Jesus is like heroin? What?

It’s always a little unsettling when a white Dominican man starts talking like a drug dealer during a Catholic mass. Even if he is a priest. Scratch that—especially if he is a priest.

Fr. John Bowman (names have been changed to protect the fact that I don’t remember them) was visiting St. Mel Church over the weekend, so he got to do the sermon on Sunday. Of course, Bowman doesn’t sound very Dominican, or Latin at all, but that would be because he was a priest of the Dominican order. Most of the time it’s easy to tune out or sleep through the morning homily. Not with this guy. His voice boomed like a drill instructor giving an inaugural address. He went on for roughly 10 minutes about why everyone should spend “a little more quality time with your best friend, Jesus.”


Whatcha got there, Father?
Catholics believe in this thing called the “real presence,” as in when the priest holds up the holy Necco wafer and the bells ring, Catholics believe that it turns into Jesus. Not just symbolically; the belief is that that little cracker is Jesus himself. So what this Bowman guy was talking about was recruiting people to spend some time in the chapel, where a piece of Jesus is kept on display and has to be constantly accompanied by somebody (I guess because Jesus craves companionship like Rush Limbaugh craves attention).

“Find some time, and spend it with your good buddy, Jesus” Father tells us. And then tells us again. And again. Even with a booming voice, one can only hear the same thing so many times before it becomes white noise. Then he said something that grabbed some attention: “Re-up on Jesus!”

I’ve been watching a lot of reruns of “The Wire ” lately, and this phrase “re-up ” is used just about every episode. Typically it’s the at-risk youth peddling heroin on the corners of West Baltimore that are saying it. For example: “Yo, we short, we need a re-up” = “We’re out of our supply of heroin to sell. We need to restock our inventory.” So essentially, this old white priest was comparing Jesus to heroin.

But I guess I actually listened to that part, and it even made me think long and hard enough to want to write an entire post about it. So I guess if he was trying to spread awareness, he succeeded. Well done, Fr. Bowman, or whatever the heck your name was.

Now I just hope that this Jesus/drug comparison doesn’t go too far. I’d rather not see any religious groups cropping up with names like “Jonesing for Jesus.”
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