Category Archives: Mass Reflections

An Extraordinary Kindness

An Extraordinary Kindness
by Danny Tariman

“The natives showed us extraordinary hospitality… and welcomed all of us” (Acts 28:2)

My family were exploring a provincial town’s attractions. That afternoon, we would like to try a coffee shop that was recommended to us by a relative.

Upon reaching the town center, I asked a local — a tricycle driver — where this “Blue Cafe” is.

I noted his eyes scanned the surroundings and his memory.

And he replied, “Maybe in the other side of the town, sir”. Then he gave us street directions to find the cafe.

After driving for about a kilometer, we have not found the coffee shop. And so, we decided to just have our afternoon snack at another restaurant that we had tried the day before.

As I was navigating to park our car, the tricycle driver whom we had asked about the coffee shop, suddenly came rushing.

“I am sorry, sir. The cafe you were looking for was at the town center. My apologies for not able to guide you correctly”, he said.

We were just so touched by his show of kindness — driving fast to catch us up and give us the proper direction. He could have just let the situation go and let us find our way. But this man, in his kindness and hospitality, find a way to guide us.

Thank you, LORD, for these people! May their tribe increase!

As the Bible says in Romans 12:9a,13 “Let love be sincere… Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality”.

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Photo-Finish

Photo-Finish
by Danny Tariman

“[He] shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us!'” (Isaiah 7:14, 8:10)

I was driving to my home province with my family. We left the city at about 7:30pm, hoping to catch the first trip of the ship to the island at 7am the following day.

As it turned out however, the trip was a bit slow. We were caught in a long line of cars along the way — in Laguna and in Quezon. By midnight, we haven’t entered yet Quirino Highway.

“Even if I drive at full speed, we wouldn’t make it to the port by 6am.” This thought had entered my mind while driving.

By 6am, we arrived Legaspi City. At this point, I already surrendered our plan to get the first trip of the ship leaving the port at 7am.

Aside from the late arrival, we were not able to get a booking for our car for the 7am departure. We were on a “chance passenger” basis.

But the LORD has His ways.

We arrived the port at about 6:30am, while the ship was loading its last batch of cars and a bus. I immediately asked a staff if we can still be accommodated. He said, “Maybe.”

My family prayed, while I filed the necessary documents with the Port Administration, the Highway Patrol Group, the Coast Guard, and finally pay the cashier. These 4 offices were buildings apart. I had to run!

I finished all the required documentation in 15 minutes, by God’s grace!

By 6:45, just 15 minutes before the anchors are removed, our car was boarding the ship!

All my family can say is “God’s favor is upon us! The LORD is with us!”

Reflection:
God can make things possible if you put your full trust in Him, even if it appears impossible.

Prayer:
LORD, strengthen my faith in You! Amen.

Serving the Flock

SERVING THE FLOCK
by Danny Tariman

“Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly” (1 Peter 5:2)

I am so blessed to have served the people the LORD has given me. It is indeed a blessing that after many years since I left them, our friendship continues.

Take the story of “Amante” (not his real name). I had met him and his family way back in late 90’s in a remote mountain village in Laguna. I had helped him and his family enter into a relationship with Jesus. They had been attending Bible studies since then. He and his family’s life got renewed, and their lives flourished and continue to prosper.

My friendship with them continue to strengthen. We had helped them build their village chapel, we had conducted a number of charity missions to their village. And they would reciprocate these with their own way of showing their love for my family.

Take the story of “Pete” and “Nancy” (not their real names). I had met these people while I was serving the LORD on a mission in a foreign land. They are regular attendees of a Bible Study that I conducted in their city. They come together with their respective families. Every time they attend our sessions, I can see joy in their faces. They would tell me that they are blessed and strengthened in their faith in the LORD.

Over the months, I had built a strong friendship with their families. In fact, they had treated me as their own. I left their country in 2011 when I returned home. While we are miles away, our friendship continued. They would even come and visit us in Manila with their families. They celebrated with us special days of our families.

Truly, I am so blessed to have served them. I pray I will be able to continue to serve them even after many years of absence from the mission.

I claim the ending verse of the Mass reading: “And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (Philippians 5:4)

Reflection:
How do you tend your flock? Are you able to bring them to the LORD, as you strengthen your friendship with them?

Prayer:
LORD Jesus, our Divine Shepherd, teach me how to tend the flock you are giving me. Let me imitate Your way of tending the flock. Amen.

Sick Call

SICK CALL
by Danny Tariman

“I was… ill and you cared for me… Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:36B, 40)

Our family was just driving out of the Cultural Center after watching an evening ballet performance when my daughter told me “Papa, one of my officemates will be taken to a hospital on an emergency”.

I replied “What is your plan?”

She said “I plan to go with her as she is living alone is her apartment. Can you just please drop me off at the hospital?”

And so we dropped her off.

Meanwhile, we drove off and dropped my cousin near his house in Pasig City, then waited for our daughter in a nearby gas station. It was about 10:30pm.

By 11, she updated us “Maybe you just go home for now as she is still waiting to recover. I will just accompany her until she gets better and bring her home. I will just ride a cab going home.”

My family was so touched by her show of concern. My daughter could have chosen to just stay with us and relax after watching a superb ballet performance. She was giving her officemate an “extra mile”, as it was not her responsibility. Besides, the patient is not her staff, and it was too late in the evening.

I remember telling my family while we were waiting at the gas station “whatever you do for one of these least brothers, you do for the Lord”.

I am sure, the LORD is happy with what she did. I am proud of you my child. May the LORD bless you more abundantly!

Reflection:
Would you care for a person who is not related to you in any way? Or maybe just an acquaintance?

Prayer:
LORD let me see You in others, and that others may see You in me. Amen.

Am Healthy!

AM HEALTHY!
by Danny Tariman

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.” (Luke 5:32)

It was one of my most dreaded moments — to be rushed to a hospital.

Earlier in the day, I had been experiencing dizziness. I thought it was just because of lack of sleep, and so I
had an extended sleep in the morning.

But the situation didn’t improve.

It was evening when my family was completely home, that we decided that I be rushed to the hospital. On
an emergency!

Immediately, I was interviewed, vital signs taken, and then later electrocardiograph, and blood tests were
taken. After almost 2 hours in the emergency room, I was admitted for hospitalization.

Specialist-doctors attended to me. After discharged from hospital, check-ups and laboratory tests
continued.

During this period, we continue to storm the heavens with our prayers.

For about 10 weeks, I had been seeing doctors of various specializations, blood samples taken from me,
and so many others. I was getting tired of it.

We were allayed as each of the specialist-doctors, one after another, gave me a clean bill of health!

What a relief indeed! Truly the LORD is an answering God! As Philippians 4:6 says “Have no anxiety at all,
but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God”.

Thank You LORD for giving me a clean bill of health!

Reflection:
Do you need a doctor? See him, but at the same time lift up to God your situation

Prayer:
LORD Jesus, You are our Healer! Heal me from this sickness that afflicts me right now. Amen!

Peace

PEACE
by Danny Tariman

“Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34)

“Peace be with you!” With nods, this greeting during Mass has become mechanical for most. We should truly mean it though.

I remember my friend Alden (not his real name). He would often call me in the middle of the night to ask for prayers. He would tell me his situation. Sometimes it’s about corporate struggles he is embroiled in: office politics, change of leadership, etc.

At times, he will narrate to me his domestic problems: a misunderstanding with his wife, his son’s difficult situation, his daughter’s communication problems with him, his househelp who didn’t report for work. We would talk over the phone for long periods and end with a short prayer. I’d pray that the Lord would see him through his troubles, that He’d grant him peace.

I would end claiming Philippians 4:7 for him: “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace may not be tangible, but it’s something we can seek, receive, and feel in our hearts.

Reflection:
Are you in a troubling situation right now? Pray. In faith. Right now.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of faith. I lift up to You all the things that trouble me, knowing that You are in control of everything. Grant me peace. Amen.

[This reflection was first published in Didache Jan 30, 2018 both in online and hardcopy editions]

New Life

New Life
by Danny Tariman

“… for to him all are alive.” (Luke 20:38)

I am overwhelmed by this verse. In another version, this is rendered as, “He considers all people to be alive to him” (ISV). We are all “dead to sin” (Romans 6:11). But the Lord has redeemed us to give us “new life” (Romans 6:4)! We received this new life when we were baptized in the Lord.

A dead person cannot eat. He cannot hug and experience love. He cannot walk and explore the beauty that surrounds him. He cannot hear and enjoy the harmony of music.

I thank the Lord for giving me this new life. I have a family who loves me and whom I can hug and laugh with anytime. We can go out for food trips and taste the feasts that the Lord abundantly provides. We can walk and explore mountains, rivers and seas together and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. We can go to theaters and concerts, and enjoy music symphonies.

This is life — the new life that the Lord had promised in John 10:10: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Thank You, Lord, for this new, abundant life!

Reflection: Are you still living in the dark, and not enjoying life? Be set free and let Jesus be the Lord of your life!

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for all my sins. Come into my life and be my Lord and King. Amen!

[This reflection was originally published in Didache, Nov 25, 2017, both in paperback and online editions, and was read over Radio Veritas 846]