Prayer for patience

40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Third Week in Lent, 09 March 2021
Daniel 3:25, 34-43   ><}}}*> + <*{{{><   Matthew 18:21-35
Photo by Mr. Chester Ocampo, UST High School, 2019.

Thank you, God our Father in heaven, for the gift of Lent. Now we are into its third week, I could strongly feel its character, its impact, making me realize of the need to pray for more patience. From you. And for me.

Patience from You.

Like Azariah in the first reading, we pray for your patience to bear with us for our many sins that have brought us to our lowest point in life. Teach us to pray for mercy and forgiveness like Azariah, to plea for your patience to our hardness of hearts.

For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you. But with a contrite heart and a humble spirit let us be received; as though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.

Daniel 3:37-40

How wonderful it is, O Lord our God, of your patience — that virtue of enduring suffering and pain — when we are the ones who have turned away from you, we were the ones who have hurt you with our sins and here you are, bearing all the pains for us?

Thank you for bearing with us always.

And forgive us when we lack patience.

Please, grant us patience…now!

But kidding aside, how ironic that we keep on asking for patience from you and from others too when we cannot be patient at all in dealing with our fellow debtors and sinners like that unforgiving servant in the parable today. You have been so patient in forgiving all our debts yet we cannot forgive those who owe us with less.

Methinks maybe we have not suffered that much, we have never been patient at all that we have not truly felt and realized your patience for us.

Like Peter, we would rather be thinking of quantity, of how many times must we forgive those who wrong us that eventually we run out of patience because of the great number of sins against us.

We have never been patient at all if what we do is keep tabs of the wrongs and sins against us. We do not bear any suffering at all but merely count them like Peter.

Teach us to stop counting the sins of others and be like you in being patient with us sinners: you forgive because we are your children, because you love us.

That is perhaps the key to being patient: instead of counting how many times should we forgive, let us see more why we must forgive because we are all forgiven sinners in your Son Jesus Christ. Perhaps if we can keep that in mind, then we can always patient with our fellow sinners. Amen.

Persevering in Christ

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul
Friday, Third Week in Ordinary Time, 29 January 2021
Hebrews 10:32-39   +++  >><)))*> + <*(((><<  +++   Mark 4:26-34
Photo by Mr. Raffy Tima of GMA-7 News, Batanes 2018.

Our loving Father in heaven, thank you very much for another weekend, for another day of rest approaching, for the grace of making it this far despite the many difficulties we have gone through: the chemotherapy and dialysis, surgery or physical therapy; death of a loved one, including a beloved pet for some; losing a job, giving up a business, calling it quits for a dream or endeavor.

So many trials, some we have hurdled, some we have overcome, some we have lost.

But here we are, Lord God, though wounded and bruised but still alive, still dreaming, still hoping, still fighting. All persevering in Jesus Christ our Eternal Priest and Master.

Your words today, O Lord, are so comforting for many of us. Help us to never give up, to persevere despite our sins and failures. Be patient with us, sweet Jesus. Most of all, let us be patient too in waiting for you, in your coming, in your comfort, in your solace, in bearing fruits. Help us realize that the more we are enlightened in you, the more we are purified, the more we are tested.

Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering. You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised. We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life.

Hebrews 10:32, 36, 39

Like the farmer who sows seeds in his farm, may we confidently wait, never giving up until they sprout into new plants, have blades, have flowers and bear fruits.

Like the mustard seed, may we persevere to find deep within our hearts your gift of faith that someday, we shall grow and be fruitful. Amen.

Photo by author, flower of a mustard seed at Ein-Karen, Israel, 2017.

Advent is a two-way street

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Second Sunday of Advent-B, 06 December 2020
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11   > + <   2 Peter 3:8-14   > + <   Mark1:1-8
Photo by Dr. Mylene A. Santos, MD at Katmon Harbor Nature Sanctuary, Infanta, Quezon (March 2020).

Had a most unique experience this week about waiting when I was told by my doctor to take a swab test Wednesday after coming home with a terrible flu Monday afternoon. With no results yet after 24 hours, I felt worried.

It was later that evening when I regained my bearing in the Lord guided by his words during prayer where he proclaimed his coming “a very little while” (Is.29:17, Friday Advent Wk.I), comforting me through the night. The following day after breakfast, I was informed my swab test yielded negative results that I rejoiced and felt Jesus finally coming!

And that is when I realized too that Advent happens on a two-way street: Jesus is always coming to us and we have to come to him too in order to meet him and experience Advent.


Jesus always comes;
we need to also come to meet him!

Advent is a wonderful season that teaches us the beauty and value of waiting that has become so rare in our 24/7 world of instants. Nobody wants to wait, thinking it is a waste of time as they feel empty when waiting for someone or something. We want our hands always full, our bases loaded with something concrete and tangible.

Photo by Dr. Mylene A. Santos, MD, at Katmon Harbor Nature Sanctuary in Infanta, Quezon (03 December 2020).

But that is what we forget when we wait: we are never empty when waiting. In fact, the very reason we wait is because we always have something already, never empty. We await results of all kinds of tests we have undertaken because we have given our best shots or specimen; we await a loved one because we have a beloved; and, we await the day because it is night time, the best time to believe in the light as we have reflected last week.

Yes, in Advent we await the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time which we do not know when but we are not empty waiting for him; we are filled with him but we hardly notice him because we have filled ourselves with so many other things and people. We need to empty ourselves once in a while, leave our places of comfort to come and meet Jesus in the many desert of life.

Like John the Baptizer.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. a voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

Mark 1:1-8

The gospel of Jesus
begins whenever
we come to meet him.

St. Mark wrote the first gospel account in the Bible that became the pattern for St. Matthew and St. Luke in writing their own gospel versions. Being the first evangelist, St. Mark was also the first to give us a portrait of who is Jesus Christ, the suffering Messiah.

Photo by author, sunrise at Camp John Hay, Baguio City, November 2018.

He did not have an infancy narrative of Jesus unlike St. Matthew and St. Luke because St. Mark was in such a hurry to proclaim the good news of salvation of Christ who had to suffer for the forgiveness of our sins.

And that makes him so perfect in this Season of Advent: we need to hurry in order to meet Jesus Christ right here in our own darkness and sufferings as we have mentioned last Sunday.

Advent as a season of new beginnings happens wherever and whenever we become another John, a voice in the wilderness, one who goes out to proclaim that the Lord is coming, that he in fact has come.

To speak of a “beginning” always implies an end like in the beginning of a new day after the end of yesterday.

But with St. Mark telling us “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ”, he is not implying something that had ended. When we look at how he ended his gospel, we find it to be “hanging”, not really finished with the discovery of the empty tomb: St. Mark “ended” his gospel abruptly because he wanted his audience and all believers of Jesus to continue telling and living the gospel of Christ!

And that is how the gospel Jesus truly begins: in every heart that is open and empty for his coming, for anyone honest and sincere to admit his sinfulness, his shortcomings, his limitations, his being less than God, his being in darkness longing to be in light.

Here we find that imagery of the desert in John’s preaching to show us the need to retreat, to come to terms with our true selves in our bare essentials — no ifs nor buts, no pretensions, no hypocrisies. Come to Jesus in our sinfulness, in our littleness, in our being his precursor like John.


Beginning does not always mean the end
but sometimes the continuation of
something so beautiful that had already began.

Sometimes in life, we do not see everything so clear right away. There are times even when nothing seems to be so good as if God has abandoned us that we do not know where to begin at all, if ever we could really start again.

Imagine the people of Israel at that time living in exile at Babylon: they have not seen nor heard anything about their country nor their temple in Jerusalem that once stood as their pride being God’s chosen people. No doubt, they could not see anything good at all in their exile as everything must be so bad and dismal — their masters, the food, the water, and life itself.

Suddenly, here comes God, telling them through the prophet:

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.

Isaiah 40:1-2
Photo by author, Advent Week-I in our parish, 29 November 2020.

Last Thursday, while feeling so sick and helpless with my situation, awaiting the results of my swab test coupled with some problems, I cried out to God.

It was like a desert experience when I felt so helpless, so weak before him, lamenting that this should be the season of Advent, of his coming yet I could not see him.

But it was an outpouring of my feelings inside where deep within, I trusted God so much that he would do something wonderful. That there is something beautiful coming like his very Advent. And it did happen! I was found negative of COVID-19 and most of all, all my other problems and worries were solved in a flash.

Sometimes in life, we need to go to our “desert”, to come out of our false securities in life, come to the open in order to meet Jesus who is always coming. This Second Sunday of Advent, we are called to be another John the Baptist, “A voice of one crying out in the desert” expressing our hope in Jesus that he is coming, that he is come, that he is already here.

To go come out to meet Jesus is when we are also comforted in this season of patient waiting for his Second Coming as he strengthens us in our faith and hope in God. To comfort is not just to feel good but to give strength, from the Latin cum + fortis, with strength.

When we do not see someone or anyone, that does not mean he/she does not exist; there are times we need to go out and walk around, even go up a mountain or hill to find Jesus coming. God is always with us and will never abandon us even in our worst and most sinful and darkest moments in life.

That is why every “beginning” does not mean the end of something but the continuation of something that had began so beautiful which is the coming of Jesus, his meeting with us. And the more we continue in these series of new beginning, the more wonderful life becomes.

May we heed this Season of Advent St. Peter’s teaching:

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:8-9
Photo by author, Advent Week-I in the parish, 29 November 2020.

God remains faithful to his promise and he will surely come again like a thief at night. This is the very essence of Advent, the other facet of our focus in our four-week preparation for Christmas. May we witness to this hope as disciples of the Lord not with what we say but with how we live, how we try to be holy in life even if we have to begin anew every day. Amen.

Have a blessed Sunday, my dear reader!

Life in the dead of the night

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
First Sunday of Advent, Cycle B, 29 November 2020
Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7  +  1 Corinthians 1:3-9  +  Mark 13:33-37
Photo by Atty. Polaris Grace Rivas-Beron at the summit of Mt. Sinai, May 2019.

A blessed happy new year to everyone as we begin today the new liturgical year of our Church calendar with the first Sunday of Advent. From the Latin word adventus for “coming”, Advent is a time meant to prepare us spiritually for Christmas.

And with all the problems and sufferings we have been going through this 2020 with the pandemic still around us in this joyous season of Christ’s coming, we hope that we make this Advent Season more serious so we may have a more meaningful Christmas, prepared for 2021 (see our recent blog, https://lordmychef.com/2020/11/23/surely-there-will-be-christmas-2020/)!

Like Lent, though in a less penitential mode, Advent is a time to pray and reflect on our lives and if possible, go to confessions to cleanse our hearts so Jesus may come and rest there like when he was born on a manger in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago.

Our first reading today beautifully sets the mood for Advent 2020 in the midst of COVID-19 with a prayer so true with each one of us:

You, Lord, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever. Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage. Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you…

Isaiah 63:16-17, 19
Photo by author, Advent 2019.

Advent is for new beginnings, for coming again.

Year 2020 is without doubt very difficult for everyone but it teaches us in the most unique way the essentials in life like God, family, friends, true self, and things like kindness, respect, thoughtfulness, simplicity, presence, and other niceties we have taken for granted for so long. It is about time that we recover these specially in Advent which is the season of new beginnings when we start anew in life.

And where do we start?

Right where we are, here in our darkness in the pandemic and within our hearts, far from God by beginning to pray anew to him so he may finally come and return to us!

The words by Prophet Isaiah in the first reading are so perfect at this time as if these were written only recently, expressing our true sentiments within: that we are sorry for having drifted far from Jesus and from others all these years, so focused with things and gadgets than with God and persons.

Our hearts have been too hard, distant from God and each other, so cold and so dark that we have become so insensitive, callous and numb or even without any conscience at all that in the midst of a pandemic, there are some who can still utter lies and malice with their hands also tainted with blood and corruption.

It is so sickening but, the more we pray and listen to our inner selves, we also find how this darkness has slowly encroached on us too, happening at different levels right in our own family circles, in our community, and even in our church maybe!

On bended knees, we humbly admit our need for God to intervene now – to rend the heavens – and bring us back to our senses and unto him, so we may finally find rays of hope, even a glimmer of light in this darkness we are into.

As we pray for the Lord’s advent or coming, we need to strive to be vigilant on our part as we patiently await him right in our hearts in this night of the pandemic and chaos going on.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”

Mark 13:33, 35-37
Photo by author, Red Wednesday, 25 November 2020.

Though we live in darkness, we belong to Christ who is light himself!

Everywhere in the world, except Down Under perhaps, the Season of Advent always falls in that time of the year when the nights are longer and most of all, darkest as in winter experienced in the western hemisphere, including Europe.

In fact, Christmas Eve is the darkest night of the year, the date Christ was born to bring light and be the light of the world.

See how Jesus used the night as the time of the return of the “lord of the house” (who is himself, too) when everything is dark and difficult.

For the young generation today, it may mean nothing at all as they have grown accustomed to our 24/7 world where work continues into the night like during the day with offices and stores opened and public transportation readily available.

During the time of Jesus and even 30 years ago, we rarely travelled nor even went out past six in the evening because of the many dangers at night like criminal elements lurking for their preys and simply the difficult situation of seeing clearly the roads ahead. In the bible, darkness is the realm of evil and sin like Jesus being betrayed by Judas after their last supper while in Genesis, we find how in darkness was nothing but chaos until God created everything.

And there lies the good news of the night, of darkness, and of Advent: Jesus Christ as the light himself of the world comes to save us at night! It was before dawn when Jesus walked the waters of the Sea of Galilee to save his apostles while being tossed by giant waves in their small boat. It was also in the darkness of the night when Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday.

Yes, we all live in the night when darkness envelops us, even our hearts and very lives with so many problems and crises happening but we never lose hope, we never lose sight of that glimmer of light for we do not belong to the night but to Jesus Christ, the light of the world.

Photo by author, Red Wednesday, 25 November 2020.

Advent is patient waiting for the Lord’s coming.

Night is the time when it is best to believe in the light. As one poet had said, “The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.” But, another unknown poet had also said that “Only the brave who dare to walk the darkest of nights shall see the brightness of the stars above.”

Our lives may be in darkness or even dark itself these days but we celebrate the Sunday Eucharist today even if the the Lord’s coming may be delayed because we know deep in our hearts that “God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Cor.1:9).

One thing we need to pray for this season are patience and vigilance in awaiting his return during this darkness.

Patience is a virtue becoming so rare these days when everything is rushed as we live in a world of “instants” like instant gratification and, yes! — even instant vaccine against COVID-19 without us realizing its deep implications of calls for changes in the way of living and doing things in the world as individuals and as nations. From the Latin “patior” which is to bear all pains, patience is also believing that something better will happen in every sufferings we patiently endure.

Likewise, vigilance is more than being awake and prepared for any eventuality but an active waiting for someone or something by taking risks due also to a firm belief something better will come out of trying situations.

Patience and vigilance go together for both are fruits of real and hard prayer, expressions of deep faith in God.

Photo by author, Advent 2019.

On this first Sunday of Advent with clouds still turning dark with rains that have never stopped drenching us these past weeks, we continue to celebrate the Eucharist thanking God for our long-term faith in Christ’s Second Coming.

When we look back to those past nine months of darkness in this pandemic worsened by recent calamities and a clueless government since January, we actually gone far than we have expected.

Why? Because we have never lost hope from the little glimmers of lights God has sent us since the lockdown in March! We have survived and slowly, many of us are finding life’s deeper meanings and realities in God our Father.

Notice how in every patient waiting for Christ’s Second Coming in the midst of the many darkness in life, the Lord actually comes nearer to us, albeit slowly and unnoticeably?

That’s the beauty of Advent, new beginnings always happening for those patiently waiting in the Lord.

Let us be on guard during these long nights of darkness when temptations are strongest and so appealing. Like at the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wants us to “watch” with him by praying to the Father so we may remain faithful and focused on him alone to soon find life in the dead of the night. Amen.

A blessed Sunday to you!

Praying at the foot of the Cross

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Tuesday, St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church, 28 January 2020

2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Mark 3:31-35

What else shall I say to you, O Lord our loving God? With this beautiful prayer by your “Angelic Doctor” St. Thomas Aquinas whose feast we celebrate today, we borrow not only his prayer but most of all, his attitude and disposition in seeking you always, serving you, loving you.

He had taught us that it is at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ where we can best learn about love, patience, humility, and obedience (Office of Readings).

Please us that desire always to seek you right there at the foot of your Son’s Cross, Lord.

Like King David, let us get near you O God represented at that time by the Ark of the Covenant but today in Jesus Christ, your Emmanuel present among us in the Holy Eucharist St. Thomas had loved so much with his hymns and prayers composed.

Like King David who danced before your Ark of the Covenant, may we give our selves totally at your service, Lord.

Help us do your will, Father, after praying at the foot of the Cross for that is when we truly become the “mother and brother and sister of Jesus” (Mk.3:35). Amen.

Photo by Mr. Jasper Dacutanan, 19 January 2020, our parish altar.

Advent is joyful, patient waiting

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul

Third Sunday of Advent or Gaudete Sunday, 15 December 2019

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10 ><}}}*> James 5:7-10 ><}}}*> Matthew 11:2-11

Malolos Cathedral, 10 December 2019. Photo by author.

For most people, our title is something odd and weird, perhaps even an oxymoron, for how can waiting be joyful and patient?

Many people hate to wait. Waiting for them is a waste of time because they believe it is an activity that is empty, full of risks of leading to nothing and disappointments. That is why they make all kinds of excuses in having all the devices and gadgets they need to busy themselves with while they are – after all – still “waiting”!

This Season of Advent is the most opportune time to rediscover the beauty and joy of patient waiting, especially this Third Sunday known as “Gaudete Sunday” from the Latin gaudere, to rejoice.

Advent teaches us that waiting is both joyful and patient; that it is more than an activity but a being that is always indicative of having something leading to fullness!

Our Parish altar, Gaudete 2019.

Patience is waiting that leads to fulfillment.

Pink is our motif this Third Sunday of Advent to signify joy in waiting for the Lord’s Second Coming. Waiting is an experience in itself filled with joy – if we really know how to wait patiently.

Patience is from the Latin word patior, to suffer. Its Greek origin is hupomone that suggests continuance and submission that literally means “submissive waiting”.

Both in its Latin and Greek origins, patience is a condition or a being of willing to wait because it knows there is something coming. It is never empty: you patiently wait because you already have something, you are holding onto something already. We wait in line whether in the grocery or at the doctor’s clinic because we know we would be attended to later. We wait precisely because we have something – almost – but not yet.

In this sense, patient waiting is more than an activity but more of a being and a condition that leads us to trust and faith, then into hope, and eventually into fullness.

Impatient people cannot wait because they do not see beyond the present condition. Their perceptions are very limited that they have to satisfy their wants immediately, just like our culture of instants these days or the so-called IGG for “Instant Gratification Generation”.

The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing

Isaiah 35:1-2, 3-6
An oasis in the Dead Sea desert, May 2017. Photo by author.

Intimacy: the joy of patient waiting

There are three key personalities in Advent: Isaiah, John the Baptist, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Isaiah saw the coming of the Christ from a very distant past while John pointed everyone that the awaited one has already come. Mary, on the other hand, celebrated Advent because she brought forth Jesus in her womb.

Today we are joined by Isaiah and John the Baptist to complete our joy of patient waiting that Christ in fact is already with us though not yet…

In our first reading we have seen the imagery of the desert like last Sunday in John’s preaching. The desert evokes the feeling of nothingness and emptiness like waiting itself as most people think.

But, in the bible since the time of Abraham, the desert is the favorite place where God would always meet with people. It was always in the desert where the prophets and the people waited and experienced God.

Wild flowers in the desert of Jordan, May 2019.

So you see, my dear reader and follower, the desert is more than a place but also the intimacy of God with his people and later with his Son Jesus Christ who would always go to the desert or deserted place to pray like in the Transfiguration, or when he prayed and fasted for 40 days and nights before being tempted by the devil after his baptism by John at Jordan. It was also in the desert where Jesus did many of his memorable conversations that led to conversions like at Jacob’s well where he met a Samaritan woman one hot afternoon.

Examine your lives, dear reader and follower: it is always in the desert of our lives, in its bareness and desolation, when we are empty and thirsty when we truly experienced God closest.

Isaiah spoke of this prophecy when the Israelites were at their lowest point of misery and defeat as exiles in a pagan country with no freedom, no temple, even no God.

When we are full of material things, full of ourselves, when everything is going so perfectly well in life, that is when we are ironically shallow and superficial. What really deepened us in life are those desert moments of tribulations and trials because that is when we have found and rediscovered true intimacy – with God and with our loved ones!

Patient waiting is a desert full of joy because that is where we experience intimacy and fullness, the tension of the already here but not yet, not only with God but also with one another.

Here we find St. James imagery of the farmer as finest example of patient waiting, of trusting in God that what we have sown would grow and be fruitful. Despite our culture of instants, there are so many things that cannot be rushed, when we have to patiently wait in time like intimacy.

How do we recognize our true friends? They are the ones who always stand by our side especially when we our down and out, the ones who accompany us in our patient waiting when we are in the middle of a storm, or in the desert, desolate.

Malolos Cathedral Dome, December 2019. Photo by author.

Proceeding in joy in the presence of the Lord

One problem with waiting is when we are superseded by our so many expectations that may also be unrealistic. We hate waiting, we stop hoping because we feel disappointed and frustrated because we do not get what we really expect from our waiting.

The problem is with us, not with waiting itself. So often we await things instead of persons. To wait in joy with patience demands openness for the one who is coming not on what is coming.

True waiting is always about persons, not things. Waiting is beautiful and joyful because you are not alone in waiting, there is always another person waiting for you, waiting with you. And when we finally meet with the one we are waiting, then we have presence!

This is why the synonym for gift is also present, from presence.

Every waiting is directed to another person who also awaits the other person. When we focus our waiting on things than persons, then we miss everything in our waiting which is the presence of the other person.

This is the meaning of the response of Jesus to the emissaries of John.

Camp John Hay “Belen”, December 2017.

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them.”

Matthew 11:2-5

Jesus was telling the emissaries of John that the one they have been waiting had come, already present among the people especially the sick and the poor. God had come in the midst of his people, healing them, consoling them, uplifting them.

This Third Sunday of Advent, Jesus is asking us like the crowds: what are we looking for, what are we waiting for? Set aside or totally forget all your expectations, open yourself, open your heart, open your eyes to see and experience the presence of the Christ who had come, who will come again, and always comes among us.

Indeed, we are so blessed because despite our being sinful, of being the least in the kingdom of heaven, we have Jesus coming to us day in, day out. Share his coming, share his healing, share his joy! Amen.

Prayer to persevere

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Thursday, Week XXVII, Year I, 10 October 2019

Malachi 3:13-20 ><}}}*> ><}}}*> ><}}}*> Luke 11:5-13

Photo by Mr. Jim Marpa, September 2019.

Nothing and nobody escapes you, O God. You know very well not only what is in our hearts and in our thoughts but you can also hear what we talk and discuss. Most of all, you know what we need.

Give us the grace to persevere in your words, Lord; to remain faithful in your precepts and promises.

Let us strive to bear pains, ready to sacrifice comforts because there are no shortcuts in this life.

Let us keep in our minds and our hearts that basic truth that “life is difficult”. In this world where everything seems readily available that many have disregarded your presence and even existence, teach us Lord to persevere, to be patient in waiting for your coming to fulfill us, to grant our prayers.

Teach us to value silence more than noise.

To surrender everything to you than be manipulative.

Let us find time to be alone with you and for you than be preoccupied with people and things.

Grant us the Holy Spirit, Lord, to fill us with your love and wisdom to always persevere in life for we hold on to your promise that

“…there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.”

Malachi 3:20

Amen.

Patient Like Jesus

dscf1400.jpg
A street performer at the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf in Taiwan must have tried and failed so many times before getting his permit from Taipei officials to perform in public.  Photo by the author taken last January 29, 2019

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul
Wednesday, 20 February 2019, Week VI, Year I
Genesis 8:6-13, 20-22///Mark 8:22-26

Lord Jesus Christ, yesterday you taught me of your great love and mercy through your fidelity and patience in my being too slow in understanding your signs of presence.

Thank you very much, Lord, for bearing with my mindlessness.

But today, I praise and thank you twice, even thrice, in giving me the grace of being patient like you in my persevering to keep on trying and hoping for your love and mercy, healing and grace.

Like that blind man in Bethsaida you have healed gradually, you have taught me how things are not that clear right away at your coming.  Sometimes, everything seems to be so blurred when “I see people looking like trees and walking” (Mk.8:24).

Like Noah in the first reading after the rains and the floods, it takes time before plants sprout and bloom again.  So many times, I just have to be like Noah, always waiting, always trying until the floods have subsided.

Let me offer you a sacrifice of praise today O Lord through my kindness and patience with others just like you.   Amen.  Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.