Midnight Mass – S01E05 – Book V: Gospel [Transcript]

Sheriff Shabazz fields multiple missing persons reports as the town prepares to gather for Good Friday. To protect Erin, Riley brings the truth to light.
Midnight Mass

Concerned over the sudden disappearance of Riley, Erin files a Missing Persons Case with Sheriff Hassan, who hypothesizes that Riley may have relapsed or committed suicide. At the evening Good Friday Mass, Father Paul delivers a sermon rife with militaristic rhetoric, urging the congregation to prepare for war as soldiers in God’s army. The homily upsets Mildred Gunning, whose physical and mental state seem to be rapidly improving following Father Paul’s visit. Later that night, Riley appears on Erin’s doorstep, and asks her to go offshore on a boat with him. Erin, while suspicious, agrees. Rowing far away from the island, Riley reveals to Erin what happened to him: After being attacked by the vampire, Riley rapidly recovered under the care of Father Paul. Father Paul reveals his true identity to him, and tells him that he believes the vampire’s blood is a gift from God, and has been mixing it into Communion Wine to heal the residents of Crockett Island. He also believes the new vampiric traits the both of them are developing are marks of God’s favor. Bev later affirms this belief, believing that the immortality the blood brings is a sign of the End Times. Riley leaves the rec center, disgusted, and leaves notes for his family and Monsignor Pruitt behind before going to see Erin. Erin, unsure of whether to trust Riley, questions why he has brought her out on a boat. Riley dispels the thought that he’d attack her, saying he brought her out onto the water so “I’d have no place to go.” Riley declares his love for Erin, which she reciprocates. As the sun rises, Riley has a vision of the woman he killed in the accident, smiling and taking his hand in hers. Riley combusts and quickly burns away to ashes as Erin screams in horror.

* * *

Two nights in a row. We should talk to him.

I just don’t like not knowing what he’s…

Rumor is he’s been spending a lot of time with Miss Greene.

Well, good for him.

He’s an adult. If he can find just a little comfort in his…

Good for him.

[Ed chuckles]

Late start this morning. Looks like it’ll just be us.

[Warren] We can handle it.



[Mildred] Mornin’, you.

Wow, you look…

Do you like it? I dug it out of that footlocker in the closet upstairs.

I mean, most of those haven’t seen the light of day in decades, but then again, neither have I.

Still, I think it fits pretty well, don’t you think?

Shall we?

[Joanie] I know he’s a troubled boy.

Always has been.

His daddy never did right by him and me, well…

I did my best.

I did what I could, but I ain’t perfect.

I work two jobs.

Mainland jobs, and still that don’t provide enough for his sisters.

Which is why he does what he does.

Money’s gotta come from somewhere, and he puts food on the table.

Not that that much matters to you, does it, Sheriff? Hmm?

Law’s the law, no matter the circumstance, ain’t that right?

I’m not judging, Joanie, I only said it’s not unheard of.

Bowl takin’ off for a few…


His name is Bill.

His so-called friends called him Bowl when he started selling the weed, and…

[sighs] Well, at least they didn’t call him Bong.

Look, if you and these folks here on the island don’t give two shits about a missing boy, well, then, I don’t know why you all keep lining up at church, making a big show of how pious you are because you sure as shit ain’t Christians.

Ma’am, I’m not Christian.

You know what I’m getting at.

[clicks tongue] I’ve been in touch with my counterparts on the mainland, and they’ve been in touch with Bowl…

Bill’s employers and known acquaintances. We’ll find him.

What about these folks here on the island, you talking to them?

‘Cause mainlanders are one thing, but islanders know.

Islanders always know.

I had a word with Joe Collie.

Best I can tell, he was the last person to see him on the island.

Was he sober?


When you talked to him, was he sober?

Well, can’t say for certain with Joe.

You never can, but he…

Talk to him again.

Look, I don’t think Joe…

You talk to him again!

You didn’t know him!

These people here really didn’t know him, and if they did, they didn’t give two shits, but that’s not supposed to matter.

When something like this happens, we are all supposed to be the same.

Wait, you’re saying every night? No morning masses at all?

[Sturge] Time bein’, yeah.

Father Paul probably just needs another morning or two to recover from that head cold, but he should be up and about tonight. Isn’t that right, Sturge?

[Sturge] Yes, sir. Um… [clears throat]

I spoke to him myself in the morning, and, uh, he’s doin’ much better.

That’s right, and Dolly spoke to him, too.

And he’s got a few things to say about Good Friday.

Isn’t that right, honey?

Dolly? You…

[indistinct chatter]

Millie. Is that you?

The last time I checked.

Is there no morning mass today? I was so looking forward.

No, it’s…

Wow! Look at you.

[Leeza] Oh, my God. Miss Gunning looks so much… Mom?

[voice breaking] I’m sorry, sweetie.

It’s just, um…

What a time to be alive.

[knocks on door]

[Annie] Oh.

[Erin] Hi, Mrs. Flynn.

[Annie] Oh, darling. Oh.

Honey, hi. I heard about…

Riley told us. You aren’t alone.

[Erin] Is he here?

[Annie] Uh… no. No, he’s not. To be honest, I thought he was with you.

[knocks on door]

[Hassan] Joe?

[Ed] Got it?

[Warren] Yep.

[crate thuds]

[Erin] Have you seen Riley?

[inaudible conversation]

[Ed] Everything okay?

[Warren] Yeah, Riley’s, uh, just MIA, I guess.


He’s not with Erin Greene then?

I guess not.

God damn it, Riley.

He’s just gonna piss it all away? Even after all the…


What the hell’s the matter with him?

Just let him. Let him.

What the hell can we even do? If he’s not even gonna… God damn it!

I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Warren.

Sorry. Here.

Yeah, C-O-double-L-I-E. Joseph.

Four, twenty-two, sixty-nine.

Great. I’d appreciate that.

All right, thanks. Thanks, Mike.

Sorry to interrupt.

Oh. No, no. I was just tracking, uh…

What can I do for you, Miss Greene?

Yeah… It’s probably nothing.

Most things are.

It could be, I don’t know.

I don’t know what this could be. Um, and it’s not an official report, because it hasn’t been 24 or 48 hours.

I don’t know how long to wait. And you’re gonna laugh at me.

But I need to report a missing person.


Riley Flynn.

He was supposed to come to my house last night, but he didn’t.

And I checked with his family and…

This morning and this afternoon, and they haven’t seen him.

Your house… Are you two…

No. I mean, not really. We’ve been spending time together, but…

He wasn’t on the ferry, I checked. So he’s not on the mainland.

And his phone just rings and rings and rings.

Mmm-hmm. Did he say anything?

Anything that you, uh, look at now thinking back that’s off, or…

No, nothing. He said he would come to my house.

Well, sure, but maybe he just got…

He said he would come to my house.

All right.

[clears throat]

[pen clicks]

All right, last time you saw him?

Yesterday morning when we woke up.

He went to AA at St. Patrick’s with Joe Collie…

Joe was there? You sure?

I don’t know. I just assume so because he’s going to those meetings.

And then he went [inhales deeply] home for dinner.

His parents said so. And then he said he was going to meet me, and then nothing.

All right, and what did you talk about yesterday morning?

You know, plans for the day, a dream that he had last night.

And what did you talk about the night before?

Okay, listen. I believe you.

All right. I’m not trying to pry.

I’m hoping he said something, anything that might tell us where he went.

All right? It could be something little. Something he forgot.

His state of mind is important, because when I go shaking trees, and I will…

If it turns out he’s on some bender in a mainland hotel, he might have hinted. That’s all. All right? So that’s all I’m looking for.


What did you two talk about?


We talked about what happens when you die.

Well, um, see, that’s what I’m talking about.

Yes, that’s why I’m here.

All right. Did you bring up the topic or did he?

I’ve been asking myself that all day, I don’t…

I think it was on both of our minds because I had lost…

I miscarried.

I’m sorry, I…

I am pretty sure that he brought up the idea, and I leaned into it pretty hard.

And what did he say about it?

What do you mean?


Was he afraid of it? Intrigued by it? Or…

He seemed fine.

But that’s what they say. People who aren’t okay, people who…

They say that about people who kill themselves.

That they seemed fine.

They do say that sometimes, yeah.

[choir music playing]

[inaudible conversation]

[Ed sighs]

[sighs] I don’t know what to do.

He’ll be here.


[Ooker] Father.

[Warren] Feelin’ better, Father?

[sighs] Special night, boys. Eyes up. Ears open.

You know, I heard about it.

I did. But seeing is believing, isn’t it?

Mildred Gunning, as I live and breathe.

Beverly Keane.


God gave you back to us. And I am so glad that He did.

And that you’ll be with us for what comes next.

Well, thank you. I’m very happy to be here.

Not alone. Sarah Gunning.

I’m so happy that you’re here. I can’t possibly tell you.

Thank you. Mom, let’s get you inside and get you off your feet.

Of course.

[Dolly] “They took the body of Jesus, and bound it with the burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom.”

“Now in the place where he had been crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried.”

“So, they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day.”

“For the tomb was close by.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

[all] Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

[Father Paul clears throat]

Good Friday.

This is one of my favorite days of the year. The passion of our Lord.

Just that word, “passion.”

The word “passion,” it means a strong and barely controllable emotion.

Barely controllable.

That’s what Jesus felt when he gave his life for us, so that we might have life eternal.

What a gift, told so beautifully in the Gospel of John.

“Gospel” means good news! Good news on Good Friday.

And yet, it’s a story of such profound suffering.

What’s so good about that?

Jesus’s suffering in this story, it isn’t simply necessary.

It is good.

It is the price of eternal life.

That suffering, he endures alone.

At the Resurrection, he is alone. And then… Well…

Ah, he has a few allies. And then more.

A congregation.

And then more and more people spread that good news.

Tell that good story. And then, God has an army.

What do they say in that commercial?

Uh, “Be all that you can be.”

Well, I mean no offense to the armed services, which are necessary and of course honorable, but that’s not all that you can be.

In the Army, you’re fighting for God and country.

Now, I am going to offend you now, but it is the truth.

God does not want you to fight for this country.

The arrogance… of that.

God has no country.

There is one God for the world.

And the lines we draw, and the treaties we draft, and the borders we close mean nothing to Him.

No, don’t fight for a country. You fight for God’s kingdom.

A kingdom which Jesus tells us has no flags or borders.

God’s army. Now make no mistake. It is a war. That’s what an army is for.

So, as a congregation, as God’s army, how do we know how the fight is going?

We can’t see it. We can’t radio HQ for a status report.

All we have, all God gives us, is right here.

How we feel. That moral compass inside each one of us pointing due north to the Holy Spirit.

Conscience. In the army of God, conscience is standard issue.

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

You may think that that’s a line from a war movie, but it isn’t.

That’s actually the Rifleman’s Creed.

And a creed is, by definition, not just a belief, but it is a religious one.

So, it is a war, and there will be casualties.

And we must be soldiers.

That is what Good Friday is about.

God will ask horrible things of you. Horrible.

Just look at what He asked of His own son.

Just look at what Jesus had to endure today.

We had to call it the “New Covenant,” because God’s will, while perfect, changes.

God’s will dictates morality, and as God’s will changes, so does morality change.

It changed with the New Covenant. It changed when Jesus came, and we must, as his army, shed the Old Covenant and listen only to that.

You rely on that compass.

Good Friday is only good.

The Gospel of the Lord, so full of horror, is only good, because of where it is headed.

The Resurrection.

Today is only good because of what’s coming Easter, this Sunday.

When Jesus is risen, and death itself is lain dead.

What is otherwise horrible is good because of where it’s headed.

Welcome to God’s army.

Yeah, we’re gonna do great things.

[Sarah] Mom. Mom, wait.

What’s wrong? Mom, stop.

I don’t want you going back there ever again.


That is not my church. That is not the man I knew.

[knocking at door]

[knocking continues]

Where the hell have you been? I have been calling you all day.

I’m sorry.

Don’t do that. Where were you?

Where were you?

Do you remember a few days before you left town, you crawled in my window, woke me up, scared the shit out of me?

You wanted to take a boat out?

You wouldn’t take no for an answer, so we grabbed a rowboat and we rowed out far, smoked a pack of cigarettes and watched the sun come up?

Will you do that with me now?

Can we go for a ride?

You know, I’m pretty good about trust.

Which is funny, considering my marriage.

It was important to me that I came out of that situation with trust in my heart.

And I haven’t pressed because you never did.

Not once. Not ever.

You let me come to you.

I’m trying to give that back.

But here we are.

And I’ve got to ask, you know.

What’s this about, Riley?

It’s where it all came from in the first place.


Primitive man, they were hunting and gathering and stuff all day long, but at night they just sit around campfires tryin’ to stay warm, stay safe from predators.

And they look out across the valleys, and they see other campfires, just little spots of light in the landscape, and they know that other people are out there, in the dark.

And then, they see these spots of light in the sky.

They don’t know what they are.

They don’t have a clue about space or stars or light waves.

They just figure they look a hell of a lot like campfires.

“Who must those people be,” they wonder.

“Lightin’ their campfires way up there?”

They start telling each other stories.

“Those people?”

“They must be incredible.”

“Those campfires, they belong to people way more powerful than we ever even imagined, so…”

All of it.

Every god.

Every goddess, every religion, every holy war. All of it.

Started right up there.

Just wondering who the hell could’ve lit those campfires in the sky.

I’m gonna tell you a story, but you’re not gonna believe it.

I just need you to listen. Can you promise me that?

Yeah. I can.


[cell phone vibrating]

[Riley groans]

[softly] Hey, hey. You’re okay. You’re okay.

Don’t try to talk, you just relax, here, focus on breathing, okay?

[inhales and exhales sharply]

You’re doing great.

[Riley gasps]

[Father Paul] No. Okay. Hey. You’re fine.

I… I had a sister. Did I ever tell you that? Named Alice.

She was older than me, but she was much smaller.

I was eight when she died. It was polio.

It was awful to watch that.

I was scared too, Riley.

I was terrified of death, and that’s actually what brought me to God.

Trying to understand how death, um, her death, specifically, could be part of God’s plan.

That question, that brought me all the way to the priesthood, actually…

[bones crunch]

[Riley grunts]

[shushes] Hey. You’re okay.

See, God still has a plan, and death isn’t part of it anymore.

Not for all of us.

And we don’t have to be afraid ever again.

[Father Paul] How are you feeling?

You look a lot better.

Here, please, have a seat.

No, I wouldn’t do that.

[Riley groans]

I can, ah…

Well, I can’t exactly explain, but I can give it a good try.

The important thing is not to go outside right now.

I’m sorry, I was hoping to warn you before. Well…

[chuckles] It’s not a mistake you make twice, right?

Don’t worry, it took your neck less than six hours to heal completely.

Those burns will be no problem. Here. Have a seat.

I promise, I’ll explain everything that I can to you, and you will feel better when I do.

Sit. Give your skin a chance to heal, at the very least.

We’re having a meeting?

We’re having the meeting.

I promise, it’s okay. You’ve had a long night, long journey.


You’ll be glad you did.

[inhales] Let’s start with Serenity.

Are you fucking kidding?

Not at all. I am not.

Today you get complete and total honesty from me, and this prayer, today, it applies to me and you, profoundly.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

Let’s start in order. The things we cannot change.

When I was younger, I was a pastor at a small church in a very small community.

And one day this altar boy, he was a brand-new altar boy… He was maybe nine or ten, smart kid.

It’s around Easter, so I’d been talking about the Resurrection for a couple of weeks. Anyway.

One day, this altar boy, he brings me a shoebox.

Inside this box, there’s a mouse that he’s caught in a trap.

It’s in bad shape, the tail’s clipped off, leg barely attached.

It’s suffering. And the boy hands me this box, and he asks me, you know, if God will resurrect it like he resurrected Jesus.

If he could do that, then he can do this.

So I take this box, and we pray over it, and I send the boy home and tell him to come back in three days.

So three days pass, the boy returns, and…

And it was better.

Yeah. It was runnin’ around that little box as right as rain.

And I help the boy let the mouse go behind the church before mass.

He’s amazed.

His belief is confirmed. He believes.

This moment, it sustained him for what?

Almost a decade?

Faith enough for almost a decade off that one little mouse?

That wasn’t an act of God.

Wasn’t it?

True, I had to put the mouse out of its misery and true, it took me almost three days to find another mouse that looked just like it, but what it gave this boy, you think that wasn’t an act of God?

That because he’s acting through us at times, he isn’t acting at all?

How do you know that story?

Who are you?

You know who I am.

Come on.

Really look.

Listen to yourself, you know who I am.

Really? You need to see the marks on my hands?

Put your hands into my side…

That’s not possible.

Come on, we’re past that now.

“He said to Thomas, ‘Put your fingers here, see my hands, reach out your hand, put them into my side.'”

We’re past that now. You’re past that.

Okay, then.

Then how?

Well, same as you, basically.

You’ve been taken back as well, taken back to your best self.

Your peak self, your perfect self as God wanted you.

[chuckling] I just had a lot further to go than you did.

It was a lot further to go.

Hey, why did you come back here?

Last night.

I’ve been wondering that for most of… most of today.

I’ve known you your whole life, never once have you just shown up in the night, and then last night at that specific moment, why?

Did you feel a calling? Vocation?


Joe Collie’s sister.

I lied to you about that. I apologize.

And I ask you for your forgiveness for that lie.

That’s why you came back.

Complete and total honesty. That’s my vow to you today.

So, okay, Joe was suffering, and he was suffering for no reason.

The accident, then what the community put him through, he was beyond repair…

Says who?

Well, it’s a cliché to say that the Lord works in mysterious ways, but he does.

I can testify to that, and, well, he worked through me.

And Joe Collie was called home.

You killed him.

It’s not as simple as that.

No. You fucking killed him. You, and that thing.

It cannot be changed. It’s done and cannot be undone, just like what’s happened to you cannot be undone.

These are two things that cannot be changed, and we must accept them with serenity together right now.

What happened to me?!


What was that fucking thing?

You have to calm down.

What the fuck was that thing?!

An angel.

[door opens]

Oh, good. He’s up.

[Father Paul] Little worse for wear.

Well, you weren’t exactly pink in the cheeks yourself, Monsignor.

Not at first.

Uh, I just wanted to see if everything was going to plan, and if you wanted Sturge to clean up…

No, not yet. We’re still in the weeds of it. But…

Uh, I’m glad you’re here, Beverly. Right when you’re needed, God bless.

Come over here. Please stand here. Stand…

Stand right here.

Are you sure?

[Father Paul] Yeah.

Good and close.

Are you certain that’s a good idea?

Yeah. I’ll stop him.

Stop me?

All right then.

[Riley] Stop me from what?

[Father Paul] Yeah. Okay.

Look, just… Let me go. I just wanna go home.

I just wanna fucking… go home.

[Father Paul shushes]

[heart beating faintly]

[Father Paul] Right there, that’s…

You feel that, right?

There it is. All right, a little closer.

[heart beating louder]

[Father Paul] Yeah.

Mmm-hmm. Yeah. Just a little bit closer. Don’t worry.

[Riley] What the…

It’s okay. I got him.


[heart beating loudly]

[Father Paul] You feel that?


[Riley grunts]

[Father Paul] That’s all right.

God and Heavenly Father, grant us the serenity to accept that which we cannot change.

Thank you, Beverly.

[Bev] Of course.

Riley, I’m pleased to see you up and around.

[Father Paul] Okay. Yeah.

Sturge and I will be in the rectory when you’re ready for the next part.

Yeah, I’ll draw back the curtain when we’re done.

[Riley grunts]

[Father Paul shushes]


It’s powerful stuff, isn’t it?

[Riley groans]

I’m sorry it hurts.

I really am.

But it… it will pass.

It will pass.

[Riley grunts]

So, what did you feel when she was close to you?

I know the answer, you don’t have to pretend.

You felt hungry. Painfully hungry.

Saw things too.

Saw yourself pull her closer, closer. And everything went red, didn’t it?

Something started to change in you.

It’s almost like you go to sleep, isn’t it?

I mean, you were aware of yourself as you lunged at her.

I don’t know what happened.

I do. You were aware of yourself, but it was involuntary, wasn’t it?

It… It’s as if your body were acting under some other will. It was.

It will again, and this is the thing. This is where we need to listen.

Listen to the Holy Spirit, listen to our conscience.

Because, you see, I was there, too.


Well, I had been restored.

I had been made young again. I had been made pure again.

And then, like Jesus before me, I died.

I died on the floor, just across the way there.

And then I was resurrected, but I was scared and confused, and this drive inside, this powerful will, and I felt the same way you did.

My will became His will, and He moved through me, and Joe was taken, and I was sustained. I was nourished.


Well, I suppose so, but here’s the thing.

I had no guilt. None.

And knowing that I should feel guilt, but accepting that I did not, finding grace where the guilt should be, I wrestled with that.

I prayed on it. But then Bev Keane, actually, she showed me this.

Hebrews 9:14.

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God.”

“Cleanse our consciences so that we may serve the living God.”

I read this passage and the graces of the Holy Spirit rained down on me.

He had taken that guilt.

He cleansed my conscience, for I had simply done His will.

Been His vessel. A murderer, maybe. So is Moses.

Joseph. Paul, my namesake.

I’m hardly unique as a soldier of the Lord.

I’m hardly unique in this room either. Am I? I mean, you’ve killed someone.

I don’t remember it.

You were drunk, and you don’t remember.

I was drunk. I was at a party, it was a party, and I drank too much.

Yeah, come on. Don’t do that.

That’s what happened.

Well, there is meaning here.

There is purpose here that you are willfully ignoring.

It was fucking ordinary what happened.

There weren’t even skid marks on my side of the road.

I never hit the brakes.


I didn’t even tap the brakes.

I was literally asleep at the wheel. That is what happened.

So, don’t talk to me about God moving through you, or doing His will.

You don’t know a fucking thing about me. And our stories are not the same.

The guilt you feel. The remorse…


You feel that every day?


Even though you didn’t mean to do it?


See, I killed Joe. I watched myself do it with my own hands, and I have no guilt.

None. No remorse. I have been spared all of that.

How does that make you feel?


How does it make you feel?


Nope. How does that make you feel?

Fuckin’ angry.


I promised you complete honesty and I’m giving that to you, and I’m tired of you lying to me, Riley Flynn!

I’ve forgiven it time and again, but today is critical for us, and I am finished! Complete honesty! How does it make you feel?!


God and Heavenly Father, grant us the serenity to accept that which we cannot change, and the courage to change that which we can.

Courage, Riley Flynn. Courage. Let’s find that now. The courage.

To change that, which we can.

God brought you back. Okay? For a reason.

Your accident, that moment of hell on Earth, you say it didn’t do anyone any good, but it did, didn’t it?

Because it put you here on this island right now, at one of the most crucial moments in the history of our world.

Have some courage. God chose you.

And that guilt that you’re clinging to, you can let it go.

God’s changed you already. Now it’s just on you to have courage.

So let’s have some courage now. Okay?


[exhales sharply]

I am sorry, by the way, that you were frightened last night.

I… I was frightened, too, when it happened to me.

Just about everyone, when they encounter an angel in the Bible, they are frightened.

Ah, Mary was afraid of Gabriel, and he came to bring her great news.

Angels always have to say, “Be don’t afraid, fear not,” because over and over and over again, people are terrified.

Right? Moses was frightened when he beheld the burning bush.

Jesus was frightened of his own fate.

He fell to his knees in Gethsemane and prayed…

He prayed to be spared.

All the people at the tomb when they rolled away the rock, they were all frightened.

All of them. Miracles. True power of the Lord.


But still, I am sorry that you were afraid.

Did you feed?

When that angel was ripping into my neck and my blood was pouring out onto the floor.

Did you… join in?

Complete and total honesty, you said.


How are things going in here? I mean, I can only imagine.

That’s not exactly true. I don’t have to imagine, not all of it.

I’ve seen it.

Let me tell you, Monsignor was scared.

We were all tested, but for some reason, Riley Flynn, God has chosen you.

You, to receive this blessing, and we will not question His will.

That’s all that’s important right now.

You are being tested, as he was, as we all were.

And we are here for you.

We are here for you, for just as the body is one, and has many members in all of the members of the body, though many are one. So is it with Christ.

We are here to bless you. To keep you. As is God’s will.

God’s will?


Yes. And don’t mock, Riley.

Do not mock God’s will.

We know it from His own word, don’t we, Sturge?

[Sturge clears throat]

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”


And, um… And “I will…” Um…

“I will raise them up on the last day, for my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink.”

“And whomever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will remain in me and I in them.” Gospel of John.

And it’s pretty specific, isn’t it?

I mean, he’s not really mincing words, is he?

And this?

Is this in the Gospel?

[Bev] Why no, dear.

That’s Revelation.

“The fourth Angel poured his bowl upon the sun and it was allowed to scorch men with fire.”

Chapter 16, verse 8.

That is the thing about Jesus coming back to us.

They told us from the start that it wouldn’t be pretty.

Monsignor Pruitt was shaken.

Even him.

But it is…

It’s all right there in the book, Riley.

The seven bowls of God’s wrath poured out on the second coming.

The end of days.

The fourth bowl upon the sun, the fifth bowl, since you asked, the fifth bowl of God’s wrath plunges the world into darkness, which won’t be an issue for you. Or for Monsignor. Will it?

Why, it is almost as if He is preparing you for that.

You sit there, blessed among men, smirking when I say “God’s will.”

I… [sighs]

I’m frustrated.

I know.

He doesn’t even recognize what he is being given, and I find it offensive.

It’s immaterial, Bev.

I know.

I know, okay.

[Father Paul] “When supper was ended, he took the cup.”

“Again, he gave you thanks and praise.”

“Gave the cup to his disciples and said, ‘Take this, all of you, and drink from it.’

‘This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new, and everlasting covenant, shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.’

‘Do this in remembrance of me.'”


No, no, no.

Don’t be obtuse.

“He who drinks from the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner is guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord, for those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ, eat and drink judgment upon themselves.”

[Father Paul] It’s okay, Riley. It’s gonna happen.

This is one of those things that cannot be changed.

Accept it, with serenity and grace.


[Father Paul sighs]


The wisdom to know the difference between the things we can change, the things we can’t, and the things we shouldn’t.

How are you feeling? You feel better, don’t you?

Wisdom. You and I, Riley, we’re just the first.

We know, we’ve seen. We’ve been blessed.

But so many others on this island right now, they’re being blessed as well, but they don’t even know. They don’t even know it.

It is good, what we’re doing. What we have to do. It’s good.

Even the things we may not think we want to do. [hesitates]

The hunger, that thirst is good.

And that’s why we don’t feel guilt when we surrender to it.

That’s why we feel better after. And that’s why we share this gift.

Look at what it’s done already.

Just what a little of the blood of the angel has done for all of us.

For your parents, for Leeza, for you, for so many in this community,

look at the good it has wrought. Look on that.

Think on that warm feeling you have here right now.

Think on that and just answer me this. Do you feel at peace?

Your stomach full?

Your purpose clear?

Your will given over to a higher power? Do you feel at peace?

Praise be. Praise be.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds.”

Bless you, my boy.

You always were blessed.

So smart. And you always listened.

Thank you for listening today when it’s never been so important.

[door opens]

I’m sorry to interrupt.

[Father Paul] That’s quite all right.

[Bev] The sun is down. People will start arriving soon.

[sighs] Excellent. Well…

I believe that’s it.

That’s it?

[Father Paul] Yeah. That’s the meeting.

What happens now?

Now you can go.

[Riley] Just like that?

[Father Paul chuckling] Just like that.

The wonders that you will experience out there, you’ll see things you never saw before.

Colors, lights. You’ll hear things, smell things.

The world, it burns brighter.

It hums, Riley, with His glory. You’ll see.

Monsignor, I thought we agreed, he should stay inside the rec center…

[Father Paul] It’s all right, Beverly.

Not everyone is ready for the Lord’s revelation, Riley.

Jesus took care to show them enough, but not too much.

Beverly and Sturge, Wade and Dolly…

The mayor?

That’s right. They’ve been blessed as well, chosen as well.

They think you should be made to stay here, but I think no.

I think free will. That’s the ball game, wasn’t it? That is the whole thing.

I have faith in you.

In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

I hope you come to mass tonight. Please, come to mass.

Come to be with us.

Come be with your family, of which we all are.

Your redemption, Riley, it’s profound.

It’d be an inspiration to all of us, to so many in those pews who will struggle with the same fears that you’ve struggled with.

Are you certain it isn’t best he just stay here?

You know now, son.

[Bev] Maybe just for another night or two.

You are the bearer of the good news, and think on this.

That hunger will return when God wills it, and shortly after, you will give yourself over to it, to His will, and you will hear it in your head, the voice of His angel, like your own thoughts at first, but then louder and louder. And he will whisper to you of God’s plan.

I hear him more clearly every day. The more I give myself over to God, the more I hear the voice of His angel and you will, too.

That’s okay, that’s good.

Know you will be moved to act and there will be things you cannot change.

But whoever you choose to enter communion with, whoever serves God’s purpose for you, as you give of yourself for them to drink, as they eat of your body and drink of your blood and you of theirs, and you are in the communion of saints, remember…

That it’s a gift.

And God will tell you who to share it with.

I worry. I worry about that one. He’s hardly the reliable sort.

[Father Paul] Well, God chooses his vessels, Beverly.

[Bev] What if he tells people?

What of it? That’s what apostles are for.

The doors stay open as the gates are always open.

How else does gospel spread?

[inaudible conversation]

[Father Paul] What is otherwise horrible is good because of where it’s headed.

Welcome to God’s army.

Yeah, we’re gonna do great things.

[Sarah] Mom. Mom, wait.

What’s wrong? Mom, stop.

[Mildred] I don’t want you going back there ever again.

[Sarah] What?

[Mildred] That is not my church. That is not the man I knew.

[groans softly]

[hearts beating]

[Erin] That’s quite a story.

And let’s just say that any of that is true.

[Riley] Let’s.

So, you’ve told me that story, you…

Brought me out here, you…

Have brought us out here where there is nowhere for me to go.


[heart beating]

I mean, you brought me out here where there is nowhere for me to go, to what, exactly?

To tell me you need help?

To scare me?

See, I can’t believe… I can’t believe you’d want to scare me.

I don’t believe that.

And even if you did, well…

I’ve been scared much worse by much worse, and I don’t… I don’t let that happen anymore.

I’m not scared.

Not of you.

My dear, dear you.

If you are sick or if you need help, I’m not scared of that.

I’d get you the help you need.

I’d do that with you, without judgment and without fear.

Just tell me what you need.

Tell me why we’re out here.

Tell me what you want.

You weren’t…

Quite right, what you said about why I brought us out here. I didn’t…

Bring you out here to scare you or to isolate you.

I brought you out here so I’d have nowhere to go.

I’m not as strong as you.

I never was.


What do I want?

I want you to take this boat and row to the mainland and leave this place and never look back.

But I knew you wouldn’t do that.

I knew you wouldn’t believe any of this unless you saw.

I want you… to run.

But I believe you’re gonna row back there and do everything you can to try and save them.

I’m just so sorry you have to see this.

I love you, Erin Greene.

I’ve loved you my whole life.

One way or another.

I love you, too.

I did my best.


I did my best.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!