A priest, a Pentecostal preacher, and a rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of
a university. 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, as
men will do, they decided to each 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 experiences.
Fr. Flannery, had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on
his body. He went first. “Well,” he said, “I went into the woods
and when I found a bear, I began to read to him from the Catechism. That bear
wanted nothing to do with the Catechism 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 confirm
Rev. Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in
casts. In his best fire-and-brimstone voice, 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 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 and now he’s coming to Wednesday
evening Bible study.”
The priest and the preacher looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital
bed. He was in a body cast and in traction with IVs running into both arms.
Summoning his strength, the Rabbi looked up and whispered, “Looking back on it,
circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”