February 2019 State Newsletter, Chaplain’s Message
February 2019 Reflection


For decades, the Knights of Columbus have focused a great deal of their efforts on the strengthening of families. Family programs were a central element of the Surge with Service program that guided our service programs in the Order for almost 40 years. The intent was clear. Strong, unified families are instrumental in the passing on of faith.


However, the words of Christ have never been consistently supportive of the family. When Jesus met a man who wanted to say goodbye to his family before following Him, He said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow, and looks back, is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.” Even in regards to his own family he responded to their presence by saying, “Who are my mother and my brothers? Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” And more precisely to the point, He also said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth . . . I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” These words, taken on face value, seem to be opposed to the importance of family.

But that is not the intent of these statements by our Lord. After all, he remained close to his Mother all his life. Jesus is not saying that family is bad or that it is unimportant. He is saying that being focused on faith and the Kingdom of God is of more importance than family; that God’s place in our lives should have a higher priority than family or friends or business: more than many are prepared to offer.
And so the new Knights of Columbus service program, Faith in Action, with its strong focus on building faith in the membership, is following the message Jesus gave those who wished to follow Him. Family is indeed important and we should never quit having programs for the good of the family. But family becomes more than simply good and unified when Christ is given His proper acknowledgment as the focal point of our lives. It is then that family becomes Blessed.

Fr. Edward Gibney
Associate State Chaplain