Monday, August 12, 2013

A Report on Unfinished Business: Addressing the Negligence of our Widows, Orphans, Sick and Distress

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not Charity, I gain NOTHING."
1 Corinthians 13

The very soul of Freemasonry is Charity; there is no way to deny it. On every charter, and Article of Incorporation we read that we are a BENEVOLENT SOCIETY or CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION. Our REASON FOR EXISTENCE or PURPOSE is to extend charity to the distressed.

Part of the Obligation and Ritual reminds us of this aim, and we hear it spoke in EVERY LODGE MEETING. We pride ourselves on the renovation of a Lodge Hall or how many members or Past Grand Masters we have in our lodges, the money we can raise with our dances and parties, but failing to understand one of the reasons that the Community has lost respect and honor for the Craft as a whole.

It is because the community members, whose mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers were promised by our lodges that we would care for them when they fell into sickness or distress; that we would care for the families of the fallen Master Masons who served until they poured out their lives for our lodges-we made promises that upon their death that their families would be left in the reliable hands of the lodge, to be cared for as if they were still alive, and those brothers died believing with a firm resolved that the Lodge would uphold that obligation.

Yet, we have found that after a short period of time those widows, orphans, sick and infirm brothers have been forgotten, victims of a forgetful Craft who have traded in their REAL PURPOSE for the title chase and politics of the day. The families of this forgotten promise sit and watch as they witness these very same brothers and their wives, who served tirelessly for the good of the Craft, have their hailing sign UNREGARDED!

Within the compasses of the spirit of Freemasonry, no action goes without its recompense. This means that we sometimes, as leadership, attempt to place a finger on the core issues of why the Jurisdiction is in a decline, or why the lodges are looking like ghost towns. It is the unseen "karma" of neglecting why we exist.

I had a Past Master of my lodge tell me that I am the ONLY person that calls to check on him or come by to see him, and he has dedicated 50+ years to our Lodge. Yes, it is a shameful thing to put out there, but there is a lesson to be gleaned here. That we can NEVER TRULY MOVE ON WITH UNFINISHED BUSINESS IN THE HOUSE!

They are God's business, and we aren't handling God's business, so how can we invoke the name of Deity in our meetings and then neglect His business?

Our rebirth and reemergence is not complete UNTIL WE CAN RECTIFY THIS NEGLIGENCE. Believe it or not, Our rise includes our Widows, Orphans, Sick and Distress, because when the Community sees us taking care of OUR OBLIGATIONS, they will see that the length of our cabletow will extend past the very lives of our members. That our promise is as Eternal as the God before whom we made it.

Message to the Craft:

I make a motion that we go back and complete ALL UNFINISHED BUSINESS...God smiles and says, "I second that motion".

Written by WB John L. Hairston #53, Grand Chaplain
MWPHGL of Washington and Jurisdiction

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