Saving Grace from Our Rot

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mass-Blog-for-the-28th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) A preacher recently encouraged his congregation to adopt a spirit of service. How do you do that? Easy. Discernment. Through discernment, he explained, the Holy Spirit draws us into service on behalf of others. It begins with prayer to help us recognize situations offering us […]

Maintain your faith. It’s standard equipment.

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mass-Blog-for-the-27th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) Power steering is one of the automotive industry’s greatest contributions to global productivity. It made it easier for us beasts of burden to not only carry this world’s heavy loads, but to maneuver them around its obstacles. This feature is now standard on most vehicles […]

Our Greed for Innocence

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mass-Blog-for-the-26th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) Movie and TV courtroom dramas involving premeditated murder usually climax with a prosecutor summarizing the defendant’s guilt. It highlights the means, motive and opportunity the suspect had to kill the victim. This Sunday’s Mass readings put humanity on trial, and we can almost hear God […]

Godfather: A New Beginning

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mass-Blog-for-the-25th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) Humanity’s worst vice has always been envy of God’s power. That desire not only never ends well, it never ends. That’s the moral of the cinema’s classic Godfather saga. Michael Corleone—heir to his father’s crime kingdom—starts out as a reluctant heir to his father’s power […]

The Power of a Shouldered Sheep

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mass-Blog-for-the-24th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) The Christian model of a good shepherd doesn’t make much sense to the casual reader. In this Sunday’s gospel reading (Lk 15:1-32), Jesus asks, “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert […]

The Dictionary Makes a Lousy Bible

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Mass-Blog-for-the-23rd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) Look up the name Onesimus in the dictionary and you’ll see it means “useful,” “helpful,” or “profitable.” Look it up in the Bible and, according to St. Paul, it means ‘slave.’ In fact, this was a common name for slaves in his day.  In other words, many […]

The Tarnished Side of God’s Coin

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Mass-Blog-for-the-22nd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) Theologian Thomas Merton wrote, “Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” But some biblical accounts make it seem like pride and humility are two sides of the same coin. In fact, pride often seems to be humanity’s birthright. That may explain why the […]

Acts of God are NEVER on our Terms

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Mass-Blog-for-the-21st-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022-1.mp3) God’s will is unstoppable. Even atheists recognize this. It’s why our legal system has something called an “Act of God defense,” when nature’s unpredictability causes hardships nobody could have foreseen or prevented. Life happens, in other words, and we must learn to live it. Nevertheless, […]

Keeping Our Heads above the Mud

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Mass-Blog-for-the-20th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) There’s as much mudslinging in the Bible as there is in our own modern lives. This is the art of insult and accusation, especially of the unjust variety. The aim is to damage the reputation of an opponent. It’s summarized in ancient Latin: ‘Fortiter calumniari, […]

Saving the “Minister” in Ministry

by Tom Andel

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Mass-Blog-for-the-19th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-2022.mp3) Religious leaders of all faiths have one thing in common. Their faith. Supplies of this precious asset may vary, but an abundance has led the faithful throughout history to do strange things—from painting their doorposts with sacrificial lamb’s blood so the angel of death would […]