Lord, teach us to pray:
(To be read by the Leader)
So also, faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead, (James 2, 17)
Last month the conclusion we endeavored to draw in our reflection was that action is not a way of showing our faith, (though in some ways it is). More importantly we concluded that our actions were simply an expression of our faith. Our actions were resultant, because we as Catholic men feel impelled to express our faith (our love of God and love of one another) in spiritual and practical ways. In short, action does not lead to faith, faith leads us to action. St. James has it quite correctly. Our faith must result in works/action because without works/action our alleged faith is dead/empty. “You have faith and I have works. Demonstrate your faith without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works, (James 2, 18).”
(To be read by the Leader)
In his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium, (The Joy of the Gospel), 2013, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, invites “Christians everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, (3).” Brothers, a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ is what will greatly assist us in our growing in the faith that is so essential to all we are and all we do as Catholic men. Faith is the essential element, and relationship with Jesus Christ is the key ingredient to growth in that faith. The “Faith in Action” program is the Knights of Columbus response to Pope Francis’s invitation to the renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ. “Faith in Action” is the renewed personal invitation to live out the call of faith in God and our love of neighbor in real and practical ways.
I dare say that in a very pragmatic way, the “Faith in Action” program is a real way for us Catholic men to live the faith we desire to grow in, in the service of our families, our Church and our communities. Brothers, this is not a Knights of Columbus, “Faith in Action” commercial. It is simply an acknowledgement that as Catholic men we have an intrinsic desire to grow in our faith and as we do grow in our faith, the programs within “Faith and Action” are logical and practical
ways of expressing the faith we desire to continue to grow in.
Brothers as Catholic men we are pulled in many directions. Our work often remains with us long after we leave the workplace by way of the smart phone. Our families are considerably busier and more mobile in their activities than they were two decades ago. Yet, despite the demands and the business of the different areas of our lives, the Knight of Columbus is a wonderful opportunity for likeminded Catholic men to gather to socialize and to live their faith in demonstrable practical ways. I have said this before, but for me the draw of the Knights of Columbus is the fraternity and socialization of like-minded Catholic men living our faith in real and tangible ways. As a Catholic priest, there are times when at the end of the day, I simply need to trust that I have served the Lord and my people to the best of my ability. Because at times there are no apparent tangible signs that I have accomplished the Lord’s work. Trust in faith is essential. But I can say for sure after delivering Christmas hampers, or collecting coats for kids, or leading the rosary with a group of Catholic men, these are real and practical ways for me and I would say others to see and to know that we are serving the Lord in the service of others. The goal of the “Faith in Action” program is to assist our Catholic men in leading their families in service, not to leave their families for service. Next month, Supreme Chaplain, Most Reverend William Lori’s thoughts on tips to be a successful and helpful Council Chaplain.
“So also, faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead, (James 2, 17)”
(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