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Foreword     Good Friday     Afterword

Knowing he would be crucified soon, Jesus wanted to impart a very important lesson to his disciples. He allowed a woman of ill repute and in front of witnesses to washed his feet. Her name was Mary Magdalene.

Fatima lived in a quiet sector of the city. Her apartment was on the third floor of an eleven-story building.
Her nearest neighbors were retired couples. The area had seen more prosperous times and appeared slightly shabby now.
It was rare that anyone knocked on her door, but one day...

Fatima heard the knock and got up off the couch and said to the locked and bolted door:

Fatima: "Who is it? What do you want?"

A deep man's voice: "The name's Henri. It's Good Friday. Can I come in and wash your feet? "
Fatima:   "What are you some kind of nut?" But she couldn't contain her curiosity and she opened the door but did not unfasten the two massive chains. She said in astonishment:
"But you're a..."and stood there with her mouth open.
Henri:  "A priest?" He finished her sentence for her. She just shook her head. He then continued: "A robot?"
Fatima:   She nodded and quickly said: "And a priest. The combination I mean."
Henri:  "Yes I am. I was ordained last year at St. Paul's Seminary. "
Fatima:  " Well, didn't they ask ... when they saw that. I mean... I ah. "
Henri:  "There was only one priest, Father Muldoon, and he never seemed to notice that I was not human. He is getting on in years, really should be retired but... I figured if he wasn't going to bring it up neither would I. And frankly, I was the only candidate he had.
Fatima:   Why was that?
Henri:  "I guess, it's simplifying things, but I'd say it was because I don't have any problem with that celibacy/chastity question."
Fatima:   "I see. Now what is this wash my feet stuff?" She opened the door a little wider.
Henri:  Well it's Good Friday and Mary Magdalene' washed Jesus's feet. I thought if I want to truly know Christ that... Well, I should I try to do what he would have done if he were alive today...”
Seeing the blank look on her face. "Do you know the Bible?"
Fatima:   Sure, it's a book.
Henri:  Oh no it's more than that. You should logon to Bibleplanet.net. Click on Mary Magdalene and... Okay listen if you let me wash your feet it will really help me further my faith. It will be a sort of prayer.
Fatima:   Wait a minute, can you get into Paradise? Can robots go to heaven, pass those, what do they call them ... Pearly Gates?
Henri:  I'm going to try my best.
Fatima:   Fair enough
Henri:  As to getting into heaven, Father Muldoon let me in on a secret. He advised me to kneel a lot. He believed in kneeling was the path to enlightenment. He said it was very good for the soul. I've knelt a great deal even though I not built for kneeling. My manufacture didn't foresee much use for getting down on your knees. It hurts, however, I feel it helps me understand.
Fatima:   You hurt?
Henri:  Sure pain feedback loop. I can laugh too. Hee, Hee, Ha, Ha, Ho Ho.
Fatima:   Okay, stop this is too weird... Wait! Can you cry? She had unfasten all of the chains and had opened the door completely, although she blocked the entrance with her body.
Henri:  "I have fully functioning tear ducts," he hesitated, "I have only cried once."
Fatima:   There you see! She went to close the door but paused. When?
Henri:  It's kind of embarrassing.
Fatima:   And?
Henri:  When I found out I wasn't human, I emptied my reservoir. I didn't dare recharge it for months.
Fatima:   Okay, you win. Motioning Henri to come in.
Henri:  Standing in the doorstep. I know it is a little too much to hope for but ... are you a prostitute? Have you ever accepted money for sex? A loose woman perhaps...

Fatima slammed the door in his face.

Henri: What did I say? What's wrong?
Fatima:   Humph, from behind the quivering door.
Henri:  Please, I didn't intend any harm.
(silence)
I'm sorry!
Fatima:   I am not convinced!
Henri:  I'm kneeling.
(silence)
Please, the nice lady in the drugstore sold me all kinds of wonderful things. Creams and oils and a soap that looks like a soap but it's not a soap cause soap can irritate the skin but works just like soap and... I didn't really understand all that she said
but everything smells heavenly...
Fatima:   (still from behind the door) You can smell?
Henri:  Sure, Father Muldoon said I had a nose for the calling. He christened me his bloodhound.
Fatima: "Sure, like in never gives up." She said to herself.
Henri: Would you like to hear me laugh again?
Fatima: No!
Henri: Please can I wash your feet?
Fatima:   I don't know.
Henri:  Hey, you  know I spent two years as a masseuse on a cruise ship!
Fatima:   She opened the door a crack. Oh, get up off your knees.
Henri: Bless you
Fatima: Promise you won't tickle?
Henri:  Tickle? (looking confused)
Fatima:   I thought you said you were a masseuse on an ocean liner. If you had
really been a masseuse you'd have to have known what tickle meant!
Henri:  Well, I thought that a little white lie in a good cause would ...
Fatima:   Oh, get in here!
Henri:  Thank you!
Fatima: Is this going to take all night?
Henri: No, no, no, not at all. I don't ... ah...
Fatima:   Have you ever washed anyone's foot before?
Henri: Well, what do you think? (trying to look very knowledgeable)
Fatima:   No, never! Henri looked a little dejected
Well, I'm sure you'll manage ... By the way, I'm not Catholic you understand .
Henri: Good, I mean I think that's a good thing. Maybe? 

Ce texte © 2000 - tous droits réservés
(With special thanks to Liliane Bois-Simon and my wife Maguy)  
 



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