Lord, teach us to pray: “Our Father…”
The Reading(To be read by the Leader)
My dear Brothers in the Lord. We are still masking as I write this on Family Day Monday here in the Province of Alberta. My prayer of course is that by the time your Council meets in April, (in person I hope, for the sake of fraternity), things will be well on their way to what we will in the future refer to, as normal. Something important that I have been speaking about with the folks who advise me, is what we are doing about the healing and reconciliation that is required in our parishes, our families and perhaps our Councils. I know I am not alone in my parish on this. There has been much divisiveness that has occurred over the past two years. A lot of it has revolved around vaccinations or not, and certainly many of the protocols that have been part of our lives for much longer than we anticipated. I have seen grandparents experience separation from their grandchildren, at times because of divergent viewpoints. Some parishioners have certainly been more vocal in their thoughts about how things should or should not be. I am sure within our Councils we have men who are feeling excluded because for whatever reason, they are not able to attend meetings either virtually or in person.
Add to this, two long years of far less than normal existence, and many folks are pretty much at the end of their rope about many things. In other words, tempers, patience, and prudence, may be in short supply at times. This can be the cause of frictions and misunderstandings that might under normal circumstances and times, be easily resolved. But because of our present situation, the mole hill can turn into a mountain quite easily and for no apparent reason. All this to say as we journey through our Lenten time, it is important, to take an intentional look at where feelings and relationships may need some mending. I speak to you as Brother Knights, but perhaps you have challenges within your own families. Perhaps you have felt on the outside looking in, regarding your parish Church, and your inability to be involved with ministry etc. Perhaps your Council has temporarily struggled, so not much has been happening in the way of meetings and or actions.
It is possible that you are reading this, and you are of the opinion, situation normal, nothing to see here folks. I present this not because I am looking to open old wounds or wake sleeping dogs as the expression goes. I write this because I have seen firsthand in my own parish the challenges people of good will have faced. Unless a challenge is faced, and resolution comes about there will always be that lingering discomfort or feelings of uneasiness. Brothers, we have come through a long journey from the darkness into the light.
The Reflection(To be read by the Leader)
Lent is a time where we are called not to simply reconcile with our Lord, but with one another. As the Apostle John said: if anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his Brother, is a liar, (1 Jn 4, 20).” I have spoken about reconciliation and healing from the perspective of two years of Covid and isolation from relationships with important people in our lives. We are now at time in our history when we have in a very intentional way, been invited to walk with our Indigenous sisters and brothers. The Church has indeed been a part of a very dark part of our great Countries history. This includes the negative light that our First Nations people have been viewed in, for decades and decades. Brothers, we may not personally have committed sins against our brothers and sisters, but we as Catholics men have an obligation to do what we are able to walk with them in a meaningful way toward healing and reconciliation. I believe the first step in a mission such is this, is for us to become better educated and more aware of the true sense of what has transpired in the last century. We may not have been part of the problem, but we have moral obligation to be part of the solution. I encourage you at the Council level to bring this topic to the table and ask your Brothers; “what can we do to affect true healing and reconciliation with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Reconciliation can only begin when we recognize what the issue is. Education and awareness are particularly important for this to occur. More on this next month Brothers.
Healing and Reconciliation
(The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)
(The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)
Closing Prayer(Recited by all)
Let us pray:“Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen."