Do you remember what happened in my last Bob story, The Finger of God Points at Bob Blogosphere? Bob has been invited to a Catholic wedding. He wants me to give him lessons on the Catholic Faith to make sure his 'performance' at the wedding is perfect...
The door opens revealing the most famous man in the Blogosphere. He looks up and down the corridor, but the only person he can see is his secretary. He pulls me into his office while the coast is clear, and as I sail over the threshold, I hear Bob Blogosphere say, “Strictly no interruptions, Miss Bell… an important interview.”
“You’re going to interview me?” I smile.
“Of course not,” says Bob, settling himself into his leather swivel chair. “Why would I want to do that?”
“So you can write an article about my blog for the Blogosphere News. You said something about an interview to Miss Bell…”
Bob waves my words away. “I had to say something. I don’t want Miss Bell knowing I‘m having a lesson about the Catholic Faith. What if she told someone?” He shudders. “What would people say?”
“Why would they say anything? Lots of people want to know about the Catholic Faith.”
“They do?” Bob sits back and scratches his perfectly buzz cut head. “Why would they want to do that? Surely they’re not all going to Catholic weddings?”
“They’re searching for the Truth, Bob.”
The Truth? He frowns. Is that important?
“Perhaps we’d better get started. Your cousin’s (or was that your niece’s) wedding isn’t far away. If you want to look like you know what you’re doing, you’ll have to listen carefully. It's a bit complicated.”
“How hard can it be?”
I don’t answer. Bob is about to find out. “Now the first thing you’ll notice as you come into the church is the holy water font near the door. Stop and dip the fingers of your right hand into this water, and then make the sign of the cross… like this.”
“I can’t do that,” protests Bob folding his arms in front of him. “What will people think?”
“I suppose they’ll think you belong to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
“Oh I don’t belong to them.” Bob shakes his head firmly. “I belong to the Blogosphere News… or rather, it belongs to me. I don’t belong to anyone.”
I sigh. “As you’re walking down the aisle to the front of the church, look for the tabernacle. It should be directly behind the altar.” I reach into my bag and pull out a few photos. “This is what it might look like.”
Bob peers at the photos I have placed on the desk in front of him. He brings them close to his eyes and then moves them far away. Does Bob need glasses? Should I ask him? Perhaps not.
“Then when you’ve located the tabernacle, genuflect towards it.”
“Yes, bend your knee. It’s a sign of reverence.”
“Reverence? What’s so special about the tabernacle?”
“It’s where Jesus is.”
“No! Everyone knows if Jesus is anywhere, He's in Heaven. How can He be in the church at the same time? How could He even fit into the tabernacle?”
I sigh again. This is going to be a very long lesson.
“Transubstantiation, Bob,” I begin. “During a special part of the Mass, the priest turns bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. They still look like bread and wine. But they’re not. At Communion time the people receive the Body, and maybe the Blood too. And then afterwards the extra consecrated bread or hosts are placed in the tabernacle... They’re still Jesus … So Jesus is in the tabernacle.”
Bob rolls his eyes. “Do you expect me to believe a priest can turn a piece of bread into God?”
“Well, the priest can’t do it on his own,” I admit. “But he has a special power given to him by God.”
"A piece of bread cannot become God, ” repeats Bob.
“You don’t think God could do that?”
“But God can do anything He wants, Bob. He’s not like you or me.”
“Not like me? I can do anything I want."
“You can’t change bread into the Body of Jesus, Bob.”
“I wouldn’t want to. That’s a ridiculous thing to do.” Bob taps his paperweight against his desk a few times and then he says, ”Even if God could do it, why would He want to? It doesn’t make sense.”
“Love… He does it because He loves us…”
“I know all about love,” says Bob, dropping the paperweight and glancing at the dozens of awards on his office wall. “Everyone loves me. I have millions of fans. I don’t need God to do something crazy like change bread into Himself for me.”
I look deep into Bob’s eyes. “I know it’s a lot to take in.” I reach out and touch his arm. “I understand just how you feel.”
He leans forward. “You do? You don’t believe either?”
“No, Bob, I do believe but I didn’t believe for a long time. I thought it was crazy too. But faith grows… with time.”
Bob yanks his arm free of my fingers. “Talking of time, will this take much longer?” He’s looking at his watch. “I have to get to the gym.” He runs his fingers over his tight right bicep and smiles.
I quickly dive into my bag again and then thrust a booklet under Bob’s nose: The Mass Explained. “Why don’t you read this, Bob and if you have any questions, give me a call.” Then I add, “Oh and don’t sit in the front pew. If you sit further back in the church you can copy what everyone else is doing.”
“Not sit in the front pew?” Bob shoots to his feet. “Of course I have to sit in the front pew. I’m Bob Blogosphere. That’s where I belong.”
The most famous man in the blogosphere is striding towards the door, so I rise to my feet. “One last thing, Bob… about that interview…”
Like usual Bob turns a deaf ear towards my words. He pushes me over the threshold of his office saying, “Watch out for the wedding photos. I’m going to look magnificent!”
Before I know it, I’m back outside the Blogosphere News Building. As I stroll back to my blog, I wonder…
- Will Bob ignore my advice and sit in the front pew at the wedding?
- Will he remember what to do?
- Will he appear cool and collected?
- Will he ever be interested in the Truth?
- And will he ever believe a priest is able to turn bread into Jesus?
Please stay tuned to find out!