October 14, 2018, Memphis, TN
Dozens turned out for the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Midtown. For this year’s mass, His Excellency Most Reverend Martin D. Holley was the principal celebrant and Auxiliary Bishop from Washington, His Excellency Most Reverend Roy Campbell Jr. was the Homilist.
The Red Mass tradition goes back many centuries in Rome, Paris, and London and was held on the first Monday of October, opening the judicial year. This is a day where scarlet red is typically worn, symbolizing the “tongues of fire representing the holy spirit”. The attendants at the cathedral — and across the globe— pray for God to help as administrators of justice and call upon the Holy Spirit to guide them every day.
A luncheon followed the Red Mass in Marian Hall of the Cathedral where local attorney and State Secretary for the Tennessee Knights of Columbus Michael McCuster thanked and recognized those in attendance. “We have an incredible opportunity because every day we get to look through that thin veil at the intersection of heaven and earth where we get to interact with the young mother who never thought her marriage would end in divorce, the family who has come to the bankruptcy courts to re-build their lives. We get to interact with the juveniles who are struggling in their youth within the court system and the drug addicts and prostitutes. Some days we interact with people we think are the vilest human beings. But we are blessed because we are in that intersection of heaven and earth and who we actually have the opportunity to be with, as Bishop Campbell said today, is Jesus Christ. Every day we get to be on the front line with Christ.”
As he welcomed His Excellency Martin D. Holley he thanked all who helped make the day a success and ended by saying “In the book of Genesis we hear where God created humanity and He said it was very good. One thing to notice is that He didn’t say we were perfect, because we’re not. And that doesn’t lessen God at all because God created us to need Him. In needing Him we need His grace, we need His love, we need His mercy. And as Michael has said so well, you are at that intersection of mercy. Even when judgments must be imposed, that is part of God’s mercy because God himself gave us the ten commandments, the law, to follow as a guideline. So thank you for your ministry and your service.
There is no person who is not good because God created us very well. But it also lets us know there is a war that’s going on between good and evil. And for those who fall under the persuasion of evil, which includes every one of us in this room, we need God’s mercy and we need His love and His forgiveness. But for those who have been put in the path of the legal system, they need to also know God’s justice, because His mercy is tempered with justice.”