"Yes, Arthur, and if you had asked me, you'd still be training to be an altar boy!"
"You mean I can't be an altar boy now?"
"No, Arthur, you can't be an altar boy."
"One other thing, Arthur," continued Father O'Keefe, "Are you going to tell your mother about this or should I?"
"Oh, I'll tell my mother," said Buddy.
"O.K. Arthur that'll be fine."
Buddy had been secretly training to be an altar boy and was planning on serving his first Mass on Mother's Day as a surprise gift to his mother.
The next day at recess Father O'Keefe beckoned Buddy from across the play yard and asked him, "Did you tell your mother about yesterday's incident?"
Buddy assured the priest he had told his mother about the incident. It was another bold-faced lie.
"That's a good boy, Arthur," responded Father O'Keefe who patted him gently on his back.
The problem was this wasn't an ordinary sin. Buddy's mom was one of those gung-ho church moms who went to Mass every day of the week, said the rosary every evening and participated in every church-school event. She was the go-to-parishioner whenever the nuns or priests needed a volunteer.
She fervently hoped and prayed that Buddy would some day be a priest himself.
"So what did you do? I mean your mom had to ask you why you weren't becoming an altar boy?"
"Didn't know what to do. A friend of mine told me to tell her I was "reflecting" on the idea and that's what I told her."
I laughed. "Kind of like the cock crowing three times" I observed.
Buddy looked at me confused, "What do you mean?"
"Well you lied to Father O'Keefe twice-first you were only borrowing the money and then you lied again when you told him you told your mom and then you lied to your mom about reflecting on being an altar boy. You're like Peter denying he was a follower of Jesus three times to the Romans."
Buddy laughed, "I don't think my three lies rise to the same level as St. Peter's."
"Maybe not, but when did you finally tell your mom?"
"Never did," he said.
"You telling me you covered up your firing for fifty-nine years?"