Dear brother Knights,
This year Lent was just a hop and a skip away from Christmas. Easter will come early, in March. Take care that you do not fail in getting the most out of the liturgical seasons. I would encourage our many retired members to consider participation at daily Mass. A number of years ago I composed reflections on the Stations of the Cross for the Knights of Columbus. If possible, I would love the opportunity of offering them with the assistance of our members during one of the Fridays of Lent. It has been a regret of mine that we have done so few spiritual events together. Mary’s Icon and a Cross has traveled from council to council in previous years, and yet no effort was made here to participate in such efforts. Admittedly, we represent many parishes, but what are the Knights about if we do not pray and worship together from time to time? The numbers who come to the appointed parishes for morning Mass on the first Saturday of the month are embarrassingly few. Only a handful of men came to Holy Spirit Church in January when it was our turn in the schedule. What is going on guys? As we approach our big anniversary celebration, will it simply be a nostalgia for the achievements of the giants from the past or can we really and honestly proclaim that our best days are ahead of us? Have we made any concrete effort to invite the growing Hispanic population? Are we as welcoming to our African-American brothers as we should be? How is the Parish Round Table coming along?
You know as well as I that we are about more than Insurance, Bingo, the Bar, and renting to Cabarets. We are about faith and service. Please make the most of the Lenten season. Go to confession, even if you think you do not need it. Pick up a Life of Christ and in your reading, walk with him on his journey to Calvary. The Knights are famous for their slogan, “Put Christ into Christmas!” Now I would ask each of you, as a Knight and as a Catholic, to put YOURSELF into the Easter story. Walk with the Lord, have his mind about the truth and his heart about love. See yourself in the Upper Room, in the Garden, at the Foot of the Cross, and at the Tomb. Jesus made many disciples, and we count ourselves in their number. The mission of the Church, to go out to the all the nations, and to preach the faith and baptize– this is also our mission. Our efforts at membership represent our part in evangelization– to bring the lost sheep back into the fold and to invite those who are searching to come and see the goodness of the Lord.
If you do not have Gibson’s movie, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, I would encourge you to purchase it and maybe gather the adults and older kids to watch it. It is a beautiful retelling of the story of our redemption. Yes, it is brutal– and yet could we ever really fully realize the depth of suffering that Christ as the innocent one suffered on the behalf of sinful humanity? Gibson tries to portray in the images of physical violence something of the inner battle that was hidden from view. Jesus did not deserve to die. He did not have to die. He chose to die because he loved us. What makes the film hard to watch is that we are the ones who crucified our Lord with our sins. His faithfulness unto the Cross signifies the defeat of Satan and our hard won access into heaven.
The Catholic actor who played Jesus, Jim Caviezel challenged everyone from university students to priests and bishops to resist the desire for comfort, popularity, and timidity. He challenged leaders to preach the unpopular gospel “in season and out of season.” He called all Catholics to recommit to prayer, the rosary, fasting, frequenting confession and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. “Our whole world is entrenched in sin. There in the quiet of our hearts a woman is calling us, each one of us, back to her Son. Jesus is there for us in the Scriptures. How often do we ignore Him? We must shake off this indifference. Only the Faith and the wisdom of the Church can save us, but it requires men and women, warriors ready to risk their good names, even their very lives to stand up for the truth.”
I count our Knights of Columbus men and their families as chief among these warriors who stand for truth. Have a holy and fruitful Lent.
Yours in the Crucified Christ,
Father Joseph Jenkins