Monday, 6 July 2020

Joking Aside ...

Father Ignatius was watching a comedian on TV. He was mildly amusing at first, and then suddenly, his jokes turned to religion.

Now Father Ignatius usually turns off the TV, or switches to another channel, when people ridicule Christianity. This time, however, that inner voice within asked him to hang on a minute.

The comedian was talking about prayer. He said that some people ignore “that nice bearded man in the sky” most of their lives and turn to Him screaming for help when things go wrong.

The audience laughed.

Father Ignatius wondered whether they were laughing at the description of God, or the fact that some people ignore Him until disaster strikes in their lives.

The comedian went on with another limp joke about how people pray.

“Some get down on bended knees and repeat the same prayers over and again like parrots; praying the Rosary for instance.”

The comedian imagined God sitting on His throne dividing people into categories. All those who prayed repeated prayers He put on one side. Those praying the Rosary He gathered all together, and then, through His omnipotent ability to control time, He would synchronize them all so that they recited the Rosary in unison.

The audience reacted by laughing inanely in harmony.

Father Ignatius got up to switch off the TV.

At that point the comedian had changed the subject to the Eucharist and what Christians believed.

With the TV safely off Father Ignatius sat down again and pondered.

“What a sad state of affairs we’ve come to,” he thought, “when a comedian has to mock Christianity for a living; and he finds a ready audience reacting to his every joke.

“If a member of that audience was a Christian, it would prove very difficult indeed, if not impossible, to stand up and protest.

“That person would himself become the object of ridicule and provide ample material for the comedian to continue his act.

“And why should the TV Company even wish to broadcast such material knowing full well that it would offend someone watching at home.”

Father Ignatius reflected on what the comedian had said about prayer; which as it happened was the subject of the priest’s sermon that coming Sunday.

“Of course God does not need our prayers,” he thought.

“He does not need them in the sense that He is not in any way diminished or left wanting if we did not pray.

“But like any loving parent He is happy when we keep in contact. He likes to hear from us from time to time. When we ask Him for our needs.

“He likes us to tell Him how we feel from day to day. To share our worries and concerns, or our troubles when the road ahead is somewhat difficult.

“He also likes to hear about our joys and moments of happiness when things are right.

“The odd ‘Thank you’ every now and then would not go amiss either!”

Father Ignatius jotted a few notes down in his little book.

“And of course,” thought the priest to himself, “praying to God means listening to Him as well as speaking to Him. It is after all a two-way conversation.”

As for repetitive prayers … that comedian may well poke fun at them, but Father Ignatius saw nothing wrong.

He did after all pray the Rosary daily, sometimes more than once a day.

“It helps me concentrate and focus on God,” he said to himself, “… and as everyone knows, men are not good at multi-tasking. So reciting the Rosary helps focus my mind!” he chuckled.

Yes, all in all, that comedian gave him a lot of material for his sermon on Sunday.

As for mocking God and Jesus, “there’s nothing new there” thought the priest.

“Jesus was mocked and laughed at many times throughout His Mission on earth and during His arrest, trial and Crucifixion.

“He took all the hatred and ridicule with Him on the Cross.

“A few jokes from a TV comedian would not harm The Almighty at all; and could perhaps lead someone to experience the love of Christ by just prompting him to learn more.

“The certainty, however, is that the comedian would be reminded of these jokes when he’s face to face with his Creator.”

Father Ignatius smiled.


  1. I kind of like the visual of all the Rosary prayers doing so in a synchronized fashion :-)

    1. Put to music too?

      God bless you, Kathy.

    2. My grandmother used to follow Bishop Sheen back in the 50s and 60s. He had a radio show and then a tv program. She never would have appreciated this kind of humour about God or religion. She and my two aunts used to go to mass evryday and when she was too old, a local priest came to the house to say mass. So much has changed since those days and not for the better.
      Here is a link to Bishop Sheen from wiki if you're interestd.

    3. Thank you so much, Bill, for the Bishop Sheen link. He was a great man.

      As you say, a lot has changed in the world and not for the better. I don't know what the TV is like where you are; here in the UK quite often we have so-called comedians mocking Christianity and the belief in God. They seem to compete with each other as to who can be the most outrageous.

      A few years ago, not so long now, the priest came and celebrated Mass in our family garden. The whole extended family was there and we had a BBQ afterwards. Priests used to visit homes regulalrly in those days. This too has changed.

      God bless, Bill.

  2. Another brilliant lesson from Fr. Ignatius! Thanks so much for this reflection today, Victor.

    1. Thank you Martha; glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

      God bless always.

  3. Wonderful! Call me naïve, but I'm aghast that such a comedy routine might exist. Reminds me of a superior's remark about the number of folks who attend church on Easter Sunday: "Amazing how many people still believe in ghosts." Of course, that got a round of laughter from several employees. I was infuriated, but chose not to show it.
    Saying 'thank you' has become a part of my early morning routine, but I never thought about sharing my joys, as well.

    1. The sad thing, Mevely, is that in the UK worse so-called comedy routines are on TV; making jokes about the Virgin birth, the Resurrection, miracles and so on. It seems to have become the norm in secular Britain.

      God bless.

  4. Sad that people find that kind of humor funny.
    I talk to God all day. :)

  5. For some reason, Christianity is particularly singled out for public ridicule. People feel free to openly show their disdain. However, I dar3esay that many of these people would never openly treat the Muslim religion or Buddhism in such a manner.

  6. Sad, isn't it?

    God bless Liberty Bell.

  7. Very interesting what prayer is to each person. When comedy mocks the church and prayer, and gets a laugh shows how ignorant most who don't know Jesus personally feel about prayer. Prayer can be short like "Help" or go on and really depends on how much time you want to spend with the Lord. When Dr. John Mac Arthur was asked when he prayed....he said, that's a difficult question because I talk to God all day long and during the night watches, and He talks to me from his Word every time I open it pages. I like that! Maybe that's what Paul meant when he said "pray without ceasing". Blessings my dear friend.

    1. You're right, Wanda. Pray without ceasing; even if it is a short prayer.

      God bless.

  8. He does not need our prayers, and yet He wants us to acknowledge that every blessing is from Him, and prayer is one way to do that.

    Also, while He doesn't require them to do His work, i think He likes to use our prayers to bring about His good purposes.

  9. A lot to think about. "It is after all a two-way conversation.” It is hard to not interrupt. Have learned more since.

    1. Yes, prayers involve listening too.

      God bless, Susan.



God bless you.