This Month's Challenge
Then [one of the criminals] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Gospel for Nov. 24, Lk.23:42-43)
We’ve read these words so many times that it’s easy to miss their power. Here is Jesus using his last minutes of earthly life to show mercy to a dying criminal and to promise him life in heaven that very day. We may not like to admit it, but we have a tendency to insulate ourselves from entire groups of people — perhaps the poor, the homeless or the sick. Yet these are precisely the people with whom Jesus spent so much time. While the religious “upper class” often ignored or mocked Jesus, the poor acknowledged him as Lord and were transformed. May the unlikely words of a criminal — “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom” — become our own urgent prayer.
Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori:
This month, I challenge you to ask God’s pardon and mercy by making a thorough examination of conscience and going to confession. I also challenge you to serve those in need individually or with your council through Faith in Action programs such as Coats for Kids or Food for Families.
Questions for Reflection:
Are there habits in your daily routine which exclude or ignore those on the margins of our society? What are some ways, large or small, that you can increase your efforts to help the poor and the needy? How does going to confession help us to imitate the penitent thief, and what can we learn from his prayer?
The Supreme Chaplain’s Monthly Challenge for the month will be available in a number of places:
- Chaplain's Report
- Knights of Columbus social media
- Monthly email to Grand Knight and Chaplain
To conduct the Supreme Chaplain’s Monthly Challenge, during a Knights of Columbus meeting (ideally during the Chaplain's Message or the Grand Knight's Report) or other gathering:
1) Open with the Sign of the Cross and perhaps a brief prayer.
Example Opening Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. We thank you for guiding our lives and pray that we may have the courage exemplified by Venerable Fr. McGivney to live our faith to the fullest through our council, our families and in society. May our words today give glory to your Sacred Heart and if we struggled this past month in living our faith, help us to never stop turning to you and always try again.
2) Re-read the Supreme Chaplain's Monthly Challenge from the previous month.
3) Open the floor for discussion on what it was like to try and live last month's challenge. Every month has a number of Questions for Reflection that may help facilitate discussion. Don't worry about what order the men speak in or if there is silence in between men speaking. Not everyone has to speak and it is not a problem if the discussion is brief. Men are welcome to comment on others’ contribution to the discourse.
4) When finished, read the Supreme Chaplain's Monthly Challenge for the next month.
5) End by asking if there are any intentions and close with prayer and the Sign of the Cross.
Example Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for this time together with our brothers. We ask you to have mercy on all those people and intentions we prayed for. Give us the perseverance to live next month's challenge and to remember that we are united with our brother Knights around the world in doing so.