A Priest and a Minister Are at Belmont Racetrack…

Fr. Moises

Every evangelical pastor should befriend an evangelical Catholic priest, in my humble opinion.

Take for instance Fr. Moises, pictured above. On Saturday he celebrated the funeral Mass of my wife’s grandmother, at which I spoke. If evangelical pastors had a colleague like Fr. Moises with whom to occasionally visit Starbucks, our churches would potentially be better off. We’d still disagree on all sorts of things, but, on account of such a friendship, we’d at least be able to disagree in a way that is more civil and more Christian. In the end, this sensitivity to Christian virtue will help our congregations to embody a more compelling balance of grace and truth.

Okay, now for my favorite Catholic/Protestant clergy joke. I have yet to meet a priest who hasn’t enjoyed it as much as I.

Fr. O’Malley and Pastor Thomas go the Belmont Racetrack together to see if their prayers would effect the outcome of the races. Eventually a Catholic jokey calls out to Fr. O’Malley, who dutifully walks over to the track to greet him before the race begins. Pastor Thomas, observing this interaction from afar, notices his priest friend apply anointing oil to the horse’s head. Seeing this, the Pastor thinks, “Surely this horse will win having received a special blessing,” and, therefore, he goes to bet a large sum of money on the horse. The pastor and the priest return to their seats around the same time. The bell rings, the gate flies open and the anointed horse jumps out to a decisive lead, but then seconds later drops dead to the ground. Incredulous, Pastor Thomas turns to Fr. O’Malley and asks, “How can it be?” I watched you bless that horse will oil! He was supposed to win! Fr. O’Malley then responds, “That is the problem with you Protestant Ministers: you don’t know the difference between a blessing and last rights.”

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