A priest, a Pentecostal 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 to their particular religion.
Seven days later, they’re all together 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 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, with an arm and both legs in casts, and 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 him from God’s HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to rassle. We rassled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a crick. So I quick 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 week in fellowship, feasting on God’s Holy Word, and praising Jesus.”
They both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IV’s and monitors running in and out of him. He was in bad shape. The rabbi looks up and says, “You fellows don’t even know what trouble is until you try to circumcise a bear.”
This page was last updated April 1, 2006.