My dear brother Knights,
When I was a child, my parish was blessed to have devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus every first Friday of the month. Ever since then, I have been so moved by the love of Jesus. In fact, it has occurred to me that all of the Gospel can be summed up in one word, love. That God loves us is clear. The Holy Scriptures tell us time and again that God loves us. We are completing the time of year when we consider the greatest act of love ever offered, Jesus suffering, dying, and rising for us. The Ascension is all about Jesus, in His love for us, bringing our prayers to the Father. The Pentecost gift of the Holy Spirit was a gift of the abiding presence of God given in love. And this month, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
But that we are loved is not all that our faith is about. Christianity’s hallmark quality is that we love as we have been loved. We are called above all else to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves. “This is how all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35).
The first principle of our order is charity, the virtue by which we offer to another what they need. Love is the motivation behind our giving to the children at Gibault and the athletes at the Special Olympics, the support we give to our bishops, priests, and seminarians, our defense of the unborn and families, and why we pray rosaries and consecrate ourselves to the Holy Family. Love is the reason why our venerable founder Blessed Fr. Michael J. McGivney founded this order, to care for widows and orphans. The love of Jesus that we have known is what moves us to act as Knights of Columbus.
As I finish my term as State Chaplain, I thank you for the witnesses to love I have seen from you, my brothers in the Order. Your love for the Lord, the Church, the Knights of Columbus, and for those in need is an inspiration. My prayer for you is two-fold. First that you continue to experience the love of Christ for you in whatever way you are in need. Second that you continue to mirror Christ’s love in your families, councils, parishes, and communities. Christ and His Bride the Church, are counting on us. He will bless our love. Our Lady and Blessed Father McGivney are praying for us and helping us to love.
May God help us to be the Knights and disciples we are called and gifted to be.
Vivat Jesus! Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us!