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Column: Cardinal Rules – There’s a guy outside my Tesco swears he’s Jesus

This week, the (not) Primate of All Ireland has a house guest – a bearded young man who wears sandals and speaks in Biblical tones. It couldn’t be… could it?

(Not) Cardinal Sean Brady

JESUS IS EVERYWHERE, I constantly tell my flock. This week, He even turned up outside Tescos. I kept a diary of His stay with us…

Sunday

A very excited Fr Lawlor arrives back from the shops with a new friend in tow. This new friend is a rather scruffy, bearded young man in a combat jacket, carrying a holdall.

“I met him outside Tescos. Look who it is. Look who it is!” he shrieks.

Everyone stands around scratching their heads. Nobody has a clue who it is.

“It’s Jesus, you big sillies!” says Fr Lawlor.  The young man salutes us in a very casual manner. “Dudes,” he says.

“Jesus’s” true identity is questioned by a sceptical Fr Walsh. A quick phone call to the Theology department in Maynooth is made. The priest on the other end of the line asks me if Jesus is (a) wearing sandals, and (b) has an air of “serene mysticism about Him.”

I look at Jesus. He is indeed wearing, sandals, and He is also inspecting our portrait of John Paul II in great detail. His eyes are brimming with sensitivity and compassion. “Man,” he says “it’s like I can read the artist’s mind just by touching the pigment.” Then He bursts into tears.

“It’s Him alright,” I say. Everybody cheers.

Monday

We are all watching Jesus as he tucks into his breakfast. Fr O’ Leary has been kind enough to lend him his pyjamas, and our Lord has taken quite a shine to them.

“So you came back,“ says Fr O’ Leary. “I’m here aren’t I?” says Jesus. Everybody nods at this piece of wisdom. Jesus sips his tea. A nervous Fr Reilly squeaks “Say something holy, oh Lord.”

Jesus munches his toast and thinks for a moment. Then He clears His throat. “And lo, it was decreed that it would be, and yay, it came to pass that various things did happen, and I was pleased, and um, stuff.”

There is silence for a moment. Jesus looks nervous. Then somebody claps. Very soon everybody is clapping.

Jesus smiles and asks for more toast.

Tuesday

I meet Jesus in the common room in the afternoon. He is watching Jeremy Kyle and eating a bowl of Cornflakes. Every once in while he guffaws loudly at something. I give Him a moment, and then I ask Him a question.

“Lord, I was just wondering. When do you think you might want to spread your Word?” Jesus looks at me, and wipes some Cornflakes and milk from his beard. “Dude, there will come a time, and at that appointed time I will like totally do that.” He turns back to watch Jeremy Kyle.

“Also, I was wondering if you knew anything about the lamp that’s gone missing out of Fr Ryan’s room? It’s just that his late mother gave it to him, and it’s quite valuable.” Jesus sighs sympathetically “Verily, all things will be revealed,” He says without taking His eyes off the screen.

“Also Lord, one more thing. Is that my dressing gown you’re wearing?” Jesus looks at me with great kindness. He nods.

“Just checking,” I say.

Wednesday

Jesus spends all day on the internet looking at photos of Rihanna. He has heard of her “topless” shenanigans in a field in Down, and has insisted that this research will help Him better in his “battle against evil.”

Meanwhile, I ask Him if he has seen Fr Deegan’s watch which he received as a gift from his parents on the day he was ordained. Jesus squeezes his eyes shut for a moment and concentrates. “Nope, I got nothing,” he says after a while. Then He asks me for a second tub of ice cream.

Later that day Fr Walsh asks me if it would be okay to ask Jesus to stop smoking in the bath.

Thursday

9am

Jesus starts the day by playing Call of Duty: Black Ops.

12pm

Jesus is still playing Call of Duty: Black Ops.

12.10pm

Fr Lawlor asks Jesus if he wants to go the shops. Jesus says no.

12.11pm

Fr Lawlor asks me where I put his credit card. I give him his credit card.

12.12pm

Jesus offers to go to the shops with Fr Lawlor.

3pm

A panicked Jesus arrives back from the shops followed by a breathless Fr Lawlor.

“I need to go!” shouts Jesus. “And be about your Father’s work?” says Fr Lawlor. “Eh, yeah,” replies Jesus.

Jesus goes upstairs to pack his bag. Everyone gathers to say goodbye. Jesus is breathing hard and sweating. He is obviously very excited about the prospect of spreading the Word. In his anxious state he drops something out of his bag. “That’s my mother’s lamp!” says Fr Ryan. “How did that get in there?” says Jesus.

Then we hear a thunderous knocking at the door. Jesus hauls Himself and his bag onto the window ledge. “Don’t answer that,” He says. “It is the forces of darkness.”

There is more knocking, and someone is shouting for us to open up.

“But Lord,” says Fr Lawlor. “Do you have a final message for us before you depart?”

Jesus looks confused for a second, then His face brightens, and He smiles. “Yes,” He says. “Remember, love one another as I have loved y-”

And then He falls out the window.

8pm
We ring the hospital. Apparently Jesus is doing fine, although his arm will take some time to heal. “No bother to Him,” says Fr Lawlor. We are still reeling from the police’s ludicrous “Jesus is actually a con-man” story. Their faith is obviously sorely lacking.

Fr Lawlor sighs. “Some people will believe anything,” he says.

Read more Cardinal Rules columns from (Not) Cardinal Brady>

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(Not) Cardinal Sean Brady

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