A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Jewish Rabbi all served as Chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University at Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 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 religion.Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences.
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 the Baptist 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 exclaimed, ‘Well, brothers, you know that we Baptists 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.