Category Archives: Mass Reflections

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]

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For The Lord

For The Lord
by Danny Tariman

“For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord…” (Romans 14:8)

Cathy lived for the Lord. She was a very active parishioner and served in various church ministries. She was a true worshiper, worshiping God in spirit and in truth. She was a generous giver — she didn’t count the cost of her giving but always gave her all.

She did all these because of her love for the Lord.

One day, friends told me she was ill, so we went to visit her.

Lying in bed, she managed to smile when she saw us. She was in pain but didn’t complain. She had been bedridden for weeks but she continued to hope in the Lord for healing. When we prayed for her, I sensed a big leap of faith in her “aura.”

A few days later, the sad news came: Cathy had passed away.

When I went to her wake, she looked like she was at peace. Her face showed a quiet calmness and tranquility that told me that she is with the Lord.

I believe that was so because the Lord says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:3).

She had lived for the Lord, and had died for the Lord. We will certainly miss you, Cathy!

Reflection: Are you living the way the Lord wants you to live?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I have the courage to live for You, so that I may also be with You in the life to come! Amen.

[This reflection was originally published in Didache 2015 (Nov 5)]

Tax Shield

Tax Shield
by Danny Tariman

“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:21)

“Danny, but your taxes just go to the pockets of corruption.” This was my boss telling me when I decided to be fully taxed.

As a manager, I have some perks. Aside from the big salary and other benefits, I am also allowed to declare a sizable percentage of my income as ‘office expense’. I am just required to submit Official Receipts – for gas, for dining, for hotel accommodations, and even for some select grocery items – to cover these ‘expenses’.

When I comply with the submission of receipts, this ‘office expense’ portion of my salary is non-taxable. And therefore, I am able to take home much bigger amount.

However, I was not at peace. I am disturbed by the fact that the receipts that I submit are sometimes not my real expenses; I solicited the receipts from friends. Worse, the receipts are at times altered by padding zeroes to increase the expense!

In whatever way this is done, it is still not acceptable for me as these were not really official office expenses. This is plain dishonesty.

And so, after prayers and discernment, I decided to surrender this “perk” and ask my boss that I be fully taxed.

I remember telling my boss “between me and my God, I did what is right. For the corrupt officer who pockets these, it will be between him and his god”.

I felt relieved, I feel freedom! As John 8:32 says “the truth will set you free”.

Few months later, whatever amount I ‘lost’ because I was fully taxed, was compensated by a huge salary increase I got!

Reflection: Do you pay your taxes correctly? Is your bookkeeping in order in the sight of God?

Prayers: Am sorry Lord for falling to the traps of deception. Give me the strength to live out the truth in all areas of my life. Amen.

God’s Generosity

God’s Generosity
by Danny Tariman

“To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away”  (Luke 8:18)

“We cannot outdo God’s generosity.” I’ve heard this many times from people getting more than what they give.

Meet “Kuya T.” He always gives in generous amounts at every opportunity to help the parish. He used to live in a modest house in a small village. He now owns a big house in a nice village, bought an adjacent lot, and owns a few cars.

Meet “Family K.” This family is a big-time benefactor of parishes. This family funded a substantial portion of the new church building requiring over P15 million. The Lord continues to prosper their family business even more.

I have my own little story, too. My family helped a rural village build their own modest chapel. At that time, we were still praying for our own house. I claimed God’s word in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap….” I know God would fulfill His promise. Three years later, we moved in our own house in a quiet neighborhood in the metro!

Yes, we receive in the measure we give.

Reflection: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for being stingy. Grant me the grace to be generous, as You are.

Church Worker

Church Worker
by Danny Tariman

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household…? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.” (Matthew 24:45a,46)

It was already the third meeting we had for an events project.

After two months and past two planning sessions, a committee coordinator, up to that third meeting, has not given yet a concrete plan for his working group.

I was very unhappy of what was happening. I know this work is on voluntary basis but this is not for anyone else. We are all doing this for the Lord!

We are servants of the Lord. We are church workers.

I was so exasperated, but with prayers and grace from the Lord, I was able to maintain my composure. And even trying to put a smiling face.

Today’s Gospel reminds us to be faithful in our service to our Lord. We have to be committed. We have to do what is expected of us, especially when we work with a team, so that others who are waiting for our output is not jeopardized. We have to give our best!

Unfaithfulness takes many forms: absence from meetings, not doing an assigned task, not replying to emails or text messages, or even coming-in late to service.

The Word of God is very clear about this: blessed is that servant whom He finds doing his job.

Let us give our best in our service. Not only in Church, but even in workplace. Ephesians 6:5,6 says “be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart”

Reflection: Are you giving your best to meet the expectations of your leader or boss?

Prayers: Lord, please forgive me for not giving my best. Grant me the grace to be faithful to You and to Your Word. Amen.

Casting Out Demons

Casting Out Demons
by Danny Tariman

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19b)

It was an experience I will never forget.

We were at the ending portion of the prayer service in a remote mountain village. We were “praying over” the attendees who want to be prayed for.

Suddenly, a pregnant woman ran to the front and jumped as if she was to fly. The good thing is that our brother-servants were able to catch her before she landed on the floor.

She was extraordinarily very strong. She was trying to free herself from the hold of the men. The men tried to pacify her and brought her to the office. She continued to be defiant, with eyes looking sharp and fiery. She was possessed by some evil spirits!

Our elder asked her “What is your name?”

“I am the king of the well” she replied in a deep man’s voice, not her usual voice!

We checked around and found out that she regularly does her laundry beside a water well near her house. She must be possessed by a spirit residing in the well!

And so our elder commanded “In the name of Jesus, I command you, king of the well, to be bound and chained and be cast out of this woman, and I lose this woman from your possession!” Everyone in the small room replied “Amen!”

Immediately, a pungent smell came out of the woman.

And the woman came back to her senses, freed from the possession of the evil spirit.

Indeed, we can drive out demons in the name of Jesus (Mark 9:38)

Reflection: Are you in a bondage of vice, or sickness, or poverty? You can cast it out of your lives, in the authority of the Name of Jesus.

Prayer: Father, grant me the boldness and the courage to use the name of Your Son to cast out evil spirits that lurks in my life. Amen!

Down But Not Crushed

Down But Not Crushed
by Danny Tariman

“We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained… struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

He underwent a gallstone operation last month. His sister was hospitalized two weeks later. His mother, too, was recently hospitalized for a couple of days. Then early this week, he was back again in the hospital for dengue.

While I watched him at the hospital, his wife called in the middle of the night telling him that their little girl had a fever. “Her fever will be gone,” I heard him whisper on the phone.

It’s easy to give up in situations like these. These are the times when our faith as believers of Christ are put to the test.

The Bible says, “No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

As we waited for his blood test results, he continues to hold on to his hope. He is down, but he is not beaten. He will come out victorious from all his trials!

Reflection: “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my hope. You are my strength. I lift up to You my situation. I am almost crushed. Hold my hand and take me out of this.

[This reflection was first published in both the online and paperback editions of Didache. Was also read in Radio Veritas846]