Of wages and gifts

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Wednesday, Memorials of St. John Eudes & St. Ezechiel Moreno, Priests, 19 August 2020
Ezekiel 34:1-11 >><)))*> ||| >><)))*> ||| >><)))*> Matthew 20:1-16
Photo by author, Pulilan, Bulacan, February 2020.

As we go through more difficulties and sufferings during this time of pandemic, your words today dear God speak so well of what we need most – a true shepherd who will care for the lost and injured sheep.

Yes, you have fulfilled, O God, your promise a long time ago to Ezekiel that you yourself will come by sending us your Son Jesus Christ to look after and tend your sheep after the shepherds of Israel have miserably failed in their duties and responsibilities.

Unfortunately, there are still so many shepherds today in government even in Church who continue to pasture themselves!

Woe to the shepherds of Israel who has been pasturing themselves! Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep? You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured. You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally. As I live, says the Lord God, because my sheep have been given over to pillage, and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast, for lack of a shepherd; I swear I am coming against these shepherds.

Ezekiel 34:2-4, 8, 10

Teach us, O Lord, through the examples of two great shepherds of souls whose feast we celebrate today: St. John Eudes who was one of the early pioneers in propagating devotion to your most Sacred Heart and St. Ezechiel Moreno who served for 15 years in the Philippines and later in South America where innumerable cancer cures were attributed to him.

St. John Eudes and St. Ezechiel Moreno showed in their lives of faithful and loving apostolate for the poor that shepherding is always a gift, never to be counted or equated nor even be seen in terms of wages and pay like in the gospel.

Remind us sweet Jesus in the midst of this pandemic when we are called to be good shepherds like you, may we always see your call and mission to us as gifts freely given not as tasks or work to be compensated by material things because you believe in us.

May we always go the extra mile in answering your call, O Lord, which is in itself a tremendous gift we must cherish for we are not even worthy at all to receive. Amen.

From Google.

“When The Morning Comes” by the Kalapana (1975)

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music, 23 June 2019
Sunrise at Lake Tiberias, the Holy Land, 02 May 2019. Photo by the author.

Our Sunday music on this Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is an original composition by Daryl Hall of the dynamic duo “Hall and Oates” included in their “Abandoned Luncheonette” album released in 1973. Two years later, the upcoming rock group who called themselves “Kalapana” based in Hawaii did a cover of the Hall composition that became a hit that many thought it to be their original.

What I like with Kalapana is how they can make sad songs sound good like “When the Morning Comes” or their more popular hit “The Hurt”.

There is too much darkness in their songs, of disappointments but, the way they sang them you forget all their sad messages.

Went down town to see my little lady
She stood me up and I stood there waiting
It’ll be alright,
When the morning comes

Well now I’m up in the air with the rain in my hair
Got nowhere to go I can go anywhere
It’ll be alright
When the morning comes

I’m just passin’ and I’m not askin’ that you be anyone but you
When you come home, try to come home alone
It’s so much better with two

Well now I’m out in the cold and I’m growin’ old
Standing here waiting on you
It’ll be alright 
When the morning comes

Ooh ooh ooh ooh
When the morning comes
Ooh ooh ooh ooh
When the morning comes

There will always be darkness in our lives.

And that is why Jesus came, not really to remove darkness but, to accompany us so we can make it through the night until the morning comes.

But most of all, on this Solemnity of His Body and Blood, Jesus invites us to be his presence in the world plunged in darkness by always trying to see him in the face of everyone we meet.

As most people say, darkness ends and morning comes the moment we come to recognize the face of another person as our brother or sister.

Happy listening to everyone and enjoy your Sunday!

Sealed With the Holy Spirit

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Friday//19October2018//Week XXVIII, Year II
Ephesians 1:11-14///Luke 12:1-7
             It’s a Friday again, God our loving Father.
             Thank you for the many blessings you have given us this week, especially for those gifts we never asked from you.  Forgive me in failing to manifest you and show your glory in my work and in my life this week.  Most of all, in failing to show the “seal of the Holy Spirit” we have all received from the redemption worked on us by your Son Jesus Christ (Eph.1:13).

             Help me O God to always remember this seal of the Holy Spirit in me, of my task to praise and worship you always as my Lord and Master.  Let me be careful with things that I say and whisper, with things I keep in secret and darkness because sooner or later, everything shall be revealed in your light for nothing escapes you (Lk.12:2-3).

              Let me be like the northern lights at this time of the year, O Lord, when every little thing like air and humidity, gases and light, including every little degree of earth’s tilting all work in a dazzling symphony of lights that liven up the cold, dark nights of winter.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022. E-mail to lordmychef@gmail.com for free subscription.

*Photo courtesy of Mr. Raffy Tima of GMA-7 News, Iceland Northern Lights, 08 October 2018.  Used with permission.

We Are Evangelists of the Lord

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Thursday//18October2018//Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist
2Timothy 4:10-17///Luke 10:1-9

             Today we thank you O Lord for opening our eyes through St. Luke in showing to us that what we need most in this world are people who would reveal to us and enable us to experience the mystery of your coming and presence among us.  You never told us to pray for more machines or technology, more gadgets or more money for the abundant harvest.  What we need are people – laborers – or evangelists who would write with their lives your gospel of love, your gospel of life like St. Luke.

             “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Lk.10:2)

             Of your four evangelists, only St. Luke made known to us how he had “decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence” (Lk.1:3) everything about you and your teachings, O Lord.  With his life and writings, we were able to have a glimpse of the mysteries of your life especially stories of your Annunciation and Birth up to your presentation at the Temple that have endeared the Christmas season to us.

             It was St. Luke who always told us the many instances you have prayed to stress the need for an intimacy with God always in this life.  He was the only one who told us the beautiful Emmaus story that has been a constant reminder of Easter burning always within our hearts.  And it was also St. Luke who remarkably showed us how Mary has always been your model disciple until the Pentecost.

             Give us, Lord Jesus, the same grace as a laborer and an evangelist which is the ability to see and communicate God working in our lives daily in the power of the Holy Spirit.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022. E-mail to lordmychef@gmail.com.

*Photo from Google: “Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin” by Flemish painter Roger van der Weyden (1400-1464).  It is one of the most important paintings from Europe in the United States now kept on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  It is a very lovely and very interesting painting too!

When Little Things Mean So Much

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Wednesday//17October2018//Week XXVIII, Year II
Galatians 5:18-25///Luke 12:13-21

            Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be like little children, to be always the least.  In you we have found the beauty of being small.  And how wonderful when little things we often take for granted like the Holy Spirit can really mean so much for our growth and maturity!

            The Holy Spirit often means so little for us because it is the Person in your Blessed Trinity who is least known, least understood.  But as St. Paul tells us today in the first reading, a little of the Holy Spirit that can hardly be imagined or visualized lead to a harvest of great fruits in us of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal.5:22-23)

             On the other hand, small thoughts of sin and evil always lead to our own destruction like “immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies and the like.” (Gal.5:19-21)

             There are times we are like the Pharisees and the scholars of the law you have scolded in the gospel today who “pay tithes of mint and rue and every garden herb” forgetting the more essential demands of love for God through others, of always seeking seats of honor when our lives are empty and rotten inside like graves or when we burden those around us with many demands while we refuse to lift even a finger to do the same (Lk.12:13-21).

             Yes, we are guilty O Lord of making little things of nothing into something, forgetting the little things that mean so much.  Give us the grace to spice up our lives with great little things of your Holy Spirit like St. Ignatius of Antioch who preached the unity of the Church by emphasizing the importance of every little community united in you and the Pope.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022. E-mail to lordmychef@gmail.com.

Photo by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, Church of St. Agnes garden in Jerusalem, 20 April 2017.

The Spirit of Prayer

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Thursday//11October2018//Week XXVII, Year II
Galatians 3:1-5///Luke 11:5-13

            Fifty six years ago today, your Holy Spirit O Lord breathed fresh air into our Holy Mother Church with the first session of the Second Vatican Council convened by Pope St. John XXIII whose memorial we also celebrate today.

             A man of great wisdom and wit with great love for the poor, St. John XXIII came to be known as the “good Pope” because the faithful saw in him your goodness, O God.  Even if his pontificate lasted only five years as he was already advanced in age when he became a Pope, St. John XXIII accomplished so much in his words and actions because he was evidently sustained with a profound spirit of prayer.

             Like St. Paul, he called on the entire Church to go back again to the Gospel Himself – Jesus Christ so we can be more responsive to the modern time.  But 56 years after the start of Vatican II, we have become “stupid” like the Galatians who, “after beginning with the Spirit, are now ending with the flesh?” (Gal.3:3)

             Help us O Lord, through the prayers and inspiration of Pope St. John XXIII to always go back to the spirit of prayer, to persist in asking for you, in seeking you, and knocking at your door so we could enter into your heart and be closer to you so you would take over us.  That is the true power of prayer:  it is not with what we say but how we say like in today’s parable.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022. E-mail to lordmychef@gmail.com.


Photos from Google.

Praying With Courage Like Jesus

DSCF0913 (2)
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Wednesday//10October2018//Week XXVII, Year II
Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14///Luke 11:1-4

             What a wonderful grace for your apostles to have witnessed you prayed, O Lord!  It must have been a great sight to behold, seeing you deep in prayer that they asked you to teach them how to pray.

             How sad, though, that we have taken for granted the only prayer you have taught us to pray, the Our Father.  It has become so ordinary, even mechanical for us.  Sometimes, we really do not pray your prayer but merely recite it, lacking courage and vibrancy to inspire others to pray.

            Give us courage, O Lord, a lot of courage to pray your prayer with more conviction by making “God’s kingdom come and His will be done” as we pray it. Give us courage to pray it not only begging for forgiveness to our sins but most of all to forgive those who have sinned against us.

            Like St. Paul in the first reading, give us the courage to boldly profess to everyone, even to our peers, the truth of your gospel.  Make us truthful in praying the “Our Father” so that when others see and hear us, they may ask us too to teach them to pray like the Twelve. AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022. Send e-mail to < lordmychef@gmail.com>.

Photo by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, the Church of the Our Father, Holy Land Pilgrimage, 19 April 2017.

A Lamp of Jesus

person standing on shoreline beside gray tubular lantern
Photo by Alan Cabello on Pexels.com

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Monday//24September2018//Week XXV//Year II
Proverbs 3:27-34///Luke 8:16-18

            God our Father, it is again a Monday.  Thank you for the gift of life, the gift of work, the gift of responsibilities, the gift of one another.  Give us the grace to always do whatever is good and remain humble before you through others (Prov.3:35).

            Open our eyes to see more of the many things we can learn instead of seeing the many faults and failures of others as well as shortcomings in many situations we find ourselves in.  The world is one vast classroom with so many wonderful things to enjoy and cherish!
             Make me a lamp of the light of your Son Jesus Christ to dispel the darkness not only in the world but most especially within each one of us.  Make me a lamp that would reveal the truth of our being your beloved children, sanctified and forgiven in Christ Jesus.  Let us all gain more of your love and mercy, more of your justice and peace, more of you in the power of the Holy Spirit.  AMEN.Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022.

When We Treat Others As Entity Than Family

September 11 Retrospective
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Tuesday, 11 September 2018, Week XXIII, Year II
1 Corinthians 6:1-11///Luke 6:12-19

            Merciful Father in heaven, we look up to you today praying for those people who have died in “9/11”.

            Until now we still feel the pain of how such a horrific event could happen on the first year of the new millennium.  More than 2000 years ago, you have sent us your Son Jesus Christ to bring us together as brothers and sisters, praying that we may all be one – “ut unum sint” (John 17:21). 

             Unfortunately, we would more often go on our own separate ways, refusing to see one another as a family but instead as an entity.  Like the Corinthians during the time of St. Paul, we could not resolve amicably our many issues and differences that end in tragedy.  St. Paul noted so well how we have forgotten our being sanctified by the Holy Spirit to abide with justice and respect in spite of our differences.

           Give us the grace, O God, to look more on Jesus Christ than with each other like the Apostles.  Give us that grace of seeing more of Jesus Christ like the Twelve so that in the process we may see our very selves being called not because we are qualified but out of your immense love for us.  Give us the grace to see our worth as a person amid our diversity in color and creed.  Amen.Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022.  Photo from CBS.News.

Choose Good, Choose What Is Beautiful!

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Monday, 10 September 2018, Week XXIII, Year II
1 Corinthians 5:1-8///Luke 6:6-11

            God our Father, it is Monday again.  For most of us, it is the start of another week of work or studies or both.  For some of us like our retired parents and friends, it is another week of emptiness in their empty nests.  For the sick, it is another week of patient waiting.  Every Monday, some of us dread the many decisions and choices we have to make for this brand new week.

             Give us the grace amidst these Monday blues to think more of the good things in life.  Give us the grace to choose what is good no matter how difficult it may be.  Make us positive of the many good choices available for us despite the many darkness and problems that surround us in the family, in our relationships and in our work or school.

             Like St. Paul in the first reading today, let us not give in to immorality, that “old yeast” within us, “the yeast of malice and wickedness; but, let us celebrate this new week with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth found in Christ Jesus.” (1Cor.5:7-8)  Every day is your day, O Lord, a sabbath – a day of doing good, of saving lives, of healing wounds (Lk.6:9) through Jesus Christ.  Amen.Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022.

Photo by the author, Betania-Tagaytay, 23 August 2017.