Forgive me, Father, for I—
Oh, it’s you again!
(Gasp!) You remember me, Father?
How could I not? You’re the one who couldn’t stop
Saying winter’s four-letter word!
As a matter of fact, for a while back there,
You even had me saying it!
Are you having the same problems again?
No, no, Father—it’s more even more serious this time,
I went way past the speed limit—
On the highway?
Nope, on my thermometer: I’ve got a nasty bug
Otherwise known as the FLU.
Oh, is that all?
Huh, excuse me, what do you mean is that all?
Well, that’s hardly the stuff confessions are made of…
You wanna bet?
The minute my temp went to the nether regions otherwise known as 102 degrees,
I began having these weird, not to mention unbelievable flights of fancy
About everything from the top of my burning head to
The bottom of my aching ankled feet (and every aching everywhere in between)
And suddenly in the haze of my flu-afflicted noggin I figured everything out
From how to finally fix Rubik’s Cube
To convening an international conference for world peace
To creating really non-iron dress shirts.
It was frightening!
Coughing, hacking, and the odd sneeze here and there
And my bed hair looked like some outpost from a Wild West movie.
And to top it off, I wondered where was God!
Oh, I see.
You must understand that in the Incarnation—
What’s the Incarnation got to do with anything?
What has it got to do with anything?
It has much to do with everything!
Especially in your condition!
Do you not know that Jesus, (excepting sin) willfully chose
To experience what we humans do, even get sick in order to truly accompany us?
Now it was my turn to get quiet.
Don’t you realize that Jesus sneezed, scratched, and ached
And most probably bruised or broke a bone or two?
Not to mention maybe even had a sinus headache or a migraine,
Felt nauseous sometimes and maybe even had an achy tooth
And, at times, like any other boy in his day
Wanted to hide his head under the covers (even if it was straw)
When he felt it wasn’t his day?
Or maybe even vomited the gruel he ate that mightn’t have agreed with him?
Yes! Even Our Lord got sick!
He was divinely human! And humanly divine!
Now, what do you think of that?
Well, the nuns didn’t teach us that in parochial school, and—
Lay off the nuns now, will you?
They had hard enough a job trying to teach
A bunch like you the rudiments of life, never mind religion.
Besides, what else are you here for?
Well, you see, the flu made me ornery, even angry and out of sorts…
Come now, that’s to be expected, even when you’re ill
Even God in his mercy would understand that.
Oh, I know, but you see, I got angry at the pharmacist
When I was handed my Tamiflu and cough syrup.
And you’re out of sorts because of medicine to make you well?
No, Father, it was the price of the crap
Now, I thought you were giving up four-letter words?
If you only saw how much I had to pay for it, you’d swear a blue streak, too.
Just seeing the price tab, it made me sick, with fresh waves of nausea
All over again.
Seeing the cost, I almost had to take out a loan.
Nah, it couldn’t have been that bad.
Well, how much was it, and for how many pills?
It was five days’ worth, 10 pills, at $123.25.
Father, I thought no swearing?!?
I wasn’t swearing, my son. I was merely expressing righteous anger at the
Totally unjustified advantage taken of a suffering person by the blood-sucking
Corporate giant pharmaceutical companies that look after their bottom lines…
Gee, Father, I thought you were going to talk about Jesus using
The whip cord to cleanse out the Temple of the noxious pill pushers,
Uh, I mean the moneylenders.
Now is not the time to get theological, my son.
For your penance, say a prayer for those who are sick and alone
And suffer in silence with no one to attend to them.
Ask God to be by their pillow to offer surcease and succor
And that human hands may assist them in their time of physical need.
That their illness may be of short duration until the time comes
When they will truly feel the healing effects of love, mercy and care
And become happy and whole again, in spirit as well as in body.
And that when we are well, may we always appreciate
The things—and the people—we often take for granted.
Thank you, Father!
God be with—
Wheeze, sniff, cough, drip!
Oh, Father, don’t tell me?
Yes, it’s true, thank you very much—
I give you God’s blessing
And in return, you give me your bug!
Get me some of that Benedictine brandy from that St. Bernard, on the double!!!
And a Holy Gesundheit to us all!!!