There was a rich border patrol agent, who was clothed in UnderArmour and Nike and who feasted at Montanas with other members of his detachment at least three meals a week.

And in the desert behind his Arizona ranch lay a poor man named Juan, dehydrated and sunburnt, who desired to be satiated by a jug of water left under a cactus by a local humanitarian group.

However the rich border patrol agent made it a habit to pour out these jugs of water so as not to encourage “illegals” and other “undesirables” to break the law in crossing the desert in search of a better life.

Moreover, he would arrest, charge, and prosecute members of the humanitarian group leaving jugs of water out in the desert, for they too were law breakers in aiding and abetting the illegals and undesirables.

Juan died and was carried by the angels to St Peter’s gate.

The rich border patrol agent also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw St Peter far off and Juan in his side.

And he called out, ‘Father Peter, have mercy upon me, and send Juan to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this scorching heat.’

But St Peter said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Juan in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.

And besides all this, between us and you a great desert has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

And he said, ‘Then I beg you, Prince of Apostles, to send Juan to my former border patrol detachment, for I have a sergeant and five deputies, all law enforcement officers who take serious their oath to uphold the law, so that Juan may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

But St Peter said, ‘They have My Lord and my successors; let them hear them.’

And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Beatitudes, nor my successors Leo, John Paul, Benedict or Francis, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’

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Pete Vere is a canonist, author, and catechist. His books include Surprised by Canon Law (volumes 1 & 2), More Catholic Than The Pope, and Annulments: 100 Questions and Answers. Pete and wife Sonya are blessed with seven children. In his spare time Pete enjoys camping with his family, riding his Indian Scout motorcycle, and refereeing professional wrestling.

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