Your local parish priest reckons absolutely everything happening in the world is rich pickings for an analogy to Jesus and His work, it has been confirmed. In recent weeks, Father Michael O’Brien, 53, has used the war in Ukraine, the Final of the Apprentice, the World Snooker Championships and two magpies sat on a tree in his garden as fodder for his sermons, with stretched metaphors to God leaving his congregation looking increasingly perplexed. ‘I watched the Man City v Liverpool game last Sunday with anticipation and foreboding’ noted O’Brien, in his latest missive from the pulpit. ‘Like our Lord, both teams were striving to ‘be their best’, but doubting themselves. Pep Guardiola was no doubt swearing at the players at half time and overturning the tables in his ‘temple just like Jesus did when he was a young man. And wasn’t it just like our Saviour’s attempt to reach out to his disciples when the Liverpool goalie literally reached out to tip that shot over the bar?’ O’Brien has already penned the next few weeks’ sermons for his congregation, finding God somewhere in the council elections, the Queen’s jubilee and the first round of Britain’s Got Talent. ‘Even this crappy little satirical piece you’ve written mocking my sermons is a bit like Jesus, isn’t it?’, said O’Brien earnestly. ‘The second flabby paragraph with no real gags is like Jesus’s 40 days in the wilderness. And then there’s a sort of joke and hidden message here where I’m mocking myself - not unlike Jesus mocking himself in the garden of Gethsemane’. ‘Will there be a fantastic end - similar to the second coming of Jesus - with a pithy killer punchline?’, said O Brien. ‘Ah, sadly, it seems not’.
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