Dear Brother Knights,
January 2018 Reflection
Convinced of God’s Love and Power -
The Family as Domestic Church and as Missionary Disciples
“ Keep up with the Jones’! ”

We have all heard this phrase or even thought of how to do this. As much of a temptation as it might privately be, we still have to ask ourselves “What is normal? Are we an average family?” The answer we give these comparative questions leads to decisions that are minor and sometimes major.
Comparing ourselves to the Holy Family is definitely more suitable. Rather than looking for an aver-age result about who we are called to be, we should be aspiring to the Holy Family and the example given us. Today then, material possessions are no where near the goal we should set when com-pared to a family that still talks to each other, spends time with each other, goes on vacations together, goes to the lake with each other, even has regular meals together and wholesome socializing and interaction.
Evangelizing and being Missionary Disciples might feel like a high pressured call, but it can be de-scribed in a very simple manner. In fact, you are probably missionary more often than you know. You evangelize but never really knew it. Step 1: Pray for the grace and courage to let God use you today as a missionary disciple. Step 2: Share with another person a spiritual and prayerful moment you have had with God. It is easier to recall praying after receiving great news or very sad news. These moments often lead us to pray. The moment you prayed earnestly was indeed an encounter with Christ. Share a bit about the circumstances and what that prayer meant to you and that’s it. That is evangelization in a very simple form. When we learn to do this in the family, we can under-stand why the pope’s over several decades have encouraged families to be missionary disciples.
At the recent Plenary Session during the Convocation Of Catholic Leaders – The Joy Of The Gospel In America – on July 3, 2017, our Supreme Knight Carl Anderson quoted the Holy Father and the document Familiaris Consortio. “The family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate God’s love. It is to be an icon of God’s love.”

Christ give couples the capacity to live the love necessary to form Missionary Disciples. The family is essentially missionary. Mr. Anderson quotes Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia, who quotes the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, “Spouses are consecrated and by means of special grace they are called to build up the body of Christ and form a Domestic Church.” Do this by sharing your Christ encounters. God doesn’t give us a call without giving us the grace to be whom we are called to be.
Pope Francis also remembers the wisdom proclaimed by Pope Paul VI.
Blessed Paul VI, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, further developed the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family. In a particular way, with the Encyclical Humanae Vitae he brought out the intrinsic bond between conjugal love and the generation of life: ‘Married love requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, which today, rightly enough, is much insisted upon, but which at the same time must be rightly understood… The exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties towards God, themselves, their families and human society’ (No. 10). In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, Paul VI highlighted the relationship between the family and the Church. (AL Ch 3: 68)
You, as a knight and especially as a father, are an important part of the missionary team found in the family. Continue to reflect on this profound honour and mystery. Pray for grace. Share a prayer experience. That’s it. May Our Lady of Guadalupe continue to give you the desire to lead your family as missionary disciples. The “ Jones’ ” will hopefully want to be like your family.
In Christ,

Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR
State Chaplain
Eparch of the Eparchy of Saskatoon