What are you looking for?

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul, Tuesday, Easter Week-IV, 05 May 2020

Acts of the Apostles 11:19-26 +++0+++ John 10:22-30

Photo from Reddit

Our loving God and Father, as countless men and women are now searching for the cure and vaccine against this corona virus that have hit us, you have also given us opportunities to look inside ourselves to examine the things and persons we are searching for in this life.

Today’s first reading reminds us how Barnabas went to Antioch to see for himself the power and grace of the gospel of your Son Jesus Christ being preached there among the gentiles.

When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people were added to the Lord.

Acts of the Apostles 11:23-24

Not only that: Barnabas also “went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch” (Acts 11:25).

What a remarkable attitude by Barnabas to search for the truth, to find the realities going on in Antioch!

Most of all, his efforts to look for Saul – a person feared and perhaps hated at that time – to bring him into the church in Antioch that eventually led to his baptism and adoption of the new name of Paul.

Give us, O Lord, the same desire for you! That we may always look for you in every situation we are into especially in this time of the corona. May we also look for those people we can bring closer to you through our communities, especially those suspected of so many things like St. Paul before.

How sad that sometimes, we are more like those in the gospel who kept on looking for you, Jesus, not because of a desire to really know you and follow you but to test you.

Give us a heart and the eyes of faith that truly search for what is true and good, that look for you in people and events because, like the deer that yearns for streams of water, our soul thirsts for you. Amen.

From FB/Be Like Francis.

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 (1987)

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music, 05 January 2020

Merry Christmas!

And welcome to our first Sunday Music this 2020 as we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord Jesus Christ, the third major celebration of Christmastime after the Nativity of the Lord (December 25) and Mary Mother of God (January 01).

From the Greek word epiphanes meaning manifestation, today’s celebration reminds us of God’s great love for everyone. Jesus came for us all, to give us life and fulfillment.

Jesus is the true and only star “wise men” always seek.

Our Sunday Music featured today is from U2’s “Joshua Tree” album released in 1987 and inspired by gospel music.

However, lead singer Bono admits it is not about faith but rather more about doubts.

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for

We are all looking or searching for something deeper, more profound, larger and bigger than ourselves and whatever we have. It is a given, a grace in everyone.

When we were younger, we search for more ordinary and mundane things like fame and wealth. But as we mature in life, we start looking for deeper and bigger realities of life like meaning, peace and serenity, joy and fulfillment.

Whatever it may be, it is always God, our semper major (always greater), the ultimate in everything.

St. Augustine perfectly expressed it in his Confessiones, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

U2’s hit “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was like an anthem for us young college graduates of the mid-80’s, searching for meaning in life. The music video is very interesting as it was set in Las Vegas to remind us that whatever we are truly searching in life can never be found in money and material things.

Though the song speaks of God in the line “kingdom come”, in the end, it is not really us who find God – it is the other way around: it is always God who finds us! After all, this life we live here on earth is planned and designed in heaven.

God always tries to invite us to follow his ways, to find him so he can direct us to our fulfillment, for us to find whatever we are looking for.

Here are three lessons we can learn from the magi who eventually found what they were looking for, “the newborn king of the Jews”, Jesus Christ:

First is to welcome darkness and troubles in life. Discontentment and problems are always a prelude to spiritual growth. When the magi arrived in Jerusalem searching for the child Jesus, King Herod and the whole city were deeply troubled; but, it led to their knowing where Jesus was born! Like in the story of creation found in Genesis, out of chaos comes order. We learn and find more lessons in life in adversarial situations than in our comfort zones.

Second is to always pray the Sacred Scriptures. Herod consulted the chief priests and scribes of Jerusalem to ask them what the prophets have told about where the Messiah would be born. Ironically, they found the answer in Prophet Malachi’s book which is Bethlehem yet, they never followed it! Prayer opens us to be humble to learn the lessons of the darkness and troubles happening in us.

Third lesson from the magi is: what are you willing to give up and offer to find whatever you are looking for? There are no shortcuts in life and definitely, no one is born entitled in this world. We have to earn and work for everything because essentially, that is the path that Jesus is telling us in life: whoever loses his life shall gain it and whoever keeps his life will lose it.

Hope you find what you are looking for this 2020.

Stir Me Within, O Lord

RaffyIceland10
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Friday, 23 November 2018, Week XXXIII, Year II
Revelation 10:8-11///Luke 19:45-48

            Lately Lord I have felt some intense feelings within me.  You seem to be too far, even elusive, yet I feel so drawn to you.  Is it love?  Am I growing?  Am I maturing?

            Since Sunday all your words from the first reading to the gospel have all been directed to the end of time, to the fulfillment of everything as you have promised.  I know deep in my heart it is easier said than done but that is how I feel – I am looking forward to it.  No, I am not ready to die yet, Lord; you know how fearful I am of so many things.

            But the more I pray and listen to your words, the more I discover you within me.  Like John, I could taste the sweetness of your words in my mouth but once they get down deep within me, they turn sour, they upset my stomach.  There are some inner stirrings within that invite me to listen attentively, intently, intensely to you within me.

            What they are, at the moment, I do not know, Lord.  They are disturbing but at the same time comforting.  It is like Luke’s version of your cleansing of the temple that is more sober than the other evangelists’ narration of the same event.  It is not so much of your anger but of the stirrings of your words that“all the people were hanging in your words” (Lk.19:48).

            Continue to stir me within, O Lord Jesus, let me hang in your words too so I may be cleansed within, washed from my sins, healed of my pains and hurts that you may reign supreme in me.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022.

*Photo by Mr. Raffy Tima of GMA-7 News, Iceland, October 2018.

LMC

On Searching the Lord

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Thursday, 08 November 2018, Week XXXI, Year II
Philippians 3:3-8//Luke 15:1-10

            Today, O Lord, I am searching for the meaning of the word…search.

            The psalmist sings in our responsorial psalm today, “Let hearts that rejoice who search for the Lord.”  In the gospel, you tell us the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin that were both searched and eventually found.

            We search for something that is missing, for something or somebody lost.  We search for something and someone very important.  That is why we search.  Therefore, in life, we must first lose everything to realize the most precious ones we must have!

            The shepherd searched for the lone sheep because his flock would never be complete without that single, missing sheep.  And so did the woman who lost one coin and searched for it because the ten coins would never be a whole without that cent.

            St. Paul lost everything and had to start anew in his life to gain you, O Lord Jesus Christ.  He had the best of everything like family and lineage, education and position in life.  And when he had lost everything in a flash on the road to Damascus, he searched and found you.

            We always have you, Lord, but as we grow and mature, and prosper in life, we gained more of the world and start to lose you that sooner or later in life during hardships and trials, we then search for you.

            But what is truly amazing and wonderful, O Lord, it is you who is searching for us when in fact you never ever lost us.  Besides, it does not really matter if you lose us because you would always be God.  Thank you for searching and finding me, O Lord, that made me realize also my true value.  Without you, I am nothing.

restlesshearts

            So, let me always search you even if I have already found you.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022.

*Photo from Google.