In Harmony with a Beautiful Conflict of Interests

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit:

A good witness to any important event knows details about everything they’ve seen and heard. They can answer:

Through whom did you receive information about this event?

With whom were you at the time?

In whom did you confide about it?

If all the details gel into a believable unity, then you’ve told the truth.

Catholics become important witnesses to the truth of what happens at every Mass we attend, and when we leave the scene of that sacrifice, we are commissioned to witness to it—not only by what we say about our faith in it, but what we do about it.

All Christians share the responsibilities of a reliable witness.

Who commissions us? The one who sacrificed himself. When we do our job well, we honor the commissioner, as represented by the celebrant of the services we attend. Priests and pastors seek both the commissioner’s blessing of this sacrifice and our acknowledgment of inspiration by it.

During every Mass, attendees play a key role in the celebrant’s doxology after he raises the sacrifice for all to see:

Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, forever and ever.

To this, we witnesses say, “AMEN!” It is so!

We support this Amen not only by living our faith, but by defending it. And by defending it, confirming it for others and for ourselves.

Such confirmation within us usually begins at the age of discretion—with our child-like ability to discern right from wrong. However, judging by what one can witness via social media today, some may never achieve such discernment. In the darkest corners of the worldwide web, even wrong is labeled right. That makes being a witness of divinity and witnessing the divine for others even more critical to the confirmation of the spiritual gifts necessary to help us defend our faith from the world’s evils.

Faith, hope and love are the armor we need to survive this journey called life. And like the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, we may not realize we have these gifts within us until our age of reason tells us we must share them in order to benefit others whose journeys intersect with ours.

FAITH is born of COURAGE,

HOPE is born of WISDOM, and  

LOVE is born of GOD.

This Holy Trinity of virtues comes by way of the Holy Spirit of God—the same one that made Moses the first witness in the court of law he helped establish on this earth. In this Sunday’s liturgy, we hear him testify about the jurisdictions over which our Judge presides:

You must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. (Dt 4:32-34, 39-40)

But Paul—addressing us as brothers and sisters via his letter to the Romans—encourages us that although we enjoy a personal relationship through, in and with His Honor, He will never recuse Himself from hearing our testimony:

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!” … heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Rom 8:14-17)

ALL glory is God’s, and we inherit our share through Him by sharing it with Him as we testify to our belief in Him by our service to others in the Judge’s human family. Sunday’s gospel reading makes us conspirators as we participate with the Judge’s Son in this beautiful conflict of interests:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:16-20)

If you need confirmation of that, take another look inside the evidence room of your heart—where your spiritual gifts are stored.

–Tom Andel


  1. After receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it seems fitting that the same spirit can help us understand beyond our human capacity, the reality of the Holy Trinity.

    Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It’s a great reminder that WE after baptism become part of this mysterious and miraculous entity. It is hard to wrap my head around this, and the Church does not seem to go out of its way to remind us of this wonderful relationship we have with Christ and the Holy Trinity.

    I suppose it’s beyond comprehension!

    • Thomas, maybe the Trinity isn’t something to be comprehended. Our challenge is comprehending the Word of God and living it. The rest takes care of itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *