Holy spirit

Catholic lawyers must invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit

Votive or Red Mass to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit for legal brotherhood, has been celebrated in the Archdiocese of Kuching since 2015.

February 14, 2022

Catholic lawyers with Archbishop Simon Poh (front center), Father Galvin Ngumbang (front left) and Father Mark Bonchol (front right) after the celebration of the Red Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Kuching, on February 12, 2022. (Photo: Stéphanie Chua)

By Ivy Chai
Votive or Red Mass to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit for legal brotherhood, has been celebrated in the Archdiocese of Kuching since 2015.

Catholic lawyers have come together again this year after missing last year’s celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic, to pray for the opening of the 2022 judicial year.

The Mass celebrated at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on February 12 was presided over by Bishop Simon Poh, concelebrated by Father Galvin Ngumbang and Father Mark Bonchol.

Warmly welcoming the small group of lawyers and their families to the newly renovated cathedral, Bishop Simon said, “The Red Mass offers the legal community an opportunity to reflect on the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession. and to support all who seek justice.

Archbishop Simon and the priests wore red-colored vestments because “liturgically, red is the color of fire and blood, symbolizing the fire of the Holy Spirit and the blood of martyrs.”

The Archbishop called on lawyers to “invoke the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially for wisdom, understanding, counsel and courage for all our religious leaders and members of the legal profession…judges, lawyers, professors law school, law students and government officials.”

Reflecting on the reading of the Mass from 1 Kings on Abuse of Authority, Archbishop Simon in his homily reconciled this with the current situation in the world. “What can religious and legal communities do? What does the Word of God tell us? He asked. He suggested that Christians:

— Receive everything we have as a gift from God, including our heart, soul, mind, and power.

— Regard the abundance of good things that surround us on earth as blessings to be shared.

— Avoid the selfish ambitions and unhealthy suspicious fears that always accompany such ambitions.

— Be honest and own up to our failures and learn from them rather than blaming someone else.

The Prelate said Christians should always be grateful and do things out of compassion and love, while generously sharing our time, talents and treasures, so that we can earn eternal life.

Invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit
Archbishop Simon Poh told the lawyers “to invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit” in order to “support all who seek justice and build a civilization and a nation of goodwill, harmony, mutual respect and of acceptance in our beloved Sarawak and our nation, Malaysia.”

After the Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Simon concluded the red mass with this advice drawn from the teachings of the prophet (Micah 6: 8): “You have already been told what is right and what the Lord expects of you. Only this: do what is right, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God,” which he ingeniously rearranged into the acronym LAW.

I- love tenderly
A – Act rightly
W- Walk humbly with our God among the people

“Do this, and you will be counted among the blessed and the happy of the Lord”, advised the prelate.–Today’s Catholic