Knights of the Trinity
On Trinity Sunday, Supreme Knight and Supreme Chaplain ask state deputies to see the mission of the Knights of Columbus reflected in the Trinity
Both Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, in his closing remarks, and Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori, in his Sunday homily, told the assembled state deputies and other attendees to see the mission and principles of the Knights of Columbus reflected in the Trinity.
“In his homily our worthy Supreme Chaplain caught the genius and spiritual vision of Father McGivney by seeing the principles of the Knights of Columbus in the Trinity,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. Members of the Order should think of themselves as Knights of the Trinity, Knights of Charity, Knights of Unity, and Knights of Fraternity, he pointed out. This would lead to continued growth in membership, continuing good works of charity and brotherhood in the care of fellow Knights, he explained.
In his homily, the supreme chaplain pointed out that “… we, the family of the Knights of Columbus, have an advantage on Trinity Sunday. … this Trinity Sunday, our advantage comes to us courtesy of Father McGivney and the wonderful Gospel principles and virtues he left us, namely, charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. The doctrine of the Trinity helps us to understand the principles of the Order and the principles of the Order help us to grasp more fully the doctrine of the Trinity.”
In looking at the principle of charity, Archbishop Lori quoted Scripture, “God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn. 4:16). He added that the love at the heart of the Trinity is not a needy or self-seeking love, but a love that is utterly generous, self-giving and passionate.
He asked, where then does the charity of the Knights of Columbus come from? The Knights, he answered, do not merely share their own resources, they also share the Father’s love revealed by Christ crucified and poured into their hearts by the Spirit.
Speaking of the principle of unity, Archbishop Lori continued, “Our faith teaches us the truth that there is only One God. There really is only One God in Three Persons. … in revealing the Father’s love on earth, what did Christ pray for? That we be one as he is one with the Father . . . ‘so that the world would believe.’ And what did Christ do? He died on the cross, as Paul says, making peace by the blood of his Cross. Thus we are called in baptism to be ‘one body, one spirit, in Christ.’”
He added, that unity is grace and a gift, a baptismal call to share God’s inner life and love. So when Knights strive intentionally to keep their state jurisdictions and councils united in faith, united in charity, and united in growing the Order, they are relying on the intense unity of love that is the Blessed Trinity.
“I’d be mistaken were I to describe the Trinity as a fraternal organization, three persons that share a common cause and common interests,” the supreme chaplain said. “Yet the source of our fraternity as the family of the Knights of Columbus may be said to derive from the uniqueness of the Three Persons of the Trinity. To repeat, the Three Persons of the Trinity are real relations: the Father is not Son, nor is the Son the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit either the Father or the Son, yet there is only one God ever to be adored. Yet, in the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son share a fellowship so intense and so beautiful, no words can adequately describe it.”
The Knights of Columbus’ fraternity, their care for one another and their families, their common purpose of strengthening one another in the faith, their common determination to serve the needs of one and all, their readiness to come to one another’s aid in time of distress, their respect for one another in all their differences and diversity – this bond of fraternity has its source in the unity of the Three Persons of the Trinity, he said.
The supreme chaplain went on to say that patriotism is love of one’s homeland and that the true native land of all Knights and all the faithful is heaven with God, to share in, to the fullest extent of their being, the utter happiness of Triune love.
“The more we enter into the love of the Trinity the better equipped we are to love others as Christ loves them, and thus to love even our earthly home with a sacrificial love,” Archbishop Lori said. “And the more we love our neighbor as Christ loves our neighbor, the more suited we are one day to be fully members of the kingdom of heaven – to behold the vision glorious – One God in Three Persons!”
He concluded, “As leaders of the family of the Knights of Columbus may we now acknowledge the doctrine of the Trinity as we pray together: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”