LordMyChefSundayMusic: Devotion by Earth, Wind and Fire

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music//“Devotion” by Earth, Wind, and Fire (1974)
Week XIV-B//15July 2018
Discipleship is Directional, Not About Destination
 

            Somebody asked me last night after reading my Sunday reflection, “where is the direction?”

             As I have shared with you, life is essentially directional and not about destination.  Life is more of dealing with the questions “why” and “what” than of “where”.  When we search more of the where, we can get frustrated because in this journey of life, we really do not know the place where we should be or would be.  As we journey in life centered on Christ in prayer and silence, the more we still do not know of what will happen next, of what we’ll see next – yet, we are so excited.  We continue living because we believe, and most of all, we love!  When we love, we experience God.  That is when we begin to realize that indeed, heaven is more than a place or destination but a presence — that is also when we find our direction.  Here is a heavenly song from 1974 by Earth, Wind and Fire called Devotion, pointing to some direction too.  Enjoy!

Through devotion, blessed are the children
Praise the teacher, that brings true love to many
Your devotion, opens all life’s treasures
And deliverance, from the fruits of evil
So our mission, to bring a melody
Ringin’ voices sing sweet harmony

For you here’s a song, to make your day brighter
One that will last, you long through troubled days
Giving your heart the light to brighten
All of the dark that falls in your way
You need devotion, bless the children
Deliverance from the fruits of evil
In everyone’s life, there’s a need to be happy
Let the sun shine, a smile your way
Open your heart, feel a touch of devotion
Maybe this song will help uplift your day.
Make a better way
You need devotion….
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LordMyChefSundayMusic: Devotion by Earth, Wind and Fire

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music//“Devotion” by Earth, Wind, and Fire (1974)
Week XIV-B//15July 2018
Discipleship is Directional, Not About Destination 

            Somebody asked me last night after reading my Sunday reflection, “where is the direction?”

             As I have shared with you, life is essentially directional and not about destination.  Life is more of dealing with the questions “why” and “what” than of “where”.  When we search more of the where, we can get frustrated because in this journey of life, we really do not know the place where we should be or would be.  As we journey in life centered on Christ in prayer and silence, the more we still do not know of what will happen next, of what we’ll see next – yet, we are so excited.  We continue living because we believe, and most of all, we love!  When we love, we experience God.  That is when we begin to realize that indeed, heaven is more than a place or destination but a presence – that’s how we begin to find our direction.  Here is a heavenly song from 1974 by Earth, Wind and Fire called Devotion.  Note the lyrics are so related with this Sunday’s gospel too.  Enjoy!

Through devotion, blessed are the children
Praise the teacher, that brings true love to many
Your devotion, opens all life’s treasures
And deliverance, from the fruits of evil
So our mission, to bring a melody
Ringin’ voices sing sweet harmony

For you here’s a song, to make your day brighter
One that will last, you long through troubled days
Giving your heart the light to brighten
All of the dark that falls in your way
You need devotion, bless the children
Deliverance from the fruits of evil
In everyone’s life, there’s a need to be happy
Let the sun shine, a smile your way
Open your heart, feel a touch of devotion
Maybe this song will help uplift your day.
Make a better way
You need devotion….

 Earth, Wind & Fire – Devotion (Audio)

Direction vs. Destination

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Discipleship Is Directional, Not About Destination
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Week XV-B, 15 July 2018
Amos 7:12-15///Ephesians 1:3-14///Mark 6:7-13

             I have always thought that since life is a journey, then life must be about arriving at a certain destination.  This is very evident in early childhood when we keep on asking “are we there yet?”  Later in life, this question evolved into the expression of “having arrived” to mark the different milestones in our lives.  It has always been about destination that sometimes we wonder deep inside if we are in the “right place” at this particular time of our lives especially if you are near or past age 50.  The problem is not about our chosen vocation or profession or path in life; the issue is, as we fulfill our mission, we continue to discover many other aspects and facets of our life’s calling that sometimes nudge us with the existential question if we have really arrived or are we at the right place already?

             Our readings this Sunday offer us with consolation that life, after all, even if it is a journey, is not about destination but more of directions.  Or, preferably we shall say “directional” to indicate a deeper meaning of what God wants us to be.  This direction we can discover in whatever mission God sends us in this life:   Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.  So they went off and preached repentance.  The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mk.6:7-9,12-13)

             Our first point of reflection that life is more of a directional nature than a destination is the sending of Apostles “two by two.”  It is actually an old practice among Jews to send missionaries two by two so that there is always a companion to testify to the preaching of the other.  Notice how the evangelists enumerate the names of the Twelve also two by two.  This practice continues to this day but in a deeper sense of always having Jesus as our companion.  It is always best to have Jesus in this journey of life.  This is why we receive Holy Communion on Sundays so that Jesus may accompany us throughout the week.  The last sacrament that a dying person receives is not really Anointing of the Sick but Holy Communion for the Sick called  “Viaticum” that means “with Jesus along the way” of death to eternal life.

             In the second reading we find Paul speaking this companionship with the Lord when he mentioned three times the expression “In him” to emphasize that we do everything in Christ and never on our own.  Discipleship and life itself are directional, always in Christ.  No one can lay claim for himself or herself being a self-appointed missionary or prophet of God.  It is always the initiative of God like in the experience of Amos in our first reading.  If last week we heard how difficult it was for Jesus to be accepted in His own town as a prophet, today the story of Amos tells us the more difficult situation when a prophet like Amos from Judea was sent to their rival Northern Kingdom or Israel:  Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets.  I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamore.  The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”(Amos 7:14-15)

             Like us priests, or any volunteer in the Church, we were doing something else in life when the Lord called and sent us.  We cannot lay claim to this mission of shepherding for we never wanted this on our own considering its enormous difficulties.  It is not only an impossible job but even foolish if you say so!  But we do it because of Jesus who initiated the call to follow Him while we were busy doing something else like building a career, preparing for marriage or just enjoying life in whatever form.  We have no regrets in answering His call because we have found in Christ Jesus the person more worthy of our love and life.  Life and discipleship are directional because both are a call to a relationship with Jesus which the song “Day by Day” says so well, “Day by day Lord, three things I pray:  that I may know you more clearly, so that I may love you more dearly, and follow you more closely, day by day.”  We do not really know where the Lord would lead us for there is no precise destination to speak of but only a direction which is to be like Jesus, to stay with Jesus.

             Closely linked with this being with Jesus Christ is our task of being holy like Him.  Following Jesus Christ is the direction of fighting evil, the very first mission He entrusted the 12 according to Mark in our gospel today.  Authority over unclean spirits is the power to cast away the devil, the root of every illness in us and society.  That authority can only be claimed in holiness, when we are filled with God.  With the present situation we are into, we need to claim that authority more than ever as evil continues to destroy us, causing so much misery with deaths, divisions, and sickness it sows among us.  The CBCP have recognized this sad fact in our society with the recent diabolic and blasphemous statements and events going on.  The bishops have rightly reminded us that we do not fight evil with evil like vengeance but instead with prayer and fasting that purify us and give us strength to strive for holiness – the direction we all have to follow in whatever mission Jesus sends us to.  Even Pope Francis reminds us in his third encyclical “Gaudete et Exultate” that holiness remains as our sacred call in life today.

             Discipleship, like life in general is essentially directional.  It is not about destination.  It is useless to ask like children if “are we there yet?” because in this journey of life, we really do not know the place where we should be.  Or we would be.  But as we follow Jesus, we realize that what matters most is the inner direction within us He is leading us into to be able to fulfill His mission.  And that is being holy like Him, always avoiding and fighting evil and sins.  When we are holy like Jesus, then the more we realize that indeed, heaven is more than a place or destination.  It is a “Now here”, a presence within us because we abide in God, we are inclined in His direction.  A blessed week to you!Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ni San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022

What Does It Take?

What Does It Take To Follow Christ?
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer Thursday
12 July 2018, Week-14/Year-2 Ordinary Time
Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9///Matthew 10:7-15

            I am very sorry Lord for so many things that clutter my mind today.  It is always a struggle to be good.  Not only in doing what is good but most of all in being with You, in staying with You, in always believing and trusting in You.

            Sorry if so often I wonder if You mean even today that we must proclaim “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, that we would cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons?  Moreover, that without cost we have received and without cost must we give?  How can we go on in this time without taking gold or silver or copper for our belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick?  Yet, You also tell us the laborer deserves his keep?”(Mt.10:7-10)

            What does it take to really do Your will, God?

            Based on what I have learned, there are many things that take for anyone to do Your will like faith, love, and courage along with detachment and “positive indifference” by St. Ignatius of Loyola.  But last night before going to rest, I realized the importance of always reviewing my life, of examining not only my conscience but also my consciousness to see and feel how You have loved me immensely and continues to do so!

            Reading Hosea over and over makes me feel sorrowful of my sinfulness yet so loved by You as my Father.  How crazy have I been that “the more You call me, the more I drift away from You, forgetting how You have stooped to feed me, teaching me how to walk as Your own child.  Yet, despite my infidelity and sinfulness, You never vent on Your blazing anger because You are God and not human like us.”(Hos.11:2, 3, 4,9)

Like the psalmist yesterday and today, let me see Your face, touch me with Your love and presence so that I may always stay with You and most of all, follow You closely.  Somehow, like Your psalmists in the Old Testament, we have our gifted musicians who also make us feel Your love for us, Your longing for us.  Help me to give myself to You too today.  Amen.  Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II,Parokya ni San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria,Bulacan 3022

Sent to Cleanse Evil

St_Benedict
Sent to Cleanse the World of Evil
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer, Wednesday
11 July 2018, Week-14/Year-2 Ordinary Time
Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12///Matthew 10:1-7

            God our almighty Father, as we celebrate today the feast of St. Benedict, we implore You send us the Holy Spirit so we may pray and work – “ora et labora” – in fighting evil in this world.  Remind us always that like the 12 Apostles, we are sent by Your Son Jesus Christ with “authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.” (Mt.10:1)

            Like St. Benedict who admonished at the start of his Monastic Rule, may we “listen carefully” to Your voice in our prayers and labors, always“seeking your face” like what the psalmist sings today.  We admit that our time is similar with that of Hosea’s Israel when idolatry is rampant, our “hearts so false” (Hos.10:2) and far from You.  May we emulate St. Benedict in reawakening Christian life and ideals to heal us of so many infirmities plaguing our body and soul due to the spiritual and moral decadence around us.  Amen.

             St. Benedict, pray for us. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II,Parokya ni San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria,Bulacan 3022.

Every Kinda People

amorsoloharvesting
Every Kinda People
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Prayer-Recipe, Tuesday
10 July 2018, Week-14/Year-2 Ordinary Time
Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13///Matthew 9:32-38 

            How easy for us Lord to always pray like the psalmist that we trust in You but, in reality we rely more with our very selves and with material things!  Like what You told Hosea in the first reading, “we make kings not by Your authority and we make princes without Your approval (Hos.8:4)” for we are so self-centered.

            Most of the time, we forget that what we really need here on earth are people – persons like each one of us with equal dignity created in Your image and likeness who must be respected regardless of creed and color.  Whenever something good happens with our brethren like when Jesus healed a demoniac in today’s gospel, we are like those people of His time who were either struck in awe or doubtful and suspicious without realizing that You come to us with every person who loves and cares for the sick and the poor.

            Move and stir our hearts, let us be merciful like Jesus Christ who said “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”(Mt.9:37-38)  Teach us to stop praying for more things and start praying for brothers and sisters capable of loving and caring for one another.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II,Parokya ni San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria,Bulacan 3022.

Pray this with the late Robert Palmer’s “Every Kinda People”, have breakfast and be kind with everyone you meet today.

LordMyChefSundayMusic: You Are Everything (Marvin Gaye with Diana Ross)

seeinglove
The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music: You Are Everything (Marvin Gaye with Diana Ross)
Week XIV-B, 08 July 2018
Recognizing Jesus

            In my homily today I have mentioned that people took offense at Jesus for they lacked faith because they do not love Him…  To believe in Jesus, like with any person, demands love.  When we truly love a person including Jesus, our eyes are always opened, recognizing them even in their shadows or footsteps.  When we truly love anyone, there is no need to see because in our hearts, that person is already present in us.”

            In fact, we would never even see the one we truly love because they are already in eternity like Jesus and our dearly departed.  But even if we do not see them, we truly recognize them because we love.  That explains why so often, we thought we “see” the ones we love.  Loving, believing, seeing and recognizing are all interconnected; when there is a breakdown in our love, we stop believing, we become unfaithful as we fail to recognize our beloved.  That is when we also sin.  And that is the pain of not being seen and recognized by those closest to us like our family and friends because they refuse to love us in return.  But even if it happens, just keep on loving and believing because in Jesus, we are His everything.  Miracles can only happen and joy would start to overflow when we love, believe, and recognize Jesus in Himself and in others.

Today I saw somebody
Who looked just like you
He walked like you do
I thought it was you
As he turned the corner
I called out your name
I felt so ashamed
When it wasn’t you
Wasn’t you.
 
You are everything
And everything is you
Oh you are everything
And everything is you
‘Cause you are everything
And everything is you.
 
How can I forget
When each face that I see
Brings back memories
Of being with you
I just can’t go on
Living life as I do
Comparing each girl with you
Knowing they just won’t do
They’re not you.