We are the right person in Christ

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
First Friday of the Month, Week XIII, Year I in Ordinary Time, 02 July 2021
Genesis 23:1-4, 19-24:1-8, 62-67   ><)))'> + <'(((><   Matthew 9:9-13
“Calling of St. Matthew” painting by Caravaggio from en.wikipedia.org.
God our loving Father in heaven,
open our eyes to see and recognize
the right persons you send us
to be our friends and colleagues,
co-workers and co-journeyers in life.
Let us not forget that first of all,
the right person we first meet from you 
is our very selves!
Thank you for believing in us.
Thank you for creating us.
Thank you in sharing with us your
truth and beauty, your image
and likeness that is very good.
As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew
sitting at the customs post.
He said to him,
"Follow me."
And he got up and followed him.
(Matthew 9:9)
Let this scene be a constant reminder to us
of your mercy and love, dear God
that no matter how bad is the perception
of others on us, you still see the best in us.
Give us the grace to be attentive
to Jesus Christ passing by, calling us
even while we are in the darkness of our sin
indulging in luxuries and comfort,
power and fame of a sick world.
Like Matthew, let Jesus our light
make us rise to follow him
leave the damp and dark world of sin
and see again the light within
of your glow and majesty.
"Never take my son back there
for any reason," Abraham told his servant.
"the Lord, the God of heaven,
will send his messenger before you,
and you will obtain a wife for my son there."
A long time later, Isaac went to live
in the region of the Negeb.
One day toward evening
he went out in the field,
and as he looked around, 
he noticed that camels were
approaching.  Rebekah, too,
was looking about, and when she
saw him, she alighted from her camel...
Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent;
he married her, and thus she became
his wife.  In his love for her 
Isaac found solace after the death 
of his mother Sarah.
(Genesis 24:6, 7, 62-64, 67)
What a beautiful love story
that looked like in the movie, sweet Lord
where you surely send us the right persons
at the right time
for the right reason
because of love.
We pray for those waiting for their
right persons, whether in love or profession,
or for any reason you and they alone know,
grant them the faith of Abraham
and the enlightenment of Matthew.

Standing for Jesus

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul, Monday, Easter Week-III, 27 April 2020

Acts of the Apostles 6:8-15 <*(((>< 000+000 ><)))*> John 6:22-29

Photo by Mr. Jim Marpa, Panglao Beach, 2019.

Thank you very much, our loving Father for this very different Monday: it is the last for the month of April, but most of all, so unlike of all the other Mondays of our lives as we continue to stay home under our enhanced community quarantine extended until May 15, 2020.

We have been so used in our entire lives that Monday is always the start of work, the start of everything when in fact, Sunday is the first day of the week.

Due to COVID-19, we have started to lose track of dates and days, thus making us less mechanical and more natural, giving us with enough time to review our selves and our lives, to see the peoples and things we value most, and finally, to make a stand on so many things we have taken for granted and even disregarded in the past.

We have never been like your deacon Stephen in the first reading who at a very young age chose to stand for Jesus Christ and his teachings, never giving into the fear of going against prevailing thoughts and sentiments. Most of all, he never gave into the lies thrown against him by his many detractors.

Enlighten us, dear Jesus, to seek for “food that endures for eternal life so we can accomplish your works, O Lord” (Jn.6:27-28).

Let us believe in you always, Jesus.

Nourish and sustain us with your words of life so that we can remain firm in our faith and conviction in you, always willing to go back to Jerusalem and Galilee to start anew in you like the two disciples you walked with to Emmaus on Easter. Amen.

Words, words, words.

LordMyChef “TGIF” Quote, 19 October 2018:

“We live in a world where words are cheap. Words engulf us.  In advertisements, on billboards, and traffic signs, in pamphlets, booklets and books, on blackboards, overhead projectors, flip-charts, screens, and newsrunners.  Words move, flicker, turn around, grow bigger, brighter, and fatter.  They are presented to us in all sizes and colors – but finally we say, ‘Well, they are just words.’  Increased in number, words have decreased in value.”

Henri Nouwen, “With Burning Hearts”, page 52.



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.

When Despair and Hope Come Together

LordMyChef “T-G-I-F” Quote, 05 October 2018:

“No loss can be mourned without some intuition that we will find new life… That’s how we generally approach the Eucharist.  With a strange mixture of despair and hope.  As we listen carefully to the deeper voices in our heart we realize that beneath our skepticism and cynicism there is a yearning for love, unity and communion that doesn’t go  away even when there remain so many arguments to dismiss it as sentimental childhood memories.”

Henri Nouwen, “With Burning Hearts”, pp. 39-41.


Photo by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, Chapel of St. Jerome, Bethlehem, 18 April 2017.

A Prayer to Revere God

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Wednesday//03October2018//Week XXVI, Year II
Job 9:1-12, 14-16///Luke 9:57-62

             God our almighty Father, each day when I begin my day with you, I always wrestle with the same issue:  like Job, my illusions about you overshadow your mystery.

             Job answered his friends and said:  “I know well that it is so, but how can a man be justified before God?  Should one wish to contend with him, he could not answer him once in a thousand times… If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.” (Job 9:1-3,16)

             Give me the grace, O God, to listen to you as YOU ARE NOT AS I WANT YOU TO BE.

             So many times my illusions about you prevent me from truly listening from what you are saying to me.  Teach me how to revere you, of allowing myself to be wrapped in your mystery so that I may recognize deep within me who you really are and what you really are as my Maker and not as I have “created” in my mind and imagination.

             So many times my illusions about you prevent me from properly responding from what you want from me that I end up doing my own will, not yours.  Like those people wishing to follow Jesus in today’s gospel, I have illusions of discipleship.  Teach me how to revere you by making me set aside my illusions of working for you, instead of doing your work by recognizing you deep within me as my Lord and Master.  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, Batanes, 17 September 2018.  Used with permission.

True Greatness Comes From Being Little and Small

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Tuesday//02October2018//Memorial of the Guardian Angels
Exodus 23:20-23///Matthew 18:1-5, 10

            Dearest God our Father, today you give us this special memorial of the Guardian Angels to remind us anew that the way to true greatness is in our becoming like little children.  How we as children long ago loved praying, delighting in the rhythm of “Angel of God my guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here; Ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.”

             Back then when we were so young, we trusted you so much, God that we tried hard to be good boys and girls so as not to sadden our guardian angels when we sin.  But as we grew up, feeling matured enough, we have disregarded you and our guardian angels because we have come to believe more, rely more, and trust more on ourselves.  We felt so independent and so strong, not needing any guidance from you or from angels you send us.  We thought that to be the greatest, we must be “free” from you and your holy will by asserting our “adulthood”.

             But, experience has taught us that real growth and maturity that lead to true greatness can only happen “unless we turn and become like little children.” (Mt.18:2)  What a paradox, O God, that the highest maturity possible for us all is in becoming like little children for that is when we also allow your angels in heaven to always look upon your face to direct our words and actions to your holy will. 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:  “Christ Among Children” by German Expressionist Emil Nolde painted in 1910 now at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. See  https://hamonlibraryblog.org/2015/01/15/emil-nolde-christ-among-the-children/


On Being Truly Sorry

LordMyChef “TGIF” Quote, 28 September 2018:

“A contrite heart is a heart that does not blame but acknowledges its own part in the sinfulness of the world and so has been made ready to receive God’s mercy.” – Henri Nouwen, “With Burning Hearts”, page 38.


*Photo by Mr. Raffy Tima of GMA-7 News, Batanes after typhoon Ompong, 17 September 2018.  Used with permission.

On Courage

LordMyChef “I-Like-Mondays” Quote, 24 September 2018:

“Courage is when you are able to make difficult decisions, and pursue those decisions even when they’re not initially perceived by other people as correct.”  Edgar “Injap” Sia in “Life Principles” page 125.  flowersDeadSea

Photo by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II of flowers abloom and abundant palm trees in the desert of Dead Sea area, April 2017.

Why Life Is Precious

LordMyChef “TGIF” Quote, 21 September 2018:

“The beauty and preciousness of life is intimately linked with its fragility and mortality.  We can experience that everyday — when we take a flower in our hands, when we see a butterfly dance in the air, when we caress a little baby.  Fragility and giftedness are both there, and our joy is connected with both.”  (Fr. Henri Nouwen, “With Burning Hearts”, page 34.)

bloom blooming blossom blur
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com