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First Sunday of Lent

Dad is very good fisherman. He was catching fish while his friends were not catching anything. The friends asked my father what he was using to catch the fish. He told them the “white fly.” They all said, “Oh, the ‘white fly.’” So for one day all the friends were happy because they were catching fish. Why for only one day? Because the fish are not that stupid. The friends ruined the white fly. A few days later Dad was catching fish and his friends asked again, “What are you using?” Dad said, “The “purple fly.” Oh the “purple fly.” So again all the friends are happy for one day. The other day I went fishing with Dad and I asked him what fly I should be using. And he said, “The ‘secret fly.’” So when no one is looking we put on the “secret fly” and we catch fish. I say that because Jesus told us when we pray or we are generous, do it in secret so only you and God knows. Why? It is about close friendship.

There is a hole somewhere at the bottom of the Cape Cod Canal that holds fish. It is sort of a crater or a ditch that collects fish for a few reasons. The canal has a very strong current and the fish can go into this hole and get out of the fast current for a rest. Also, when they are in the hole they can look up to see all the bait fish go by. It is sort of like sitting on your lazy boy during a football game and having snack food pass by you on a conveyer belt. “Oh, lobster tails,” and all the fish have to do is grab as it goes by. Well my father found this hole. Every time he let the lore pass by he would get a fish. He took his friend one day to this place. His friend is not the brightest bulb on the porch (I will get to that in a minute) but he is a nice guy, an outdoorsman and he is fun to be around. My father took him to the canal and told him to stand on “this” rock and cast about 150 feet up at thirty degrees, he said, “and get ready to set the hook.” “No,” his friend said, “It can’t be that easy.” Sure enough, on the first try he catches a fish. Naturally the friend was really impressed. “Now don’t tell anyone about this place,” my father warned him. So what is the first thing the friend does? He goes there on the next Saturday morning and a stranger is out walking along the canal and he asks my father’s friend “How’s the fishing?” The friend says, “Blab, blab rock, and blab, blab 150 feet. Now my father’s friend complains, because every time he goes to the canal to fish there is a guy standing on his rock. Now whenever my father finds a really nice place, he tells only one person: me. Why? because we are a close. Now when Jesus tells us to keep our prayers and good works a secret, it is because He wants us to be close.

Let me ask you this, Why did Jesus go into the desert for forty days? To lose weight? I don’t think so. Is it because He wants to hang out with the devil? Hardly. He went there to spend time with His Father in SECRET. And what are they talking about while they are together? Secrets. Things that Jesus will need to know for His mission. How did Jesus know that there was a woman who had a possessed daughter a few hundred miles out of way to Phoenicia? How did He know there was a woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years and needed Him? How did He know that a young boy, who had a few loaves of bread, would be enough to feed 5,000? How did He know to pass by Nain just at the moment a widow was about to bury her only son? How did Jesus know He was going to rise from the dead after three days? Jesus spent forty days with His Father alone to gain knowledge, wisdom, courage, inspiration, all of which He needed to carry out His mission. What do we need to carry out our mission? Perhaps a little of the same – that is why we have forty days.

Sometimes after Mass someone may say that was a nice homily. I am thinking,”Yah, I hope you enjoyed it because it is the last one I have left. I am now officially tapped out. The well is dry. The tank is empty. I’ve said it all.” Then I spend some secret time with our Lord and I get His inspiration.

You all have a mission; great things that God wants you to accomplish. That means you are going to need a few secrets, some inspiration, and some wisdom to be successful. If you want secrets, then you will need a best friend. Enjoy the next forty days with our Lord.

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