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Column Cardinal Rules (Part 20) The Story of Derek

This week, the (not) Primate of All Ireland prepares us for Easter Week with the little-known story of Derek, the 13th – and possibly least-loved – apostle.

NOT MANY PEOPLE know this, but Jesus actually had thirteen disciples. Due to space constraints, the story of Derek was left out of the Bible.

Some scholars argue that his story was really left out because Derek was an unsympathetic character. I will leave it up to you to decide as I present to you my special pre-Easter, fully restored “Last Supper” Bible excerpt.

The Passover

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”

And the disciples were happy. That is until Derek the 13th disciple did say, “But Lord, surely we will need more information than that. A ‘certain man?’ It’s all a bit vague.”

And Jesus did look upon Derek then. Although He did stand a few feet away from him, as Derek did smell a bit, and Jesus did say, “Go forth, find this man, for he has a room prepared.”

And Derek did say, “When I go forth, will it be like the time you asked me to go forth to ask a man for a donkey and a chicken, and my going forth involved walking ten miles to the next town to find there was no man with a donkey or a chicken?”

At this there was much coughing and shuffling from the disciples, and Jesus did say, “Well…”

“It was lucky I found you ten days afterwards,” Derek did say. And at that there was even more shuffling and coughing led by Peter, and the Lord’s elbow did hit Peter in the chest.

After a time Jesus directed two of his disciples to the house, but only after Derek had advised them on the best route.

The Last Supper

When it was evening, Jesus reclined at a table with the thirteen. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”

And Derek did say “Judas. I bet it’s Judas.” On hearing this Jesus did lean forward and put His face into His hands, while Judas did look around wildly and say “Me? What? No! Never!”

“He has shifty eyes,” Derek did say, “it’s always the ones with the shifty eyes.” And he went back to eating grapes in a loud manner, cramming them into his mouth like a child, all the while speaking as he ate.

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take this all of you and eat it; this is my body.” And Derek did shout, “Whaaaat!?” and grapes were spat forth from his mouth and he did proclaim, “No way! I’m not eating that!”

And Peter did speak to him in a firm manner, and Derek was appeased for a moment and went back to eating grapes. Although this time he did add some cheese, thereby filling his mouth with a thick cheesy grapey paste, and some of the disciples had to look away for fear that looking upon him might make them unwell. All the while, John, who was sitting beside him, did make gestures to people pleading with them to change seats with him. But the other disciples seemed not to see John.

And then Jesus took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood-” And Derek did shriek again, and this time spittle, cheese and grapes flew from his lips and alighted upon Matthew and Luke. “Oh no,” he did shout, “no, no, no, no way. I’m not drinking that.”

Jesus did then throw his napkin on the table and sigh, for he had a “whole thing planned” and there was to be cake for later.

And Peter did explain to Derek, VERY slowly about the nature of symbols, and Derek was suspicious. But he did relent and went back to breaking bread and drinking wine, for his mother had thought him never to pass up a free meal. Although he did sniff things before tasting them which annoyed some of the disciples.

Later Derek was sent forth to ask a man with a limp for some figs. And eventually, after much questioning from him as to the nature and value of his errand, he did as he was bade. And as he went forth Jesus told his disciples not to mention the cake when he got back. And they all agreed, including Judas who had his fingers crossed under the table.

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(Not) Cardinal Sean Brady
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