"This is Mine!"

October 21, 2018

Glyness Browne, a parishioner and dear friend of mine for over 17 years who regularly attends 11:30 AM Mass, is leaving our community to enter the religious life. She has been discerning this call over the past few years and is joining All Saints Sisters of the Poor in Maryland. I am so happy for her that she is answering God’s call to her. There is no doubt that it takes courage to embark on an adventure such as this, but most of all it takes an open heart and ears to hear the invitation. It is bittersweet that she is leaving us, and I am very happy for her exciting new beginning. We will say good-bye to her this Sunday at the 11:30 AM Mass. Please continue to pray for her that she will find peace and joy in her new life.

Spirituality teacher and writer Fr. Anthony DeMello, S.J., shares this tale: An old woman was dying. While examining her records, the heavenly court could not find a single act of charity performed by her except for a carrot she had once given to a starving beggar. Because of this, the merciful Lord decreed that she be taken up to Heaven on the strength of that carrot.

The angel brought the carrot from heaven and gave it to her soul as it was leaving her body. The moment she caught hold of the carrot, it began to rise as if pulled by some invisible string, lifting her up toward the sky. The soul of a beggar appeared. He clutched the hem of her garment and was lifted with her; a third person caught hold of the beggar’s foot and was lifted too. Soon there was a long line of souls being lifted up to Heaven by that carrot. And, strangely, the woman did not feel the weight of all those people who held onto her. In fact, because she was looking heavenward, she did not even see them. Higher and higher they rose until they almost reached the Heavenly gates. Suddenly the woman looked back to catch a last glimpse of the earth and saw this whole train of people behind her. She was indignant! She gave an imperious wave of her hand and shouted, “Off! Off, all of you! This carrot is mine!” In that proud gesture, she let go of the carrot – and down she fell with the entire train. Fr. De Mello concludes that there is only one cause for every evil on earth: a “this is mine!’ attitude!

John and James’ request to Jesus exhibits a “This is mine” attitude: they not only feel entitled, they believe that only they deserve the position of being at Jesus’ side in heaven. This superior attitude shows not only their lack of humility, but also their lack of understanding in what following Jesus is about. The joy of discipleship is not about position or achievement, but about the journey and the friendship of Jesus Christ.

Kathryn Richards