Converting a Bear


A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher, and a  Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University  in Marquette . They would get together two or three times a week for coffee  and to talk shop. One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people  isn’t really all that hard – a real challenge would be to preach to a bear.  One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment. They would  all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert  it. Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experience.

Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various  bandages on his body and limbs, went first. “Well,’ he said, ‘I went  into the woods to find me a bear. And when 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 as a lamb. The Bishop is  coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.”

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both  legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he  claimed, “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 BAPTIZED his hairy  soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the  rest of the day praising Jesus.. Hallelujah! ‘”

The priest and the reverend both looked down at the Rabbi, who was lying in a  hospital bed. He was in a body-cast and traction with IVs and monitors  running in and out of him. He was in really bad shape. The Rabbi looked up  and said: “Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”


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