Lent is for kindness

40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Second Week of Lent, 10 March 2023
Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28   >> +++ <<   Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
Photo by author, sunrise at Katmon Nature Sanctuary & Beach Resort, Infanta, Quezon, 04 March 2023.
Today O God you speak to us
of the most lovely virtue of kindness
which is more than being good to another
but precisely of treating others as a "kin" 
or a kindred; being "kind" is the most
Christian word because it refers to our
being one big family in you our Father
with each one a brother and a sister in
Jesus Christ.
How sad we have become more
unkind than ever, just like the sons of
Jacob, the brothers of Joseph:
They said to one another:  
“Here comes the master dreamer!  
Come on, let us kill him and throw him
 into one of the cisterns here;
 we could say that a wild beast devoured him.
  We shall then see what comes of his dreams 
(Gen.37:19-20).”
From petty jealousies among us,
our being unkind deteriorate further
into sinister plots right in our hearts
to destroy our own loved ones,
those closest to us; worst of all,
it happens in the midst of us recognizing
them as "our own flesh" like Judah
and yet still "sell" them!
Forgive us, dear Jesus, for being so unkind:
 “when the tenants saw the son,
 they said to one another, 
‘This is the heir.  Come, let us kill him 
and acquire his inheritance.’  
They seized him, 
threw him out of the vineyard, 
and killed him (Mt.21:38-39).”
Our responsorial psalm captures 
the reason why we must always be kind, 
“Remember the marvels the Lord has done.”
  Let us heed your warning against being unkind, 
“When the Lord called down a famine
 on the land and ruined the crop
 that sustained them, 
he sent a man before them,
 Joseph, sold as a slave 
(Ps.105:16-17).” 
Teach us to be kind with everyone because
 "the stone that the builders rejected
 has become the cornerstone;
 by the Lord has this been done, 
and it is wonderful in our eyes" (Mt.21:42);
 This season of Lent, 
let us bring back kindness in our hearts, 
in our words, 
in our thoughts
 and in our deeds 
even if others are not kind to us
because very often, 
kindness has a way of teaching us 
the importance of this virtue 
that may not always be kind at all.
Amen.

We are our “brother’s keeper”

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time, Year I, 13 February 2023
Genesis 4:1-15, 25   ><))))*> + ><))))*> + ><))))*>   Mark 8:11-13
Photo by Mr. Jim Marpa, 2019.
Praise and glory to you,
God our loving Father,
for this wonderful Monday!
How amazing and lovely
to contemplate your words
daily, to experience your love
and mercy you lavishly pour
upon us despite our sinfulness.

Then the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord then said: “What have you done! Listen: your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil!”

Genesis 4:9-10
How often we act like
Cain, O Lord!
How often we miserably
fail one another, 
pretending not to know
each one when we cut off 
our ties as kins,
as brothers and sisters in
you our Father!
What a shame how everyday,
you ask us those basic questions
in Paradise after the fall of our 
first parents:  "Where are you?" and
then, "Where is your brother?"
Merciful Father,
let us ponder on these
questions of "where are you?"
and now "where is your brother?":
to find our place in you 
is always to find
and recognize too 
those around us as our kin,
our family in you;
open our eyes and 
our hearts to one another
as a sign of your presence
in Jesus Christ (Mk.8:11-13); 
let us feel the gravity 
of our sinfulness of
how evil in its darkest
reality happens right inside
our circles of family and
friends, when we strike one
another with our painful words,
or sharp looks, or indifference
and coldness; let us realize, however, 
that even in the midst of these
sinful thoughts and jealousies
we harbor against others in
our hearts, you remain in us,
still there continuing your
inner dialogue with us not to be
"resentful and crestfallen, 
to do well in order to hold up
our heads, and resist the demon
urging toward us" (Gen. 4:6-7).
In the name of Jesus Christ
your Son, in the power 
of the Holy Spirit,
enlighten our minds 
and our hearts,
dear Father,
to keep this basic truth
that we are indeed
our brother's keeper, 
that to keep our ties in you
tightly knit is to keep
our kinship always 
because you are our Father,
our origin and our end,

We pray in the most special
way for our family members
who have cut off ties with us,
those we have hurt or have hurt
us, choosing not to know us.
Touch their hearts.
Ask them too,
"Where is your brother,
your sister?"
Show them the way back
home, to experience
love and forgiveness
and mercy again.
Amen.