciate what we have,
especially the little ones.
How unfortunate we recognize only
big things as important that we forget
everything in life which is the sum of
the littlest things put together -
the single steps of every journey,
the minute cells of our body,
the little efforts put together
by the little, ordinary people
who give us our meals, our daily needs,
the small acts of kindness like smiles,
hi’s and hellos we don’t even mind at all;
the little children who play or cry
to remind us of our beginnings…
So many other tiny,
little things and moments,
ordinary people we disregard
that prevent us from remembering and
thanking you and everyone
for the many joys and comforts
we enjoy in every moment.
Forgive us also,
of how we forget
and hence could not appreciate
to be grateful with the little
gifts we have within like
this life we have versus the
great moments of victory and fame we
choose to remember; the family and
friends you surround us daily
but take for granted as we prefer
big people like the rich and famous;
those little giftedness of ours like
simplicity, sense of humor,
even rich appetite to savor
and enjoy ordinary food shared
with common folks we forget
and become thankless for our gifts
of selves and uniqueness.
dear God to remember
and be reminded of the many
gifts we have but unaware
that make us thankless and forgetful,
tempting us to create our own idols
and golden calves to worship;
open our eyes to see your works
and majesty in Jesus who became like
us in everything except sin
so that we experience you more
in flesh in us and one another;
help us feel and enjoy life’s little joys
and blessings so we may remember
and never forget all good things
come from you, often in little
packages to be more appreciative
40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Third Week of Lent, 17 March 2023
Hosea 14:2-10 >>> + <<< Mark 12:28-34
More than any other prophet, O Lord,
Hosea is the one who tells us most
of your immense love for us all;
his writing moves like a beautiful
love story so unbelievable
yet exists, so true.
After so many harsh words
against us your people for our
infidelity like prostitutes,
here at the last part of his book,
Hosea tells us to never lose hope
because you love us so much.
Moreover, dear God our Father,
what I like most in Hosea's writings
is how you yourself reveals to us
how we must approach you
like a teacher coaching us
for the best answers so we may pass
your final exam.
Thus says the Lord: Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God, say to him, “Forgive us all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls
Hosea 14:2, 3
Please Lord, help us experience
your promises of "healing our defections,
loving us freely, becoming like dew
so we shall blossom like the lily,
our splendor be like the olive tree
and fragrance like the Lebanon cedar,
allowing us to dwell in your shade again
and raise grain, blossom like the vine,
and our fame be like the wine of Lebanon"
(cf. Hosea 14: 5-8).
Cast away our doubts of your love
and mercy for us, Father for as your Son
Jesus Christ had revealed, all the commandments
is summed in LOVE, your great love for us
as the very reason why we must love you
not because you need our love but
so that we can have more of your love
when we love.
May we love,
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Wednesday, Week XI, Year I in Ordinary Time, 16 June 2021
2 Corinthians 9:6-11 ><)))'> + <'(((>< Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
So many times, O God our Father, we have been acting so foolishly, forgetting the more essential in life as we waste precious time and our very selves with less important things and matter.
And most often, it is you whom we always forget, whom we disregard when you alone is the one whom we must always desire, whom we must always please for you alone who truly loves us above all.
Most of all, you alone is the Source of all good things in this life to whom we must always turn to.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform religious deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.”
You do not need “advertisements” for your goodness and love for us for they are all self-evident.
Worst is how we fail to realize that every time we advertise our goodness and supposed to be holiness, the more we fool ourselves as we become most selfish and not holy at all!
Make us aware to remember the teaching of Thomas á Kempis that it is the love of the giver – YOU – that matters most than the gift itself.
A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover, as the love of the giver. He esteems the affection above the gift, and values every gift far below the Beloved. A noble lover is not content with a gift, but desires Myself above all gifts.
Imitation of Christ, Book III, Part VI, “Of the proving of the true lover” by Thomas á Kempis (d. 1471)
It is because of this wrong focus on the gifts than on the Giver that we have failed in imitating your Son Jesus Christ in his loving service and generosity with others.
Help us realize, O Lord, that you alone are the source of every good gift in life, that you can never be outdone in generosity as you give us lavishly with all the gifts we need in this life.
Help us realize that we are all vessels and sharers of your grace:
“Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work…You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God”
2 Corinthians 9:8, 11
We pray, O Lord, for each of us to count the many blessings you have given us amid the hard times that have fallen upon us since the start of this pandemic so that we may see you more above all things. Amen.