“To be Good Samaritans”

“To be Good Samaritans” is the theme of the administration of our State Deputy, Chris Pierno. It offers us an opportunity to look always further beyond self. Consider the story of the “Good Samaritan” (Lk. 10:25-37).  Jesus presents his listeners with a story that was shocking to their ears. The people prior to the Samaritan should have been the ones who stopped. The first was a priest, one who sacrificed in the Temple. He would be considered close to the Lord but did not see the connection between his sacrifice and caring for the person who was robbed and left on the side of the road. The second was a Levite, one of those that was set aside to serve the priests. Levites were seen as holy and close to the Lord. Yes, as with the priest, he “walks by on the opposite side.”

Samaritans were not considered faithful believers in the Lord. Their beliefs differed from Jewish belief. Faithful Jews would avoid going into Samaritan territory and considered them for lack of a better term, heretics. Yet, Jesus puts the Samaritan at the center of the story as the one who takes care of the robbed and wounded man. He bandages him carefully, takes him to an inn, and pays for a place for him to recover. People of faith of Jesus’s time would have found this scandalous to hear. Yet, the story was told to show that love of neighbor cannot be conditional. Our charity needs to be full and complete, especially as Knights.

Pope Francis offers us a reflection, an examination of conscience of sorts, especially as we Knights in the District of Columbia begin another fraternal year.

“It is remarkable how the various characters in the story change, once confronted by the painful sight of the poor man on the roadside. The distinctions between Judean and Samaritan, priest and merchant, fade into insignificance. Now there are only two kinds of people: those who care for someone who is hurting and those who pass by; those who bend down to help and those who look the other way and hurry off. Here, all our distinctions, labels and masks fall away: it is the moment of truth. Will we bend down to touch and heal the wounds of others? Will we bend down and help another to get up? This is today’s challenge, and we should not be afraid to face it. In moments of crisis, decisions become urgent. It could be said that, here and now, anyone who is neither a robber nor a passer-by is either injured himself or bearing an injured person on his shoulders” (Fratelli Tutti, 70).

May we always bear injured people on our shoulders, showing unconditional love of neighbor by being Good Samaritans.

Vivat Jesus!

Fr. Frank

July Message from the State Deputy

Let me take this opportunity as we move steadfast into the beginning of the fraternal year to invite you to take part in two tasks that lie before us. As life continues to evolve and emerge from the long, but necessary, restrictions that were placed on us over the last year and half, we may find ourselves with the opportunity to see and interact with more people. As Knights and as Catholic families, we have an intrinsic obligation to offer a helping hand, an open door, and a friendly smile to our neighbor wherever we can.

This is most especially true when it comes to welcoming our brothers and sisters back to Mass at our local parishes. This is the first task that I ask you to consider – please work with your councils to help your parishes in welcoming the faithful back to Church. This may take the form of volunteering to be greeters or ushers, or perhaps your council can offer to put on a social event after Mass, even more so maybe your council can work with your parish to make phone calls inviting parishioners back. The Knights of Columbus has developed the COVID Recovery Plan which outlines the different ways a council can re-energize and re-invigorate not only your councils, but also your parishes.

The second task I would ask you to consider is to invite one man in your social circle, your family, your workplace, your parish, or your local community to join the Knights of Columbus. You know the difference that membership can make in someone’s life – share with them your story. We must offer the opportunity to be more than a man – to be Knight – to every eligible man that we know. Not because we must meet a recruitment goal, but because this is our mission – the mission of our founder, Blessed Michael McGivney – a mission needed now more than ever. We cannot continue with business as usual.

Our Supreme Chaplain, Archbishop Lori, commented at the Organizational Meeting of State Deputies that these are perfect times to ask: “What would Blessed Michael McGivney do?” He would not give in to discouragement, defeat, or weariness, and he would not quit even in the face of criticisms from his peers – so too we must never quit in trying to advance the mission of the Knights of Columbus. Let us be innovative, inviting, and serve our communities with integrity now and well into the future.

Fraternally Yours in Christ,