Tag Archives: servanthood

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.

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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.

My Parking Attendant

My Parking Attendant
by Danny Tariman

“We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” – Luke 17:10

“Your unworthy servant….” I was struck with these words as the Archbishop of Port Moresby was saying the prayer at a Mass referring to himself being Bishop of the Diocese. Maybe this is a regular prayer but this time, it rang differently in my ear.

On another occasion, the good Archbishop, who arrived a minute ahead of me at a Talleres Convent, guided me with hand signals as I parked my car.

“This is too much!” I mumbled to myself. “The Archbishop as my parking attendant?”

Considering his stature, the Archbishop’s humility and readiness to serve his flock touched me deeply.

As a servant-leader, it’s natural to delegate the “dirty jobs” to the “low ranking” servants. But not with this man of God. He really lives up to the title of “servant.” He lives up to what Jesus said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me” (John 12:26). Just like our Lord, He “came not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).

Reflection: Are you following the footsteps of the Lord whom you serve?

Prayer: Lord, I am sorry for being “title-oriented”

[This reflection was first published in Didache, November 12, 2013]

[Photo downloaded from dailyrecord.co.uk/news]

Servanthood

Servanthood
by Danny Tariman

“You know that those who are recognized as rulers… lord it over them…” (Mark 10:42)

One cold December evening, I had the opportunity to be in a company of rural folks in a remote mountain village. I and my family had a real great time spent with these people sharing the Lord and His love. We shared on our faith walk and experiences in the Lord, sang “good old” gospel music, shared our laughters and our pains.

There were a number of stories from these poor people that struck my heart. Common in these experiences is the “lack of love” of the people whom they call as “servants” who came from the metropolis.

These servant-leaders “make their authority over them felt” (Mark 10:42B). They eat separately, the leaders are aloof, and the locals just have to follow what their servant-leaders would tell them. The poor rural folks plainly say “They don’t see their leaders doing what they are teaching them.”

In today’s Gospel we are reminded to “not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock” (1Pet 5:3). Let us take Jesus’ example of a servant-leadership: “whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all” (Mark10:44)

REFLECTION: Are you the “servant” who really serves or a “servant” who commands?

PRAYER:
Lord, grant me the grace to genuinely serve You with humility.

[This reflection was first published in Didache on May 28, 2008]