Of Fake News and Posts

Of Fake News and Posts
by Danny Tariman

“See that you not be deceived…” (Luke 21:8a)

Every now and then, I would see in our chat group posts that are of questionable source and questionable truth.

When this happens, I usually search the Internet to check on the validity of the post. Most often, or even as always, the questionable post is indeed fake!

As a reply to a fake news, I had once posted an article that verified the fake news, and the poster remarked in arrogance.

Truly saddening!

I tried to correct the misconception on item in the fake news, and I got a negative remark.

The Bible is very clear in John 8:32 “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.

In this age of social media, we should be cautious in posting or re-posting items of questionable source or doubtful integrity. As Christians, we should uphold the truth, and stop the spread of lies and fake news.

Reflection: Did you help in the spread of lies by re-posting fake news?

Prayer: Father, grant me the grace to be discerning before posting or re-posting items of questionable integrity. Amen.

The Invite

The Invite
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

“May we invite you and your wife to serve?” This was our parish priest’s invitation when he visited our home one evening. He was asking us to head a big ministry – a commission – which aims to bring families to the Church. I said, “We will pray about it and will review the goals and background of the ministry.”

After almost a month, we said yes to the invitation. Since then, we had reorganized the commission, dividing it into six ministries. Alternating with our usual monthly meetings, I spoke the Word of God to leaders of various ministries under our team. Everyone shared their respective personal reflections. The ministry team was indeed equipped to serve.

The team organized big events for the parish: the search for a model family, programs for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and Mass weddings. Our parish community was so happy and thankful to the Lord for these events. Certainly, the Body of Christ in our parish was built up!

I will forever be grateful to God for allowing us to be a channel of His love in building our community. Truly, when the Lord calls, He equips!

Reflection: Do you sense the Lord is calling you to serve?

Prayer: When I hesitate to respond to Your call, empower me with Your Spirit to serve Your people. Amen.
[This reflection was published in Didache Sept 21, 2019 both in hardcopy and in online formats]

Blessings of a Son


Blessings of a Son
by Danny Tariman

“Those who fear the Lord honor their father, and serve their parents as masters. In word and deed honor your father, that all blessings may come to you.” (Sirach 3:7-8)

It was a 2-week absence for my wife.

After a family travel overseas, she stayed for a couple of weeks with our daughter who is working abroad.

Back in Manila, it was only me and my son at home. We haven’t really been “alone” this long.

I was not at the peak of my strength: both my hands are in pain due to trigger finger. I can’t do the usual chores I do at home. My son would assist me even a simple task of opening a bottled water.

A few days later, I had my left-hand trigger finger surgically released. At this point, the more I wasn’t able to perform much activity with my right hand only, which was also in pain.

At home, I had been almost always together with my wife. And I haven’t really seen both my children do ALL household activities.

But during these times, I am so touched that my son will prepare for me all that I will need for the day until he comes back from work: my breakfast, my lunch, my snacks, and others. He wouldn’t even allow me to menial tasks while my wound was still fresh.

He had shown to be a truly responsible son: taking care of his father, and ensuring that household chores are done. He would wake up early to prepare the food, and upon arrival from office, he would do the unfinished chores, staying late at night.

Thank you, son, you are indeed a blessing! May God’s abundant blessings be upon you.

On Marriage and Parenting

On Marriage and Parenting
by Danny Tariman

“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.” (Colossians 1:25)

We were meeting in the Vicariate Commission on the Family when a parish leader asked me, “Can we invite you to give a talk in our Festival of Families?” I was pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to share the Word of God.

I prayed that the Lord would speak through me in my talk. I prepared a good deal: pondered on Bible verses on marriage and parenting, and read Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis. I lifted up prayers for a Spirit-filled sharing of the Word of God.

On the appointed day, my wife and I drove to the parish. When we were ushered into the church, I was beaming with happiness deep inside of me because the attendance was excellent: a complete mix of fathers, mothers, and children. This is exactly the audience that my talk was focused on!

As I delivered the Word of God on marriage and parenting, the audience listened attentively, even reading with me the biblical verses flashed on screen. After the talk, the attendees were asked to reflect. I was glad to hear that the Word sank deep into their hearts. I praised the Lord for allowing me to present His Word in its fullness!

Reflection:
“Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11)

Prayer:
Dear Lord, continue to use me as Your mouthpiece of love. Amen.

[This reflection was first published in Didache — both hardcopy and online — on July 21, 2019]

A Relaxing Day in Sunrise Cove

A Relaxing Day in Sunrise Cove
By Danny Tariman

We love to discover places. My family had been to a number of beaches in Calatagan, Batangas but it seems we haven’t explored them all. This particular weekend, we were led to go to the tip of Calatagan peninsula – the Sunrise Cove.

The beach during low tide

We drove a bit of a distance. I initially thought it was near Calatagan town proper but it was not. I had to drive more distance and curves before we finally reached the beach.

The place was indeed beautiful for relaxation: a good view of the sea where Pagapas Bay and Isla Verde Passage meets, very refreshing sea breeze, comfortable cottages and beach benches. It was a perfect place for us family wanting to just have a good relaxing day. We thought we would be able to swim; unfortunately, it was a low tide – perhaps lowest for that period – so that we were not able to swim. My children wanted to have a free-dive in one of its spots to see the submarine gardens but they were not able to make it.

The rafts as the tide was slowly rising

We had enjoyed the place, nevertheless. While my son tried to scour the almost flat seabed, trying to find creatures for his salt-water aquarium, our daughter walked our dog on the almost dry seabed. My wife and I just rested our backs on the cottage and had a nice very relaxing moment.

For our lunch, we decided to eat our prepared packed food at the raft tied a few meters away from the shore. It was supposed to be floating, but the low tide didn’t allow it to float. Haha! Just the same, we just loved the sea breeze and the company of each other as we ate our lunch together on a raft.

The rafts during a low tide. It was an easy walk with water just above our ankles

After we enjoyed our meal aboard a raft, we went back to the beach and had more relaxing moments. With the salty wind blowing on our faces, it was really good moments to rest and take a nap.

We drove back home by mid-afternoon. And the cool mountain air of Tagaytay City was irresistible not to stop a while and take a stroll in one of its new lake-facing malls – the Twinlakes. We spent some more moments here before we headed back home, finally.

The line of beach bench and our cabana

We thank the LORD for another family bonding moments… a relaxing day at the beach, and an afternoon stroll in Tagaytay.

Another view of the beach at low tide
Our children enjoying the company of our dog
My family upon our arrival
Our daughter playing with our dog while we were on a raft
A family photo on a different angle
Our after-the-beach stroll in Tagaytay City

Leaving and Coming

Leaving and Coming
by Danny Tariman

“I am going away, but I am coming back to you.” (John 14:28)

I remember the day when I left my family for an overseas job. Although we all agreed that I would take this job and that there would be no tears, we couldn’t stop ourselves from crying when I was about to leave. We knew that this overseas job would bring tremendous blessings to the family, yet the agony of missing each other for a few years set in.

I cannot thank the Lord enough for His blessings for us while I worked abroad. My children graduated college from the best universities. We were able to purchase a good-sized house in a peaceful community in the city. We have cars. And the biggest blessing was the opportunity to share God’s Word in a foreign land and to become an instrument to bring about change in peoples’ lives. But I’m happy to say that those years are over and now I’m back with my family.

That experience has helped me understand today’s Gospel better. I’m sure the Apostles were saddened to hear Jesus telling them He would leave them, but He also would be leaving them with His peace and reassurance so they would not be troubled. Jesus’ departure is a cause for joy because He is going to the Father, the source of all blessings and graces.

Reflection: It’s always difficult to part with someone or something you love. But trusting that the Lord has better plans for us gives us peace. Are you ready to let go?

Prayer: Dear Lord, I may not know exactly what is Your plan for me, but I put my trust in You.

[This reflection was first published May 21, 2019 in Didache, in Gabay (Tagalog texts), and in Kerygma Family webpage]

Faith in Action

Faith in Action
by Danny Tariman

“If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:15-17)

In a gathering of fellow Christians, I noticed a little girl singing in front of the karaoke. I was told by my wife that this girl is an adopted daughter of the host.

The party host told me later that they found this girl sleeping in makeshift cart, malnourished. Touched by the situation, her family took care of the little girl, clothed her, feed her and treated her as their own.

She further told me that they have another adopted child who is now studying in college. A victim of a broken family, this student had no home nor a family to go to and had to stop schooling. The host’s daughter asked her if they can “adopt” her. And the family did.

This wonderful story amazes me so much, as I see this as faith in action. This host family is simply living out their Christian faith, practicing what the Bible teaches.

I know in my heart that this family will be greatly blessed. As the word of God says “…sharing your bread with the hungry, bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house… Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: ‘Here I am!'” (Isaiah 58:7,9)

Reflection: Would you lift your finger to help a needy person? Or will you just pray for him?

Prayer: Dear Lord, pls forgive me for not helping the needy as you would. Grant me the grace to be a channel of Your love, and a channel of Your blessing. Amen.