James (Jim) Gray, Killowen, died on 14 January in Mount Carmel Hospital, Clonakilty. He was the beloved husband of Marjorie (née Keohane) and the loving father of Elizabeth; a much-loved father-in-law, grandfather, brother and friend. His funeral Mass in Newcestown was concelebrated by his cousin Conor Murphy (Oblate), and his Carmelite confreres Nicholas Madden, Tom Shanahan, Vincent O’Hara and their provincial Michael McGoldrick OCD.
The homily given at that Mass by his local parish priest was a reflection on the Gospel of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-21).
Fr Bernard said:
- “I think the Gospel of the talents is very suitable today, as we celebrate the funeral Mass for a very talented man. In the Gospel, one servant buried the one talent he got, a second made the best of the two talents he got, but the third, who got the greatest praise, got five talents and made five more. And that one heard Jesus address him as a ‘good and faithful servant’, deserving of a share in his master’s happiness.
- Jim Gray was that man: what couldn’t he do! Drama, music, readings, shows in the parish hall, and anything and everything in the parish church. He wasn’t stingy, he shared his talents freely, not to mention his years with the Carmelites and all the opportunities he had there to share his talents.
- As we celebrate his long life, well lived, we have a model to imitate. God gives us talents so we make them available, as Jim did, for the greater good. And thus may we hear the words we trust he has already heard:
‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness’.”