June 2018 Reflection
The Family as Domestic Church and as Missionary Disciples

Dear Brother Knights,

From the time you were a toddler, your parents wanted to teach you how to share. Perhaps it was toys, a blanket or food. All your life you have been asked to share. So, what are you currently sharing with others today? Is it your time, your money, your talents? If we stop to think about it, everything you share with others is because someone shared it with you. Of course, you purchase things, acquire property, work for stuff, etc. but ultimately, whatever the explanation might be, God shared it with you through others!

Among so many material things there are those things we share that are immaterial in a sense, like our time. High on the list of gifts from God is the faith he has given you. We are called, above many other things, to share our faith with others. That is the call each of us received at baptism and as members of a family, a church parish as especially as a member of the Knights of Columbus. We are called to evangelize.

Our Supreme Chaplain, Archbishop Lori comments on Pope Paul VI, St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis when he says,

Drawing together the teaching of the council, Paul VI described evangelization as the Church’s core identity and mission. In short, the Church “exists in order to evangelize” (14). This mission is directed both toward people who have not yet heard the Good News and those who no longer practice their faith. Pope Paul called on all members of the Church, not just clergy and religious, to open their hearts more widely to the Lord and to actively share the faith with the searching and the straying alike.

Following his predecessors, St. John Paul II called for a “new evangelization” — not new in con-tent, for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8) — but new “in its ar-dor, methods, and expression.”
Pope Benedict XVI, like those before him, emphasized that evangelization entails an opening of the heart. It involves becoming agents of the Holy Spirit, helping people have a profound experience of Jesus and his love — a love that opens them to the Word of God, the sacraments, virtuous living and ultimately their vocation to holiness.

Evangelization is also clearly central to the pontificate of Pope Francis, who penned Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). He speaks of the urgency of this mission and calls each one of us and our parishes and church institutions to “missionary conversion” (30). He challenges bishops and priests to take the lead in creating dioceses and parishes that are on fire with the mission of spreading the Gospel. He challenges religious women and men “to wake up the world” by their witness to the kingdom of God. And he challenges laypeople to engage robustly in this mission in their families and daily work.

This year as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit will indeed fill you with more grace. Your spiritual growth and insights, your prayers and acts of faith, as modest as they may be, are some-thing the Holy Spirit wants you to share with others. Share about your prayer life. Share about the joy you experience when you participate in the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. Share about your struggles and doubt, support from family, friends and parish, about your fears, about your success-es, about reading scripture and about the spiritual food that sustains you – that ever precious relation-ship you have with Jesus. Missionary Disciples that are formed in your family are counting on you. Missionary Disciples that are formed in your parish and in your Councils are counting on you. The Holy Spirit is counting on you. As you share, you evangelize.

If you want to talk MEMBERHIP, not only is this an ongoing effort of Knights of Columbus for the order, but so too, it is the concern of every parish. Others in the parish are relying on you to show them how to invite others to be members of the parish as well as the order. Membership is not just a name on a roster. It is evangelization. It is an invitation to know Jesus. Being a member of the Body of Christ is really what membership is all about. It is everything!

In Christ,

Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR
State Chaplain


PS. See my video message recorded on how families are to be mis-sionary disciples.