This also applies to human relationships, he added. “Every time we treat others as objects that we can grasp and use for our own purposes, we lose them,” he said. “If we, however, receive them as a gift, we can start a relationship that may last a lifetime.”
The Red Mass has been held annually in Washington, D.C. since 1953. Attended by government officials and justices, the Mass is offered to invoke God’s blessing upon civic leaders for the coming year. It is held just before the beginning of the Supreme Court’s fall term.
The Mass also has a tradition dating back centuries in Rome, Paris, and London. Its name is derived from the color of the celebrant’s vestments for the Mass of the Holy Spirit.
Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington celebrated the Mass on Sunday. Those in attendance included Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough, along with the presidents of Georgetown University and The Catholic University of America. Clergy who were present included Archbishop Christopher Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington.
At the end of Mass, Cardinal Gregory expressed gratitude for those in attendance, and thanked Archbishop Caccia for representing Pope Francis, “calling and summoning us to peace and international unity.”
Archbishop Caccia noted the current risk “to exploit justice instead of deliver it.” He urged those in attendance at the Red Mass to always practice justice with mercy in a spirit of fraternity.