Lord, teach us to pray:
(To be read by the Leader)
Despite the circumstances we find ourselves in nearly a year later, I believe we have much to be grateful for, and much to look forward to as we begin this New Year. Brothers, challenging as 2020 has been, I encourage you to look back at what you have accomplished, as individuals, as families and Councils. I am sure none of us would ever have envisioned the year we have just completed. This past year has been on of thinking outside the box for sure. Because our circumstances have been so unique, we have found unique ways of accomplishing many of the things we have taken for granted in the past. We have been blessed to use more of our brain power and more of our God-given imagination to overcome challenges. The Alberta-Northwest Territories have accomplished unprecedented milestones Order wide. Brothers, we are on track to do great things again this Columbian year despite covid-19.
I would say that there is a general gratitude for being able to celebrate the Holy Mass publicly. Many of us would never have imagined not being able to receive Holy Communion or going to Mass when and where we wanted. But indeed, for almost three months this was exactly the case. No Mass, no Eucharist. I know there are many of you who are profoundly grateful for once again being able to receive the gift of the Eucharist. Challenging as the protocols are for appropriate reception of the Eucharist. Two things that stand out for me that I give thanks to God for:
1. The people of God, young and old alike who are presently attending Mass have made a discerned, intentional decision that the Church is where they wish to be. This does not diminish those who are not yet ready to return. It does however magnify the thought and prayer that has been part of the process for those who have returned to the physical Church.
2. Because of the protocols in place for reception of Holy Communion, there is truly a great degree of reverence expressed by the faithful as they come forward to receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is God’s most efficacious and profound gift to us His children, as we continue our pilgrim journey to the Promised Land, (Heaven). The beautiful reverent reception of this gift from the Lord, by the faithful, is very inspiring to me on my own faith journey.
(To be read by the Leader)
Brothers, I know that at the Council level we are feeling a bit stymied. Zoom Council meetings, and the very basic business of the order has been compromised to a large degree. This does not make us any less fraternal Brothers. Please encourage your Council to continue its phone program to our many Brothers who we do not see at meetings and who perhaps are weathering this journey with far more difficulty, because of age or pre-existing health conditions. Promote the “Leave No Neighbor Behind” campaign in your parish and in your Council. Our Brothers and our seniors need to know that we care. Perhaps it is you who must kickstart this initiative. So be it, let it be you Brother.
My final item of gratitude, as we begin 2021, is the gift of faith; faith that our Lord has blessed us with. Faith, that allows us to believe that which we cannot fully understand, that which we cannot see. Faith even when things were at their darkest, allows us to know that we will get through this. Faith, God’s gift to us, His children, the necessary help we all need on our pilgrimage here in our local parishes, our local Councils, and our communities, on our journey to the Promised Land. As we begin this New Year, we give thanks for many blessings, in a special way for our families and extended families. Thank you dear Jesus, for so much, thank you for our faith. Thank you, dear Lord, for allowing us to see that we have so much to be grateful for, today and always. My dear Brothers, may our loving God bless you, your families, and your Councils with a happy, healthy, and holy New Year of our Lord, 2021.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself, (Mt. 22, 39)
(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.)
(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