“This is an important day for Father. He’s been faltering the past few weeks and the faithful are wondering if he has want it takes.”
“You’re right, Bob, I’ve seen him rise and fall all in one Mass. He has only 60 minutes to accomplish what needs to be done. If he can do it in 56 then all the better for this weathered priest now in his 32nd year of entertaining parishioners.”
“That’s a good point. How many years can a priest expect to be strong and relevant? He’s defied the averages. He’s given 302 sermons with an approval rating of only 43%. That’s not good if you want to make it higher in Church ranks. Most others have moved on to easier positions but Father seems to not know when to stop. We’ll have the complete Mass right here for you in just a moment.”
(Toyota, Insurance, Drugs and Dating commercials)
“There’s Father now rounding the corner. Oh no! He missed the small child smiling at him in favor of the big donor at last week’s Auction. Wow. What a big mistake.
He’s heading now toward the end of the aisle to begin the Mass procession. He looks nervous.
Father needs a big sermon today to carry the day. Last week it was all about himself and what’s he’s involved in. It took him 10 minutes until he made a possible Gospel point. He really needs to get that done this week in 2 minutes or less.”
“That’s right on, Bob. Father knows what the stakes are but it doesn’t seem to shake him. He just seems oblivious to everything and everyone around him.”
“That’s called ‘focus,’ Ed. Father’s got focus.”
“I thought that’s called ‘absent,’ Bob but o.k. The Mass is about to begin.”
“There’s the Opening Hymn and Father starts the long walk toward the altar. He’s been known to do either a conservative kneel or a liberal bow. Which will it be today Ed?”
“Well, with his extended stomach and weight problem I think he doesn’t have much of a choice. I think he’ll do a liberal bow but with a conservative’s heart; if they even have one. And…Wow! It’s a bow. This is going to be a great Mass. More after these important messages.
(Viagra, BMW, Joseph A. Banks and Medical advertisements)
“Welcome back fans. For those of you just joining us, which is most of the people in the congregation, Father began Mass and did everything he’s supposed to do. No funny business. No clever asides that would draw them closer to the Mass and to each other.”
“You’re right Ed. We want to get the distinctions very clear between Father and those people out there in the stands, I mean the pews. Father’s done a good job at the beginning here of telling them where they are and where he is. He’s off to a great start and time will only tell us if he can pull it off.
The First Reading is being recited and Father…oh no! His head dropped as though he’s asleep. What happened? Instant replays shows the same thing again only in slow motion. Isn’t technology great?
What is Father thinking? He’s not paying attention to the reading that no one can understand because the lector is racing through the words?”
“What is Father thinking? Stay tuned.”
(Acid Reflex, More Viagra, TV Shows, Unimportant 10:00 Breaking News announcements)
“I don’t know about you Ed but that head dropping has got to be a new low.
You’re right. At least look like you’re listening to a reading that you’ve read all week in preparation for this occasion.”
“Okay Bob. Here’s the Gospel reading. This is Father’s big chance to make the balance sheet for this troubling parish.”
“The Gospel’s done and Father walks toward the people. There’s silence throughout the church as Father begins to speak. More after these important messages.”
(Viagra, Laxatives, Useless Medical Information commercials)
“We’re back with Father at the beginning of his sermon during a very important Mass after coming after several weeks of weak sermons.”
“That’s right Bob. Wow! He did it again! He began by repeating the Gospel that we all just heard.
Why does he do that Bob?”
“I think he does that Ed because it kills time and shows that Father’s listened to the Gospel that he just read. And it also show that he’s smart.”
“Really? You really think that?”
“No. Gosh, Ed, it’s been 15 minutes and I’m not sure what Father’s trying to say. Folks picked up their bulletins after three minutes and several I’ve noticed are now counting the Stations of the Cross to make sure that there’s 14 of them. All the ushers have thrown down flags.”
“It’s unfortunate, Bob because Father had nothing to lose going into today’s Mass and he ended up doing what’s he’s done since the beginning. How about some more commercials to fill the time until the Mass is over.”
“Sounds good to me Ed.”