The priest looks at us over his half-moon glasses. A reading from the Gospel of St Tommy the Grim in which Jesus berates the lazy inter-county hurlers.
He sighs and shakes his head.
When the going gets tough, said Jesus, the tough get going.
You know, my friends, I have often thought that this is one of the most profound passages in the entire Gospels. What the Lord was really saying to the lazy inter-county hurlers was this: Stand Up and Fight Until You Hear the Bell. In many ways he was saying, I Won’t Back Down.
I suppose you might even think Jesus was warning them about living la Vida Loca. When Jesus confronted those lazy hurlers, he was warning them of the way their lives might turn out. The old home town looks the same, he reminds them, as I step down from the train, and there to meet me is my Mama and my Papa. You see? Jesus didn’t shirk his responsibilities. Jesus took that train ride and he called to see his mama and papa when another man might just have gone to a football match, or gone drinking, or maybe gone off with a crowd of WHORES!!!! The dirty fucking bastard!! The filthy drunken, booze-addled fucking drug-addicted fornicator!! Bastard!
Is this common behaviour, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you, it’s not unusual but it wouldn’t be the way of Jesus.
No indeed. That was not the way of our Saviour.The old house is still standing though the paint is cracked and dry, the Lord reminds us. What he’s really saying is stay away from them fucking WHORES!!! He’s saying you’ll do what I fucking tell you or the Pope himself will come down from heaven with a big fuck-off two-bar electric heater and burn your evil sinning ARSE!!
The Lord is ever gentle, ever-forgiving, kind and caring. Police and thieves in the street, he warns us, oh yeah! Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition. Police and thieves. Oh yeah! Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition. From genesis to revelation.
You see how comfortable Jesus is with his Old Testament roots? From Genesis to Revelation, he says. From cotton to satin, from Birmingham to Manhattan. As a very wise man once remarked, You can take this job and shove it, and that’s exactly what Jesus was telling them.
Well those lazy inter-county hurlers got the message, and they got up off their lazy fucking arses and they went Joggin with Jesus, and my friends, that was the start of their Salvation, for never again did they go hanging around with drunks and whores and crack-heads in the bordellos of old Jerusalem. Or Ennis.
Drop-kick me Jesus through the goalposts of life, they sang unto the Lord. End over end neither left nor to right. Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights. Drop kick me Jesus through the goalposts of life!
And no more fuckin WHORES!!! D’ya fuckin hear?
You can tell I was at a wedding, can’t you? That’s what all-day and all-night drinking does to a man.
Previous blasphemy on Bock: