My dear brother Knights,
When I worked as a retail manager, January was the month for taking inventory. The business and the sales of December and the Christmas sales season was over, and the new Spring and Summer merchandise wouldn’t be coming in until February. So, January was a time to look at how we did in the busy season and to plan for the future.
In the Church, too, January is a kind of transition month. Advent wreathes and manger scenes are a memory – unless, like me, your tree hasn’t come down yet. The plans for Lent are being made, but we’re not there, yet. And Spring and Easter, are a long way off. But this time of year, isn’t devoid of importance. It’s a time for answering a question: what does it mean that God has come among us in the person of Jesus? How am I supposed to be changed by the encounter with Christ that we just celebrated? On the Sunday that ends the Christmas season, we’ll hear a voice from Heaven in the Gospel give us the answer to this question.
January is also a good time to do a personal inventory. It’s a good time to ask ourselves in what way we’ve been changed by the encounter with Christ, and what work remains to be done. How are we doing as Christians? As I’ve sometimes said in my preaching, if being a Christian is easy for us, then we’re not doing it right. Love, the hallmark of discipleship is not easy, because it means sacrificing our wants and our comforts to do what is good for another.
Later this month, many Knights and thousands of others from our nation will be gathering in Washington DC for the March for Life. Unfortunately, every Knight does not have the ability to participate in this important moment of witness to our nation and to the world. However, as disciples of Jesus, we all have the obligation to do something to defend life. Those who do nothing while others are murdered are guilty of some degree of cooperation in the evil. We as Knights must take the lead in our community in standing up for what’s right. The continuing cases being heard by the United States Supreme Court are a sign that God is working, and we must step up our efforts. Those who cannot go to Washington, can write to their congressman or US senators, can fast, or go to Mass on Saturday the 22nd, or can participate in various events planned for that time, asking God for the Holy Spirit of conversion for those who participate in this heinous crime against God and against humanity.
I wish all of you and your families a safe and happy winter. May God help us to understand Whom it is that has come among us, and to learn how to follow our Master.
Vivat Jesus! Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us!