Jesus looking at him, loved him and said, ”you lack one thing; go sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.” When he heard this he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
I believe I met that man once!
One day when I was driving my Taxi, as I passed St Luke’s I got flagged down as soon as the person got in, I almost cursed myself for stopping to pick him up, twas like the evening I was half asleep on the taxi rank in Patrick street when three winos jumped into the back seat of the Taxi, and I decided to take them where they were going as it would be far easier than trying to get them out, much to my surprise they paid me when I got there and as they where about to get out of the car one of them turned to me and taking a bottle out from under his coat said to me I am sorry we don’t have a tip for you but would you like a slug out of the bottle!
Getting back to my man at St. Lukes, driver he says will you take me to White Gate and back, in order to try and get rid of him I will says I but it will cost you £55 which you pay up front, grand says he taking out as big a wad of money you wouldn’t see on a horse dealer at a fair, if I give you £65 will you go now. Well he sang most of the way, as we approached Middleton he asked if I would take him to get a bottle of champagne, when we stopped to allow him go into an off license I was fierce tempted to drive off and let him there. As we approached White Gate he says to me I want to go up to the graveyard I will show you how to get there.
As we pulled up outside it he asked me if I would go in and help him find a plot, I decided I would go in other wise I could be there all night. He pulled out a piece of paper with a plot number on it and we had no difficulty finding it. However there was no headstone on it I asked him was he sure he had the right number? Of course I am says he sure its me own didn’t I buy it today, with that he threw himself down in it and started twisting and turning looking up at me he says I’m trying to find a comfortable position. Sitting up he cracks open the bottle of champagne and says driver will join me in a drink for the next time I will be here I will be as stiff as an old Baptist and won’t be able to have one.
When I got back to the Taxi rank and told the other lads about it, after a good laugh they concluded it was probably John the “traveller” I picked up as he does crazy things when he has alcohol on board.
A few days later I was sitting in my Taxi on the bus rank when along comes John the “Traveller”, I crouched down in the car so he wouldn’t see me, next I heard Priest I travel with you. Yet he did not say it in a demeaning way, but I was puzzled how he knew my background as I did not mention it to him, it later transpired that he had asked the lads about me. As we travelled along he says I meant no offense while ago, I really admire you for giving it a go. He then began to share with me his story, he grew up on a farm in Clare, he would walk over two miles and back everyday in order to serve mass in Latin, when he was coming to the end of his schooling a priest from a missionary order called to his school, John expressed interest in joining it so he arranged for an evening when the priest could call to see his parents, the evening went well he thought.
When the priest left his father’s mood changed in a temper he dragged John out to a shed and beat him with the buckle of his belt and in a rage shouted at him no son of mine is going to become a poor mans priest.
There was a time when your social standing determined what type of priest you could become, for example the Maynooth statutes at one time stated that you could only become a Diocesan Priest if you had your own water pump in the middle of the farm yard, it also required that you submitted your baptism cert in Latin, because that would indicate if you where illegitimate or not.
Despite his fractured relationship with his father Tom lacked the courage to follow the call of Christ. Now in the twilight of his years he felt all he is left with are regrets and a longing for unfulfilled potential.
In the quietness of your own heart I invite you in the days ahead to reflect upon the things that may be hindering your own response to Jesus’ invitation to come follow him.
Castletownroche Harvest Festival
On Sunday the 4th of October we celebrated the Harvest Festival in Castletownroche. I would like to thank Susan Buckley for organising the Music, all of those who prepared the Church and organised the refreshments afterwards. It was great to be joined on the day by members of the wider community in Castletownroche and of course our friends from neighbouring Unions. The mystery preacher if I must say so myself was excellent!
Thomas Davis Commemoration
On Friday night the 16th October we had the annual Thomas Davis Commemoration, the guest speaker was John Quinn from the Open Mind Series.
Up Coming Events
Saturday 7th November at 8pm in St James Hall Mallow, Ladies Night Make-Up and Styling, Tickets €10, for more information Contact Susan Brennan at 022-21038. Money raised will go toward Parish Funds.
December 22nd Fundraising Carol Service, St. James Church Mallow, there will be more information next month, so watch this spot.