Category Archives: Mass Reflections

Work from Home

Work from Home
by Danny Tariman

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

It was one of my busiest weeks.

On a work-from-home arrangement, one would think that work-life at home would be a lot easier. On the contrary, it is not.

The usual 9-6 working hours is just not possible. As the head of operations of a 24×7 financial institution, the work-from-home just aggravated my working hours – averaging 12-14 hours a day!

The daily grind – requests, incidents, problems, and all of its related tasks was eating a lot of my personal and family time. To a point when even during weekends I have to coordinate with and chase all the stakeholders. It was literally too much of a burden.

I am so blessed that my family is very supportive. No complaints heard from them; only words of concern, words of encouragement – that held me to keep moving on.

Today’s verse reminds us to come to Jesus.

Indeed, during those chaotic weekends, I would devote my time praying and listening to Him. I would tune-in to a Christian preacher and take every word that is proclaimed. It strengthens me. It removes the heavy burden from my shoulders. And my soul receives peace.

Reflection: Are you heavily burdened? Is your work just too much to think about? Come to Jesus, He can remove your burden and your troubles.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for coming into my life. I lay down upon your feet all my burdens, all my troubles. Grant me peace and rest. Amen!

Believe and See

Believe and See
by Danny Tariman

“Unless I see the mark… I will not believe.” (John 20:25b)

For most people it is “to see is to believe”. They wanted to see, to get hold, and to feel it before believing. Just like “doubting” Thomas.

But for those who have faith, we first believe and then we see with our own eyes the manifestation of what we believe.

I remember many years ago, we dreamt of (and prayed for) our own house in a nice village within the city.

We have no savings that time. Not much resources, either. The prices of properties in the village we wanted to live were beyond our reach.

But we kept the faith. We believe that one day, the LORD will answer our prayer.

Indeed one day, I got an offer for an overseas job with a superb compensation package. The exchange rates to Philippine peso were in our favor almost every time I remit funds. I was also able to buy stocks overseas that I was able to sell at two-and-a-half times the buying price.

In no time, we saw what we believed — our very own house and lot in the city!

Reflection: Are you doubting that what you pray will come to pass? Just believe, and you will see.

Prayer: Dear Lord, strengthen my faith in you. Amen.

Awesome God

Awesome God
by Danny Tariman

“They were struck with awe and glorified God” Matthew 9:8)

During the period of pandemic, many cities were locked-down to prevent the spread of corona virus.

A lot of businesses closed shops. Thousands of workers displaced. No work. No income.

I had been out of job months before the pandemic. I had been trying to get a new project or a new job but to no avail.

But my family kept our faith. We know that the Lord will take care of us, in whatever situation we maybe in.

And just two weeks before the lockdown, the Lord gave me a job. It is truly amazing that He knows what is going to happen in the next few months!

While I read in the news that hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs, and are having difficulty meeting their daily needs during the lockdown, the Lord provided for all our needs. Not only that, we were also able to help those who lost their livelihood.

All we can say is “Indeed the Lord is truly awesome! Thank You Lord for all the provision.”

Reflection: Think of those moments when the Lord manifested His hand. How did you respond?

Prayer: Indeed, You are an awesome God! Thank You Lord for letting us see Your hand in our lives. Amen.

True Neighbors

True Neighbors
by Danny Tariman

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 12:31)

With the whole National Capital Region in quarantine because of the pandemic, it was worrisome for most people how to survive without going out of our homes.

In our village, we really do not know each other personally. We do meet from time to time attending village events but we haven’t actually reached out to each other as ‘neighbors’. Most do not even know each other’s name.

The quarantine however, somehow bound us, as neighbors. A number volunteered to coordinate the supply of food, groceries, and other stuff. One liaised with a supplier of fresh vegetables from the highlands, another coordinated the supply of fish and meat products, and still another offered to bring in fresh fruits.

There was something in common in all these neighbors: they did not do it for profit. It was, I believe, the love for neighbors that drove them.

When the quarantine was relaxed, I was touched by a lady who sent a message in our village chat group, “I am at a hardware store right now. Anyone who needs something, just message me.” Wow!

The fact is, we do not know each other. We are just bound together as neighbors.

This I believe is the essence of the verse “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Reflection: How do you express your love for neighbor?

Prayer: Lord Jesus grant me that grace to love my neighbor as myself. Amen.

[Photo credit to the owner]

Working Behind the Scene

Working Behind the Scene
By Danny Tariman

“The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.” (John 14:10c)

I have never doubted that the LORD is doing something good for me, in the background.

I recently acquired my “dual citizenship”. I became a senior citizen late last year. And I am jobless.

I had been looking for a job after the expiration of my consultancy work, but for over 9 months I was not successful. I had applied through internet job sites, through network of friends and still no work. My thinking that my age being the reason weighed in much more when I turned 60.

But I always kept my faith. I know the LORD is preparing something good behind the scene.

In middle of February, a person whom I have never met had invited me to connect with him in a social media platform for professionals. I wasn’t inclined to accept his invitation, but I noted that we have a common friend. I accepted him.

The following day, he messaged me if I am interested to Head the IT (Information Technology) Operations of a bank. I assessed the job description, and I believe I can do it. And so, I responded “Yes!”

At home, while watching a Christian preacher, it hit me hard when he said “immediate blessing is coming!” My heart jumped! And I claimed it.

Indeed, the same day I responded that I am interested in the job, I was immediately called for a face-to-face interview with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). But before I accepted the interview, I asked if my age would matter. The HR said “No, it doesn’t matter”.

It was a nice casual meeting with the CTO. It was like an old professional acquaintance reconnecting with each other. I told him my work experience, and he was telling me his. After almost an hour of exchanging ideas, he had me wait as he left the lounge. The HR Officer approached me and said I have to meet the CEO for a confirmation meeting.

In my heart, I was shouting “Praise be to God! This is it!”

Indeed, after meeting the CEO, I was offered the job to Head the IT Operations.

I know, the LORD Who dwells in me, is doing His work. Thank You LORD!

Reflection: Are you praying for something that haven’t come to pass yet. Know that the Father is working behind the scene. Just have faith.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, strengthen my faith in You. Grant me the grace to wait for Your answer to my prayers in Your perfect timing. Amen.

Listener

LISTENER
by Danny Tariman

“The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to answer the weary a word that will waken them” (Isaiah 50:4)

“I am so distressed. I don’t know who to talk to, bro,” my long-time friend texted me.

He had just moved to a new apartment but ran into some difficulties. His unit had no provision for a telephone line and his car pass was having some processing issues, among other small but compounding matters. He had been following up with the property’s caretaker but to no avail. “Am so tired and weary,” read his last text to me.

He’s a retiree living alone so it must be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting to deal with his problems by himself.

I didn’t know what to reply except, “Praying for you, bro.” Then I quoted to him Romans 8:28: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” And when I sensed he was at the verge of giving up, I shared with him 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

Sometimes, we feel helpless when we can’t offer anything to alleviate other people’s problems. But I’ve learned that listening to them, praying for them, and sharing God’s Word with them goes a long way.

Reflect: How do you awaken a weary soul?

Prayer: Dear Lord, teach me to strengthen the weak and give hope to the weary. Amen.

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
by Danny Tariman

“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]