Tuesday, September 7, 2010


A vicar, who was over six feet tall, was entrusted with the task of building a new church. He supervised the construction with great skill and the new church became popular as an architectural beauty. The articles in the church were fabricated following the special directions of the tall vicar. The pulpit was sufficiently tall to suit the height of the vicar. He served the church as the vicar for three years and was then deputed to another parish to renovate its old church.

The vicar who succeeded the tall Father was very small in stature. The pulpit was too tall for him. The secretary of the church solved the crisis by arranging an old stool close to the pulpit so that the short priest could easily stand on the stool and use the pulpit comfortably. The short vicar started his first Mass in the new church. At the time for Gospel reading, he stood on the stool and his jubilant face appeared above the pulpit. He started the reading for the day from Chapter 16 of the Gospel according to St. John. He started reading John 16:16 as follows:

“In a little while you will not see me any more and then a little while later you will see me.”

Suddenly there was a noise and the vicar vanished from the pulpit. The faithful watched as if it was a miracle since the words he read had been fulfilled before their eyes. The stool had a broken leg which collapsed and the vicar had fallen to the ground. The stool was reset soon and a little while later, the vicar appeared again, thus fulfilling the second part of the verse. Seeing him again, they were really happy that his words came true once again!

This is a fictitious story cited humorously to illustrate the fulfillment of prophecies. Certainly that is not how the Holy words of prophecy are fulfilled.

The Books of the Holy Bible, from Genesis to Revelation reveal a large number of prophecies. Several saints were blessed with the gift of prophecy. The following prophetic words of God were addressed to the snake (Satan) after the tragedy of paradise: “I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite his heel” {Genesis 3: 15}. These words portray the first promise of a Redeemer for the fallen mankind. ‘The Woman’ is St. Mary and the Woman’s offspring is Jesus who will crush the power of Satan and save us from sin.

The words in Chapter 53 of the prophetic Book of Isaiah depict vividly the sufferings to be endured by Christ on the Cross, centuries later. The Book of Revelation to John reveals a series of prophetic visions presented in a symbolic language. These revelations could offer hope and encouragement to the Faithful during periods of suffering and persecution. Its central theme is the complete defeat of Satan through Lord Jesus Christ and God’s reward to His Faithful with the blessings of a new heaven and a new earth.

The authentic interpretation of prophetic words in the Bible has been done by the Church with the gift of the Holy Spirit and the official teachings of the Church should be consulted and faithfully followed by students of the Scriptures.

“And Jesus explained to them what was said about Himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets” {Luke 24:27}.


©By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit the web-site:http://www.moralstorieschristian.blogspot.com

This is Story No. 188 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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