In today’s Encyclical, the Holy Uncle shares some of the miracles and wonders that survive the rewriting of Sacred Scripture in the new Tea Party Version (TPV) of the Bible.
ENCYCLICAL THE FIFTH, Part I
Well hello there, my children. Thank you for dialing up the pope, or whatever you call it on this Internet thing.
During His Earthly ministry, Jesus would tell stories to get a point across. Now, in the NEWLY REVEALED Word of God, the Tea Party Bible, conservative activists will be able to support their money-grasping, “me first” philosophy with actual Bible verses! We call these…
PARABLES AND WONDERS
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “You’re a lawyer,” Jesus said. “Why are you asking me? What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, ‘Profit from your neighbor as much as possible’.” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied, tossing the lawyer a cookie which he quickly devoured. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself – not to mention another cookie, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus rolled his eyes, sighed a deep sigh and said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his everything but his tunic, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. Didn’t want to get his priest garments all dirty and bloody, you know.32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. You know how Levites are.33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took notice of him. 34 He went to him and said, “Oh, you poor man. Let me take a look at you.” He rolled the man from side to side, looking for anything the robbers might have left behind. He patted down the man and found a sack containing 30 gold coins under the man’s tunic that the robbers had overlooked. Pocketing the sack, he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and dropped him at the front door. 35 The next day he when the man regained consciousness, the innkeeper told him what happened and presented him with his bill for lodging, which happened to be two denarii. The Samaritan smiled through his broken and missing teeth and said, “Good thing I took special care to hide some of my money.” He reached under his tunic and a look of shock and surprise came over his face. ‘I swear, I had a sack under my tunic with 30 gold coins in it! I really did!’ ‘SURE you did,’ the innkeeper said as he and his two burly sons advanced upon the Samaritan and beat him until he gave up the ghost.36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who robbed him after he was beaten?” “Good answer,” Jesus told him, “Bloody Samaritans.” The lawyer opened his mouth expecting to be tossed another cookie. “Don’t be greedy,” Jesus said, putting the lid back on the cookie jar. Luke 10:25-37 (TPV)
5When Jesus looked up, he saw many people coming to him. He said to Philip, ‘I suppose we’ll have to feed these slackers’. 6Jesus knew what he himself would do, but he said this to see what Philip would do. Jesus was like that.7Philip answered him, ‘It would take nearly a year’s wages to buy enough food for them, even if each one gets only a little.’ 8One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, talked to Jesus. 9He said, ‘A boy here has five loaves of bread and two small fish. But what can that little bit of food do for so many people?’ 10Jesus rolled his eyes, sighed and said, ‘Tell the people to sit down.’ Much grass was there and much had been smoked, so naturally the people were very, very hungry and willing to eat anything, even raw fish and bread. The number of men who sat down was about five thousand. 11Then Jesus took the bread from the little boy without paying him for it and thanked God for the fact that little children are easy to bully. He gave it to the disciples and they divided it among those who were sitting. He did the same thing with the fish. The people had all they wanted. 12When they had eaten enough, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather up all the pieces that are left so that nothing will be lost. I’m not made of fish and bread.’ 13They gathered all the pieces of the five loaves. Twelve baskets full were left over after all the people had eaten enough. 14When those men saw the big work that Jesus did, they said, ‘Truly, this is the Prophet that is to come into the world.’ 15The people wanted to take Jesus by force to make him a king. When he saw this, he left again and went on the hill by himself. “Bloody leeches,” he was heard murmuring as he walked away. JOHN 6:5-15 (TPV)
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. Jesus was fond of telling his disciples how creepy the whole experience was.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it. Besides, Lazarus owes me 32 drachma for the perfume his creepy sister Mary used in her hair to wipe my feet. Brrrrr…” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister but Lazarus, not so much. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” The disciples shrugged their shoulders at this. He was rambling again. They were used to it. “Try getting a straight answer from this guy,” Peter said to Matthew. “Quiet, you!” Matthew said.11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up. And to get my 32 drachmas.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. Such dumbasses were they.14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus– but only when in drag) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” “Die? What? Who said anything about dying?” the other disciples murmured. Jesus silenced them with a stare that they knew meant they were moments away from having their heads bumped together.17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two milesfrom Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus smacked her on the forehead and said to her, “Hello? Hello? Martha? Are you in there, Martha? That’s not what I said. I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied fearing another forehead smack, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Nut from Nazareth is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” Martha went to put some cool water on her forehead.29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. It was clear Jesus was in one of his “slappy” moods, and she didn’t want to keep him waiting.30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. Such dumbasses were they.32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “I don’t know. We dilly-dallied around in Jerusalem for days after he heard about Lazarus and acted like he could care less. Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “Who died and made HIM boss,” some of the assembled Jews whispered, but not too loudly because many of them had experienced the forehead smack themselves. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? And don’t you have any air freshener? Some ‘Glade’ perhaps? ‘Forest Pine’ scent covers up the dead guy stench pretty well, I’m told.” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” His eyes darted from side to side as he said this to make sure the assembled Jews heard him.43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Lazarus began to rejoice with his family, but Jesus took him aside. “32 drachmas, dead boy. Right now, or it’s back into the hole.” Lazarus directed his sister Mary to write a check on the family account. “This better clear or, cccchchhhhh!” Jesus said, drawing a thumb across his own throat as if it were a knife. Lazarus nodded and backed away slowly. John 11:1-43
The Parable of the Money Lender
“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she knows how to kiss an ass. But he who has been forgiven little, has little need to kiss ass. Understand?” “Um, not really,” Simon said. LUKE 7:41-47 (TPV)
The Parable of the Rich Fool
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but doesn’t properly insure his life with a good whole life policy from a Triple-A rated insurance company. Everything goes to probate.”
In Part II, the Holy Uncle will begin with the Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant…