Posts by Tande

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Living Isaiah’s promise, not his curse

by Tande

A well-dressed elderly couple rang our doorbell the other day. After sharing greetings, one question from them told me they were either insurance salespeople or Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Are you worried about your future?,” one asked. “Who’s asking?,” I asked. “We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses,” they confirmed. I told them I am Catholic, and not really worried about […]

Living off the viral fruit of mustard seeds

by Tande

See if you can guess where and when the following text first appeared: “A good turn need only be a very small one; if it is only to put a halfpenny into a poor box, or to help an old woman to cross the street, or to make room on a seat for someone, or […]

Rising to God’s fall

by Tande

Cops are often criticized for trying to play God. Most good cops try to avoid that impression, but they can’t help relating to God—or at least to His son. One veteran cop I knew demonstrated that by his seating choice in church: near the ninth station of the cross, where Jesus falls for the third […]

Our Father’s Restraining Order against Us

by Tande

Nothing is uglier than a bad separation—except a separation with a restraining order. We’re witnesses to the aftermath of humanity’s separation from God in this Sunday’s liturgy honoring the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In Sunday’s first reading (Ex 24:3-8), Moses is instrumental in delivering the first covenant of reconciliation. […]

Scripture is only Fake News if we live it that way

by Tande

“Fake news” is the cliché of our current political environment. But as a concept fake news is as old as scripture. Matthew described its spread in his gospel account of Christ’s resurrection (Sunday’s gospel reading). The guards posted at Christ’s tomb—who somehow missed its occupant’s exit—were instructed to bear false witness against the good news […]

Relearning our Mother Tongue

by Tande

The 2000-year survival of Christianity is Christ’s greatest miracle—because it’s eternal, as he is. When you think how drastically culture and language change in the course of only a century, you realize how amazing it is that people are still devoting and risking their lives for what Jesus taught us beyond the limits of any […]

Keeping Our Egos Grounded while Preparing to Ascend

by Tande

Before his Ascension, Christ promised his apostles the gift of the Holy Spirit. That gift was the power behind their Acts. But imagine if they had received that gift in their pre-Pentecost state—when their egos and wish for the comforts of their master’s immediate victory were in full force. They were like children at Christmas, […]

That Fateful Friendship

by Tande

Fate: “The development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.” It is our fate to be loved by that power we call God. He shows his love in strange ways. On Southwest Flight 1380 a few weeks ago—ironically enough, destined for Love Field in Dallas—fate caused the plane’s engine […]

Don’t Fear GMOs. We ARE GMOs.

by Tande

Christ’s resurrection left a fearful church in its wake. That included his original disciples, who until the Holy Spirit broke through their locked doors, were shivering behind them. This Sunday’s first reading recalls one of the bogeymen they feared most: Saul, a notorious persecutor of Christians. Their fear was well-founded, considering he approved of the […]

The Miracle of Sheep Becoming Shepherds

by Tande

We’ve read a lot lately about teacher strikes closing schools. It’s easy to sympathize. Many budget-strapped teachers have used their own money to fund classroom expenses. Such teachers are examples of what it’s like to devote one’s life to a profession. But a series of school shootings in recent years have documented what it’s like […]