Allocutio – November 2022

Today, we read Chapter 19 of the Handbook on “The Meeting and the Member”, and in verse (18), it talks about “harmony the expression of unity” ── “Harmony, being the outward manifestation of the spirit of love in the meeting, must reign supreme”. However, in pursuit of harmony, we sometimes refrain from expressing our thoughts. In fact, when we see any need for improvement, we should express ourselves for the benefit of the organization as a whole. The society itself also emphasizes on “harmony”. If everyone remains silent, problems will arise. An incident happened overseas whereby a priest mentioned “anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality” in his homily which aroused an uproar. Eventually, the bishop of that place had to apologize, however, this act stirred up another great disturbance as “anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality” had always been the Church’s standpoint. Before Jesus started to preach, John the Baptist had already given a warning: “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him”. He appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. “The time has come,” he said, “the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!”

The Bible always emphasizes on the mercy of Jesus, but some people misunderstand that as not having to go to confession even if they have done anything wrong! We need to understand that with God’s benevolence, we still had to repent. Before Jesus’s ascension, He told the disciples, “go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation” and “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. When Jesus was being crucified, the criminal on his right expressed repentance and remorse, Jesus said to him, “truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

There are many ways to point out any mistakes, we are not to remain silent but can express it in a different way, for example, we can pay more attention to members’ reports, understand their difficulties and the problems they encounter, so as to show our concern as mentioned in verse (19) of the Handbook, “work of each one a concern of all”. Another example is when we see the difficulties encounter by the youth praesidia, we should show our care and think of ways to assist. Please reflect: are we dedicated to all that is happening during the meeting? Did we listen carefully to members’ reports? We should have a personal concern on each matter being reported, and if there is any need for assistance, are we going to offer help? “All (should) realise that they have participated equally”, each member is equal, we should learn to be humble. In an organization, one should lead by example, admit one’s shortcomings and try to improve, let other people see Jesus Christ in us! Let us bear a heart of humility, to show our concern for others, and act as a devoted member of the Legion of Mary under the flag of Our Lady!

Sharing by Deacon John Lam
20 November 2022