What If UR Wrong

“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts…perhaps the fear of a loss of power!”

John Steinbeck 

Jesus Meets the Pope

by Mark Karapetyan

One day, Jesus decided to visit the Vatican and meet the pope in person to discuss some issues related to the Church and Christianity in general. Soon after, Jesus arrived at the outside gates of Vatican City, but was immediately stopped by the Pontifical guards as He was trying to enter:

“STOP! Who are you? Where is your pass?” one of the guards ordered.

“Greetings, friends, I AM Jesus of Nazareth; I’m here to see the pope.” Jesus politely answered.

“JESUS OF WHO?” The guards ridiculed. They looked at each other, laughed at what they heard, and then scorned: “Get out of here now, come on…move it! GO…”

“I tell you the truth, I AM He, and I only wish to speak with the pope.” Jesus insisted.

Immediately, one of the guards violently grabbed Jesus by the arm, pushed Him back, and then threatened:  “Look here, we have thousands of tourists visiting today. The last thing we want is someone like you wasting our time and stopping us from doing our job. Come on, leave, and don’t you ever come back. Next time, learn how to properly address his holiness.”

Jesus looked down to the ground, thought for a second, looked back up at the guard, and asked: “What must I call him then?”

Another guard became agitated and angrily lectured Jesus: “Where do you come from? Are you a heathen? How is it that you do not know? How clueless are you? You must call him the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of the Chief of the Apostles…”

Jesus raised his hand and gently interrupted: “Why does the pope have so many self-exalting, strange titles?”   

“THAT’S IT, WE’VE HAD IT WITH YOU!” the guard exploded in anger. Another guard threw His weapon on the ground and quickly blew his whistle loudly. Immediately, two dozen guards appeared out of nowhere, surrounded Jesus, and handcuffed Him with heavy chains as if he were a dangerous criminal.  

The incident attracted a large crowd of tourists, who rushed to the scene to see what was happening. They instantly started recording the arrest and posting it on their social media sites. 

The commotion and the loud noise were so noticeable that the pope, who was taking an afternoon nap, awoke from his sleep. In anger, he kicked the blankets off, put his eye-glasses on, slammed the door wide open, rapidly stormed down the stairs, and like a flash appeared before the main gate of the city where Jesus had been arrested; he exploded:

“WHAT IS THIS, WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? Don’t I deserve a few hours of rest without interruption? I have a full day’s worth of meetings this evening; can’t you see that I’m trying to rest a little?”

The chief of guards bowed down to the pope, slowly kissed the ring on his finger, and nervously apologized: “Forgive us your holiness, we didn’t mean to awaken you. It’s just that this strange man here has no pass to enter, and he also claims that he is Jesus, the Son of all blessed Mary, the Mother of God. He insists on meeting you in person. When we tried to stop him, he blasphemed against you. So, we arrested him.”   

The pope wanted to scold and rebuke the guards along with Jesus, for so badly interrupting his sleep, but he carefully looked around and noticed that all eyes were on him. Multitudes of people and tourists were watching every second of what was taking place. So, he took a deep breath, relaxed, put both of his hands behind his back, looked at Jesus, slowly walked around him in a circle examining the heavy chains handcuffing Him, and then asked: “Son, who are you? Where is your pass, why do you wish to meet with me?”

Jesus kept quiet and said nothing.

 “Son, do you not wish to speak to me? You do realize that I have the authority to release you or throw you in prison, don’t you?” the pope reminded.

Jesus stared at the pope and questioned: “The authority you claim you possess, where does it come from?”

The pope chuckled and sarcastically replied: “From God Himself of course, where else?” The guards laughed and clapped in agreement with the pope.

Jesus looked at the guards, looked back at the pope, and calmly asked: “Answer me this, then: why did God give that authority to you and not to another man?”

Before the pope had the chance to answer Jesus, an assistant who worked at the Vatican ran towards the pope from far away, interrupted everyone, and informed him that there was an urgent matter at the Palatium Apostolicum (the papal palace-the official residence of the Roman Catholic Pope) that the pope had to attend to.

The pope left Jesus and the guards and quickly followed his aide to the palace. They both rushed up the stairs and ran towards the room. The pope went in first, but he was out of breath and barely able to stand on his feet. So, he sat down on the nearby red, leather sofa, and took a few deep breaths; with his eyes shut, he wiped the sweat off his face with his hands, took another deep breath, and then asked the aide who was behind him: “What’s the urgent matter? Why did you rush me here? What seems to be the problem?”

There was a deafening silence in the room as the pope received no answer from his aide. He opened his eyes and turned around to ask again, but to his surprise, the room was empty and his aide had vanished.

The pope got off the red, leather sofa, slowly walked toward the main large window in the room, and as he was looking out, he heard a voice: “Greetings, how do you do?”

Startled, the pope turned around and gasped: “YOU SCARED ME! WHO ARE YOU? HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE?” Suddenly, the pope realized that it was the same person who had been arrested earlier outside at the city gates.

“Aren’t you the same stranger I was talking to minutes ago who wanted to meet me in person?” the pope asked.

“Yes, it is I, Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus clarified.

“But, wait, how did you get in here? Where are the guards?” the pope questioned.

“Ahhh, do not worry about that,” Jesus replied. “What matters is that we are here and I can finally meet you in person and talk to you,” Jesus continued.  

The pope cautiously walked towards the red leather sofa, sat down, stared at Jesus the entire time, and asked: “I don’t have much time to spare. What is it that you wish to talk about? I need to prepare for my important meeting.”

“The only meeting you need to worry about is the one with me, I assure you,” Jesus articulated.  Then, the pope heard Jesus utter these words: “MARVELOUS…SPECTACULAR!!!”

With a confused look on his face, the pope asked for clarification.

“The furniture in this room is breathtaking!” Jesus explained.

The pope jumped to his feet and pointed to the red sofa he was sitting in. “AHHH YES, it is. Look at this beautifully hand-made genuine, antique, red leather sofa. It was handed down to us from Pope Leo X. It is probably worth millions.”

Jesus clenched his fist, took a deep breath, and pointed to another piece of furniture in the corner:

“AND WHAT ABOUT THAT?”

The pope rushed to the corner of the room, reached out to a shelf, grabbed a cup, and like a little child in a candy store, he cheerfully explained: “This here is a 4th century chalice. It is one of a kind. Saint Peter himself used it when he ministered in Rome. Look at it, but don’t touch. It’s also worth millions.”

Jesus gnashed his teeth in anger, looked at the pope, and challenged: “TWO ARTIFACTS ARE WORTH MILLIONS?”

The pope exploded in laughter: “Yes, yes, of course. This is the Vatican you are in. Have you forgotten we have other relics that are worth hundreds of millions? This is God’s house, my son,” he sarcastically reminded.

“If this is God’s house, why is it so ungodly then?” Jesus groaned as a single tear ran down His face and hit the Persian Vase Carpet.

The pope took offense in what he heard: “How dare you come here and insult me and my Holy Church. You do realize I have the power to throw you in jail don’t you?” the pope threatened.

“You have no power whatsoever except for what is given to you from above, you fool,” Jesus reminded.

The pope shook his fist at Jesus and exploded: “BLASPHEMY!!! My authority comes from Christ, who commissioned it to Peter, who in turn passed it down from Pope to Pope and all the way down to me. Therefore, my authority comes directly from Jesus himself. ”

“If your authority came from Jesus, then you would recognize me and my teachings. Just like Pilate, you also are too blind to see, even though you have perfectly healthy eyes. But because you live in darkness, your eyes do you no good!” Jesus huffed.

“YOU ARE NO JESUS! I AM DONE TALKING TO YOU,” the pope screamed. Then, he got up and immediately called on the guards to come and escort Jesus away. To his surprise, no one came. The pope yelled for the guards a few more times while Jesus stood in the corner and watched. Again, the guards didn’t respond. Then, the pope pulled a whistle out of his pocket and blew it loudly to alert the guards all around the small city, but to no avail. No one showed up; it was as if, the entire city was vacant!

Then, Jesus approached the pope and asked him to sit down on the red sofa: “Sit, relax, and forget about the guards for now. They will not hear you for a little while.”

Jesus’ commanding voice and candid words struck fear into the pope’s heart. The pope yelled for the guards one more time, but received no answer. He finally realized that he was alone and helpless with a stranger in a small room. So, he nervously stared at Jesus and hesitantly sat down.

Jesus approached the pope, stood before him, and asked: “Why don’t you and your church sell the furniture in this room and give the money away to the poor people and the little orphans around the world?”

“We do that all the time,” the pope assured.

“Then why are there millions of my children everywhere still poor and starving?” Jesus pressed. 

The pope avoided eye contact with Jesus and didn’t dare to answer. There was a pin-drop silence as Jesus walked to the main large window in the room, stared outside a little, then muttered:

“I came here today to let you know that I have been watching this church and its hierarchy for a very long time. I have been watching you personally, and I am NOT impressed. In fact, I am disgusted! Your prideful, disdainful, man-made, self-glorifying titles are cringing. Your actions, decisions, and behaviors are godless and often demonic. How dare you call yourself a leader of My flock? How dare you deceive My people and preach to them another Gospel that’s full of lies and distortions?”

In a panic, the pope defended: “We have neither deceived anyone nor distorted God’s message. We have been faithful to His Word and to our people from the beginning.”

Jesus paced toward a large book shelf nearby, and in a fury, grabbed the Catechism of the Catholic Church (a summary or exposition of the beliefs of the Catholic Church), turned to page 223, pointed to CCC 841, and then exploded:

“THEN EXPLAIN THIS TO ME YOU DEVIOUS SNAKE: Why do you teach in here that the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, when I clearly stated that NO ONE goes to the Father except through Me?”

The pope stuttered and mumbled, but struggled immensely to come up with a coherent answer: “Well you know, we all go to Heaven, but, people who do good works, God loves us all, and when…”

Jesus walked closer to the pope and raged: “BROOD OF VIPERS!!!” and quickly turned to page 645, pointed to CCC 2683, and fumed: “Why do you and your church deceive My people by telling them that they should ask the dead saints to intercede on their behalf, when I informed all of you that I AM the ONLY mediator between God and man? Since when do dead humans hear and answer prayers?”

The pope nervously put his glasses on and pulled a little Catholic Bible out of his pocket and explained: “Asking the saints to pray and intercede for us does not undermine Christ’s role as sole Mediator.”

Jesus shook His head in disapproval and gave the pope a death stare, turned to CCC 1498, and in disgust, He loudly read: “Through indulgences, the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.”

“Where and when have I ever taught such a concept? You fool, are you unaware that when I paid the price on the cross on your behalf, I paid it in full? You claim to be a teacher of the faithful, and yet you do not realize that no works are needed to gain God’s salvation? Have you gone completely mad? You set apart My Father’s Holy Commandments and the work I did on the cross, and follow your man-made, absurd, pathetic laws and traditions.  It is ONLY because of God’s grace and mercy that the faithful are saved, not because of their own works. Get that through your thick skull, you villainous Pharisee!”

The pope seemed shell-shocked and frozen, for no one had ever dared to talk to him in that manner before. It was so obvious to him that Jesus was outraged and inflamed. He tried to give Jesus an answer, but did so as if he was tongue tied and voiceless. Jesus took another look at the book, quietly turned the pages, pointed to CCC 100, and demanded: “READ OUT LOUD…”

The pope was so terrified that he almost fell off the red sofa. He started to sweat profusely. His heart beat was so loud that it echoed throughout the room. His hands were shaking as he grabbed the book from Jesus’ hands. He took one more look to the outside of the room in hopes of seeing a guard or two to call for help. Then, he hesitantly read: “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, which is, to the pope and to the bishops in communion with him.”

Jesus got inches away from the pope’s face and pressed: “When did I teach that ONLY you and your tainted, profiteering, corrupt church are able to interpret My Word? Has it not always been My wish and My directions for everyone, from a simple peasant to a mighty king, to be able to read and understand Scripture?”

As soon as Jesus finished saying these words, He suddenly grew larger in size, five times larger. His eyes turned into red, hot, blazing flames of fire. The hairs of His head were white, like white wool, like snow. His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the roar of many waters. He pulled out a sixteen-foot long whip made out of hot, steaming, volcanic lava, and hit the floor with immense power. The pope could not believe his eyes as he watched the impact from the whip cause a huge, deep, gash in the room floor. He lifted his feet off the ground, covered his face, and in a panic, he screamed: “NO, PLEASE, DON’T HIT ME, PLEASE, NO!”

Consumed in great anger, Jesus’ eyes burnt even hotter like a fiery furnace as He, for the second time, whipped the back wall of the room and cut the wall in half: “Because of your depravity and perversion, I AM here to judge you and your church. Ever since My beloved twelve and I departed this world, two thousand years ago, many wicked, godless people sought to undermine My word and alter My truth. Your church was a part of it. Therefore, today, you will be judged.”

Jesus raised His hand once more and whipped the book shelf and shredded it into a million pieces, as the books and the pages went flying everywhere. The pope clutched to his seat and relentlessly cried and begged for mercy: “PLEASE, I AM SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME, I DIDN’T KNOW BETTER, I WAS WRONG, PLEASE DON’T JUDGE ME…” 

In a fury, Jesus whipped the ceiling fan with tremendous power and caused it to melt instantly: “The time for mercy and forgiveness is over you faithless sham. You are evil to the core for you constantly lie to My people and make them dependent on you and on your church when it comes to matters of faith. You make salvation a long, complicated process, seasoned with man-made, false, demonic doctrines, with no assurance of eternal life and forgiveness of all sin, when I clearly assured everyone, that salvation by faith alone in Me is enough to gain eternal life.”

Jesus readied His burning whip, and this time, struck the front wall of the room and obliterated it, then screamed in disgust: “I will judge you for your evil teachings and heresies: indulgences, penances, infant baptisms, worshiping Mary, bowing down to stone, man-made statues, sacraments, papal infallibility, means to gain salvation, purgatory, worshiping the mass…”

“I beseech You, I am a good person, allow me to explain,” the pope interrupted and cried after realizing that he was going to be judged harshly.

Jesus lifted His whip and forcefully shattered a picture that was hanging on the wall to His right.

“OH NO!!! THE PICTURE OF MARY, THE QUEEN OVER ALL THINGS…” the pope screamed!

“You still don’t get it you ignorant legalist” Jesus accused. “You claim to be good, but in reality, you are a wealthy, unethical, dishonest, leftist, socialist, liberal, phony representative of My people. Your church worth is in the billions, yet a plethora of people are still starving all around the world. Your place of residence is second to none, yet millions around the world are still homeless. You and your church abuse your power, molest children, engage in shady deals, interfere in world affairs, disrupt and influence elections in different countries, and are never held accountable. But today, YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE!!!”

Suddenly, Jesus screamed in a thunderous, loud voice. The entire room started to violently shake as if an earthquake just hit it. The lights went off, the doors shut closed, and the windows turned blood red. The pope begged and cried for mercy as he cowered in his seat, pleading for a second chance. Jesus violently raised His hot, flaming whip to strike the pope…

“NOOO, PLEASE NOOO, PLEASE LORD FORGIVE ME, NOOOOOOOO” the pope bawled hysterically…

Seconds later, the pope opened his eyes and to his surprise, no one was in the room. Nothing was broken or destroyed. There was no stranger with a fiery whip. He took a moment to compose himself. Then, he realized that the entire incident had been a bad dream, a scary nightmare that shook him to his core. His hands were shaking, his heart was palpitating rapidly. His trembling legs carried him slowly to the front main window in the room when he quickly noticed a letter sitting on the red, leather sofa addressed to him that read:

“The expensive ring on your finger goes to the orphans around the world. The genuine, red, leather sofa goes to the people of Haiti. The 4th century chalice goes to the people of Africa. The Persian Vase Carpet goes to all those children that your church molested. This entire city goes to Hell. Be advised, I AM coming for you!”

The pope seemed confused, but paid no attention to the letter as he was in awe of his startling nightmare. Barely able to speak, he pushed the windows wide open with his hands and loudly yelled to the guards down at the main gate: “CARLO…ANGELO, have you apprehended a man without a pass today who claimed to be Jesus of Nazareth?

“No your holiness,” they replied, “no such person has come to enter today.”

The pope took a deep breath, smiled as he realized he was safe, shut the windows, and slowly walked back to his bed. He drank a sip of water, stared at the picture of Mary on the wall, sighed, and thanked her. Then, he got in his cozy, warm bed, put the covers over himself, closed his eyes, and fell back into a deep sleep…

Moments later, a stranger approached the outsides gates of the city, and greeted the Pontifical guards:

“Greetings, friends, I AM Jesus of Nazareth; I’m here to see the pope!!!”

 

 

“I am predominantly critical concerning the activities, and especially the political activities, through history of the official clergy.” 

  Albert Einstein

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