Giving God Credit in Humble Ways
Joseph L. Gubasta, Ph.D.
Good of the Order Presentation, Elder Council Knights of Columbus
(April 12, 2012)
With Lent behind us and the Easter season just beginning how did we do this Lent? Were any of your resolutions and works done in the name of the Order? This is what I’d like to reflect on now.
We live in a society full of promises and promotions. Now-a-days most people are walking and talking ads. There are few items we wear, own or use that aren’t branded in some way for all to see. However, this kind of endorsement is usually not the case when it comes to our faith beliefs and our affiliation with the Church, our parishes, and the Knights of Columbus. When thinking about proclaiming our Christian beliefs, as well as promoting the Knights of Columbus, a statement attributed to St. Francis of Assisi came to mind, namely: “Preach the Gospel and use words if you have to.”
Food for Thought:
With marketing in mind let’s think about giving God credit in humble ways. You’ve heard it said in previous lectures that to be Christ-like we should seek holiness. One way we might do this is to select and/or initiate council activities and projects that help us grow in holiness. I suggest this would be a good issue to discuss with this leadership group and other members when doing annual planning of council activities. A valuable by-product of this activity would be for us to define what “holiness” means and use that definition as a benchmark against which to choose and support various projects.
Related to this first point is our willingness to offer support and participate in K of C initiatives that will help to exercise and proclaim our faith in behavioral terms. Are there things we could (or should), do that will “stretch” us individually and as a council? In other words, are we willing to leave some room for God to work with and through us? Does this council have one or more “miracle” stories to share? Miracle in this context means there was evidence of Divine Providence playing a significant role in council work and service outcomes.
A final thought concerns doing works that proclaim our love for God and neighbor. At first glance one might think we do this all the time. This is our identity as Knights. We’re about charity. This is true, however, are we consistent in developing some degree of relationship with the people we serve? Do those people see us as Christ-like Knights or do they consider our donations, use of time and talents as simply support for their causes like they’ve received from other individuals or organizations, many of which were not Christian? This reminds me of a story:
A retailer was dismayed when a competitor selling the same type of product opened next-door to him, displaying a large sign proclaiming "Best Deals".
Not long after he was horrified to find yet another competitor move in next-door, on the other side if his store. Its large sign was even more disturbing- "Lowest Prices".
After his initial panic, and concern that he would be driven out of business, he looked for a way to turn the situation to his marketing advantage. Finally, an idea came to him. Next day, he proudly unveiled a new and huge sign over his front door. It read, "Main Entrance"!
Because we live in a constantly changing secular society, doing good works isn’t good enough if we aren’t honoring God and furthering His kingdom in a visible way. We are (or should be) a sign of contradiction in what we do and how we do it. We should make it our business to seek Divine insight and inspiration about the opportunities and requests that come our way. We should find ways to become the “main entrance” to a God centered way of doing our business. To do so as Knights of Columbus will be good for the Order and the Catholic Church.
Heavenly Father, we praise you for blessing us and our brother Knights. We seek to honor and serve you individually and through the Order of Knights. During this Easter season we await the coming of your Holy Spirit to enlighten and empower us to further your kingdom in our part of the world. We look to your son Jesus as our teacher and servant leader. We ask for the grace to follow his example in all that we say and do. This we pray in His name and through the intercession of our Blessed Mother. Amen.