Not two weeks ago, I came across a priest grocery shopping with his two little girls in the supermarket close to where I live. His daughters were laughing and running around the shopping cart, occasionally stopping to help their daddy fetch food from the lower shelves. Like a good shepherd tending to his flock, he kept a close eye on them and stroked the pump-action shotgun he was carrying at his hip.

Instead of embracing Him and offering Him the bacon of our repentance, we consistently turn and slip on the frozen chicken nuggets of sin. Does this remind you of how Jesus OPEN CARRIED our sins for us on the cross? Like Jesus, this priest wasn't afraid to carry his 12-gauge faith out in the open, proud in the conviction that he was doing the RIGHT THING.

It was in the refrigerated foods aisle that I witnessed this priest and another man both go for the same package of Oscar Mayer center-cut hickory-smoked streaky bacon. It was the last package, and both men had seen this and tried to get there first. In the event, the priest was marginally beaten by the other man, who triumphantly walked back to his cart holding the package in his hands.

Oscar Meyer bacon boxes

Being a family man and God-fearing Christian, the priest was clearly distraught. How could he feed his two daughters and give them the life they deserved if they never experienced the sweet, succulent taste of Oscar Mayer bacon? He decided to do what he knew was righteous in the name of the Lord, and pumped the fore-end of his shot-gun in one swift movement of his right arm.

"Stop right there, son," the priest said, aiming the business end squarely at the other man's back.

The man slowly turned around. The priest's daughters stopped running around and watched as their daddy instilled the fear of the Almighty in this man.

"Father Fergus!" the man exclaimed nervously, as a small pool formed around his feet. "I didn't mean no harm. I just wanted the bacon."

"That's alright, Jim, I know. Now you just put that bacon on the floor and back away slowly."

"But Father Fergus, I got their first. Surely you understand—"

But before he could finish his sentence, Father Fergus shot a load into the glass on the other side of the aisle, blowing out boxes of fish sticks and chicken nugget microwave meals all over the tiled floors. The man screamed, dropped the bacon, and ran down the aisle, slipping on the frozen chicken nuggets.

"See you on Sunday, Jim!" Father Fergus called out, and, slinging the shotgun over his back once more, bent down to pick up the discarded Oscar Mayer bacon.

Oh how like our own hearts I find this story to be!

Despite our desperate soul need and dire sinful state, we prefer to run from His redemption like a man in a supermarket from a shotgun-carrying priest. Instead of embracing Him and offering Him the bacon of our repentance, we consistently turn and slip on the frozen chicken nuggets of sin.

Are YOU treating Jesus like this? Are YOU one of those who has not heard that Jesus came down to Earth bearing good news and packing heat? God so loved the world that he gave his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, and furnished him with his only begotten semi-automatic in case anyone messed with his shit. Any time someone stole Jesus's bacon, he would rather light their ass up like his own birthday tree than turn the other cheek.

Let this be a lesson to all of us here at St. Mary's today: it is important that YOU understand the basis on which the Lord is offering YOU eternal redemption. Let the Lord into YOUR life, and anywhere you go you can OPEN CARRY your faith with the safety off.

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