Mary’s souvenir shop had all kinds of Jesus-related artifacts, resulting in the birth of Christianity as we know it today.
As God and I were walking past the huge Times Square Church, he remarked, “That building wouldn’t be there if it hadn’t been for the so-called Mother of the Church.”
I assumed he was referring to the non-Virgin Mary’s mothering of his son, but this turned out not to be the case.
“As I told you, Mary had a souvenir shop in which she sold all kinds of Jesus-related artifacts,” God continued. “Her husband Joseph made small crosses of Galilean wood, and she wrote ‘Jesus Loves You’ or ‘Christ Died For Your Sins’ on them. The sign in front of her shop had these words on it: MESSIAH MEMENTOES CHEAP!”
“Did she sell Jesus’s blood for folks to slurp?”
“According to the Apostle John, she sold diluted tomato juice as his blood. She sold it in vials, with a big discount for anyone who bought more than five vials. To anyone who bought ten vials, she gave free two hot cross buns.”
The Blessed Virgin is not so much Queen of Angels as she is Queen of Entrepreneurs, I thought, and I asked God what Mary did to promote her business.
“A lot of tourists came to the Holy Land, and they returned home with news of her wares. Thus her business became known far and wide. Also, she would yell ‘Buy this cross, and Jesus will save you!’ at passers-by. People fell for those words hook, line and sinker.”
“Didn’t you try to stop her from doing this? After all, she was turning Jesus into a commodity.”
“Whenever I told her that she was desecrating Jesus, she would try to sell me a cross or a Crown of Thorns made from papyrus, saying, ‘You should buy this in memory of your dear departed son.’ When I threatened to punish her with eternal damnation, whatever that was, she would yell at me, ‘I’m Jesus’s real mother, and you’re not his real father, so please shut up!’”
“She must have become extremely rich by selling all those Jesus-related items.’
“I don’t know about that,” God replied, “but there’s one thing I do know: by selling those items, she turned a large number of folks into followers of Jesus. They’d buy a cross with their hard-earned shekels, and it would end up exuding holiness.” A pause. “You could say that she was responsible for the birth of Christianity. Those who practice that religion today probably don’t realize that it has its origin in a souvenir shop!”
Another revelation from my divine companion!
Part of a series detailing Lawrence Millman’s experiences with his drinking buddy, God. Soon to be gathered together, assuming a publisher is interested, as a mini-memoir entitled “Drinks With God.”
- Mother of God - February 7, 2023
- Tripping with God - January 11, 2023
- The Holy Goat - December 25, 2022