The suspects were few: a disgruntled postal worker, an ex-employee, some kids that wanted wine with their toaster pastry, an early riser that fell off the wagon or three alcoholic mice with a ladder. Wine was missing from the church refrigerator, and not the cheap kind. This fruit of the vine comes in a five quart box that bespeaks quality and refinement; Nothing is too good for Our Lord. Anyway this fermentation of the grape was being boosted by person or persons unknown. Hindrances had to be put in the way so that the larcenist would face justice in this world and the next. It was time for Bert and Ernie.
Bert and Ernie are 15 year old Silky terrier littermates that have been in the church employ for many years, 15 to be exact. They were tactically placed in the sacristy of the church near the robbed refrigerator. The criminal had lifted wine on three different occasions, so the chance of a return to the scene of the crime was probable. The plan was for the pair of pooches to surprise the impenitent pirate and begin licking him or her; once the theft was discovered, the town would be cordoned off in search of a person with excess drool on their shoes. The strategy came to nought however as Bert and Ernie decided to nap during their shift. It was time for plan B.
This proposal (B) involved a pint of whiskey, a banana and a guillotine. This was quickly dropped (excuse the pun) when the police chief inserted his opinion of the scheme (no one likes a Nosey Nellie). The second idea started with a pair of roller skates, some rope and an Acme Rocket Sled. The Nebraska Education Association vetoed the idea, “All the children will try to obtain and use their own Acme Rocket Sled and it could be dangerous.” This association also opined that such activities would take the Kindergartners away from their mandatory study of human procreation and condoms. Ultimately less imaginative heads prevailed and a $20 lock was put on the icebox.
Little did anyone suspect that church wine gave you super powers; a day after the lock was engaged it was found broken and the wine withdrawn from the premises. Perhaps it was a blessing not to catch the person in flagrante delicto, if they can break a lock, they could break an arm (which is better than a broken heart). In the end the latest in modern technology was employed as surveillance cameras now festooned the once pristine church. The pilfering has ceased but not before the camera recorded a suspicious sight, three mice carrying a ladder.
There is certainly enough sin to go around these days, but it has been always so. Even in the ranks of the bishops, the mantle of martyrdom is often traded for the buckler of the bureaucrat or the aegis of the political correct. “Do not condemn and you will not be condemned” (Lk 6:37) is carried to the outer limits and it seems the money changers and sellers of goods in the temple are never to be cast out. Many German bishops find themselves abandoning morality to “get along.” Their vision of the church is far from an Oscar Romero or John Henry Newman. Much of the episcopacy is a parent who can’t say no. Thankfully we do have bishops who are not beholden to money and politics and understand that being pro-life is not a saying, it’s an activity.
Have to go; Bert and Ernie saw an ad for a rocket sled and are pleading for an early birthday gift.