The Pastor, Father Diotrophes woke up in a foul temper. His back hurt. He must have slept wrong, although he had slacked off on the back muscle exercises, the physical therapist had instructed him to do.
He gave no homily in his morning Mass. His back was really killing him. And the day was too busy for him to sit back with a few pillows and/or heating pad. He was looking forward to the evening.
After his supper, he thought he'd try a combination of ice packs and heating pad. Ten minutes each. He always forgot which was the one to use, and when. He had just poured himself a mug of decaf, picked up the book he was dying to get back to, and he was on his way to settled in for a few relaxing hours, when the doorbell rang.
Sometimes, Father Diotrophes doubted his vocation.
Father Diotrophes peeked out the window. It was the spooks! That damn prayer group. What the hell are they up to now!!!!
Father Diotrophes ripped opened the door, to find three of them bowing and apologizing, and smiling and bowing, and apologizing and...
"What do you want?" Father Diotrophes almost shouted. "We're so sorry Father, but the church is locked up."
(You spooks, of course it's locked. Normal people are home, at this time.) That's what Father Diotrophes was thinking, as the three continued, "Did you forget that we're having a healing service, tonight?"
#%^*#@**! "Yes, I did forget." (Why did I ever agree to that nonsense!) Father was in too much pain to go over to the church, so he just gave the keys to their leader.
A couple of hours later, Father was jolted out of his napping. Then he remembered the prayer group and their healing service. He heard loud, very loud, music, clapping, and singing who knows what else. "What the hell is going on over there?" Father Diotrophes hurtled himself out of his chair.
...and wrenched his back. Ow-ow-ow #%^*#@**! Damn those spooks. This nonsense has got to stop! They're probably doing some pagan, or even satanic worship. They're so ignorant and stupid!!!
Father Diotrophes hunched over, and almost crawled up the church steps. The air conditioning wasn't on, so the church windows were open. The whole neighborhood could hear their cacophony. "Good Lord, help me."
Father opened the doors, and automatically dipped his fingers in the holy water, "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
Suddenly, Father Diotrophes felt a warmth travel up his legs to his lower back. It wasn't flaming hot heat. No, it was gentle. But it was definite.
Father straighten up. His back felt wonderful. He felt wonderful.
He joined the congregation and sang and clapped and prayed.
God is good,
all the time.