This Month's Challenge
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: “A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’” (Gospel for Dec. 8, Mt 3:1-3)
We are all familiar with the sense of panic that sets in when guests are due to arrive at our home. With people coming any minute, we rush to finish the cleaning and make the final preparations. My brother Knights, in this Gospel passage we find John the Baptist racing through the house, calling on everyone to prepare for the guest of a lifetime: Jesus Christ. This is our common task every day of Advent: to inspect every corner of our spiritual house and clean out the clutter, for Christ’s arrival is at hand. Let us pray for the grace to repent and prepare our souls for the coming of our Lord..
Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori:
This month, I challenge you to fast or abstain from meat one day a week to prepare for Christ’s coming. Second, I challenge you to help prepare for Christ’s coming through the Faith in Action Keep Christ in Christmas program or by simply wishing others a “Merry Christmas.”
Questions for Reflection:
How does treating Advent as a time of repentance and preparation change how we understand and celebrate Christmas? What is one practical way you are shifting the focus from materialism to the light of Christ and the spirit of giving this season? How can I remind others of the joy of Christmas during this time of year?
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.