Smile of the Day

Life is getting much too serious, yes? Who doesn't need a daily smile?

Sunday, June 8

St. Francis of the bears?

A priest, a Pentecostal preacher, and a rabbi would get together two or three times a week to drink coffee and talk shop. Someone mentioned that preaching to people was not really all that hard, so what would be a real challenge? One thing led to another, and in the end they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the deep woods: where they would each find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they all got together again to discuss the experience.

Father Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches, and has various bandages, goes first. "Well," he says, "I went into the woods to find me a bear, and then after I found him I began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around, so I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him -- and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle a lamb! The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation."

Reverend Billy Bob is in a wheelchair, with an IV drip and an arm and both legs in casts. In his best fire and brimstone oratory he proclaims, "WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTISED his hairy soul! And, HAIL JESUS! he became as GENTLE as a LAMB! We spent the REST of the day PRAISing Jesus."

Then they both look down at the rabbi, who had been brought there in a hospital bed. He is in a full body cast and traction, with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. Looking up painfully, he murmurs, "Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start."


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