Category Archives: Mass Reflections

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]

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]

Excellence!

Excellence!
by Danny Tariman

“Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1Cor 10:31)

It was one of the most poignant witnessing for the Lord: offering at the altar simple acts of service done in excellence.

The family was asked to be the Mass offerors for a coming Sunday. They were so happy to have been called to offer in the Mass, although they were very new in the parish.

They prepared a basket with various kinds of bread, arranged beautifully in a rattan-woven basket. In another native basket were fruits of different variety, carefully placed and garnished.

When they walked to the altar, the kids held the baskets in “offering” posture, walked in cadence with the parents who carried the usual chalice and wine. Truly excellence was present!

In another event, this family was called to change the altar cloth during Easter Vigil Mass.

Days before the Easter, they rehearsed changing a table cloth using their dining table. They made sure that they will perfectly place the cloth in 5 seconds flat. They tried several times until they made it really good.

In the morning of Saturday, while the mother made sure their best clothes to be worn are well-pressed, the father cleaned and shined their shoes. They left nothing unprepared for the service.

At the Easter Vigil Mass, the execution of the changing of altar cloth was so perfect.

Simple services. Done in excellence. Made for the glory of God!

Reflection: Are you giving your best to the Lord, even for simple tasks?

Prayer: Grant me O Lord the grace to do everything in the best way possible, all for your glory. Amen!

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]

Our God of Order

Our God of Order
by Danny Tariman

“And so your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:21)

“We’re sorry, your 5:30 a.m. flight for Iloilo this Saturday is canceled,” said the airline representative. I received the disturbing call just three days before our family trip.

With all the details of our family vacation already prepared, we couldn’t easily accept a delayed flight. Our hotel booking was confirmed, our itinerary organized, and our schedules finalized.

I asked that we get the next available flight. I was assured we would. But after an hour, I checked our flight details and learned that we weren’t rebooked yet. Worse, the next flight we could get was past noon, which would affect our tour itinerary and schedule. I was distressed and asked my family to pray.

Finally, I asked the airline that our destination be changed from Iloilo to Bacolod for the 5:30 a.m. flight that Saturday. We were approved with no charge.

God is so good! In putting our faith and hope in Him, we were able to fly to Bacolod direct, which was actually the first destination in our itinerary. It saved us from making a boat transfer had we landed in Iloilo first.

Indeed, “we know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

Reflection: Are your plans being disturbed? Trust God. Keep the faith.

Prayer: Strengthen my faith, O Lord, that even when everything seems to go wrong, I may continue to have hope and trust in You. Amen.

[This reflection was first published in Didache 2018 — May 30th]

God is Faithful

God is Faithful
by Danny Tariman

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31)

Early in my “renewed life” I was taught that the Bible is a Word from God. I believe it. I believe that it has promises that are certain to pass or manifest.

This has been my life. To trust the LORD and to trust in His Word.

One of my dearly-held promise is from Mark 11:24

“Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours”

I believe this promise. I believe His Word in Mark 13:31 that His “words will not pass away”

Strengthened by these two promises, I prayed, and I claimed, that the LORD will grant me a job despite my age.

One day, I got a message from a friend whom I have not spoken for many, many months. He asked if I will be interested in a job to head an IT Department of a company. I said, “I am”. And so, he gave me a
contact number.

I dialed the number and I was immediately scheduled for a face-to-face interview with the company head.

The interview went well. But I haven’t received any update for the next 2 weeks, which made me wonder.

While my family & I were having our vacation in the province, I received a call from an unknown number, which happened to be the HR Manager of the company where I had an interview a couple of weeks ago. And lo and behold! It was a job offer!

We went back to Manila, excited that I will be starting a new job.

Indeed, the LORD is faithful; what He promises, He fulfills.

Reflection: Do you believe in the Word of God? Do you believe that His promises will come to pass?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant me that faith to move mountains. Let the prayers of my heart come to pass in Your time. Amen.

[Photo Credits: Wikipedia]