A new Lenten question

Brother Knights,

We are at the beginning of the Lenten season and the traditional question we ask and are asked is “What are you giving up for Lent?” Lent is the season of preparation for Easter, when we, by our actions and prayers, come to realize how much grace and love God pours out on us. So, to help prepare us, we often ‘give up’ something, chocolate, TV, Music, meat on Fridays. These are all good things and they can help us prepare for the glorious resurrection feast when we celebrate with abundance.

The contrast is striking if we observe the fasting and penance of Lent faithfully. But, I think James has a point I would like to highlight.

James 4:24,26 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And in the same way, … For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.:

James is telling us that we need more than simply saying “I believe” if we expect to be saved. We need to demonstrate our faith by our works.

James 4:16 I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.

I propose a new Lenten question. “What are you going to do extra to draw closer to God?” What new task can you take up this Lent by which you may show your faith? Not just show but grow. For by working in faith, we can in fact increase in faith as well. Saying “I believe” is good but doing something because “I believe” will strengthen our own commitment to that faith and allow us to grow in faith as our lives become steeped in Christ in our prayers and in our actions as well.

So, what can we do extra that will help us grow in our faith?

We could take up a new study. I have chosen to do some more learning on the meaning behind our Catholic Faith. I want to be able to explain our faith to others who challenge and question my almost daily in my life and work outside the church. I want to be able to encourage others to come to the faith or to come back to our faith, who may have left for one or another reason. I want to learn more about what it means to be Catholic. I have chosen a book “Salvation: What every Catholic should Know” by Michael Patrick Barber. I am looking forward to learning more about my own faith.

There are many other resources for learning something new this Season. The web site/ministry service Dynamic Catholic is offering a daily video reflection you can have delivered to your inbox every morning. It is a wonderful way to take a few minutes each day and grow in your prayer life.

We are Knights of Columbus. We can become more involved in our own council, parish and community. There are lots of opportunities to put in some ‘action’ that will enhance our faith. The Knights are a great group of guys who are deeply faithful and spiritual. Working with my Brother Knights over the years has afforded me many opportunities to grow in faith and to experience God’s love through these men. I am a better Husband, a better Christian, a better man, because I am doing work with these men. Come see what you can do. Come to Demonstrate your faith, as James Challenges us all, with our works.

I pray you all find a way to grow in your own faith and show to the world the strength of God’s Love for you and for all of us with your works. I pray you have a faith-full Lent so that you can rise with Christ in a Glorious Easter season to come.

Vivat Jesus!

Michael Mombourquette
Grand Knight

Happy New Year!

Fellow Brother Knights. I wish you all a Happy New Year! OK, check that…. I really mean to say, “I’ll be praying for you all this New Year that you will become closer to God and that His blessings flow abundantly to you”. I’ll leave the ‘wishes’ for fairy tales and Disney movies. The Second reading we heard in Mass today was from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians. It tells us that we have heard of God’s grace through revelation. Paul takes it as his personal responsibility to pass that knowledge on to others, the Church in Ephesus in particular but in general to the whole world. We too now know that all peoples (the gentiles too) are “coheirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus”. That means we too have to go spread the word to others, both in our words and actions.

The Church has taken that role onto itself over the centuries largely as a consequence of history. In times of mass conversions, where whole countries were ‘converted’, the citizens often didn’t have much actual knowledge of the religion they were following. They were simply following it because everyone else did too. Only the educated and knowledgeable people actually had the time and expertise to study and know what they were believing in. As a result, it was often up to the Church to re-educate the faithful on the true practice of Catholicism. Many times, incorrect teachings had to be weeded out. Many of those incorrect teachings came from outside the Church and influenced how people believed within the Church. Many heresies had to be weeded out over time. Today is no different.

I believe that one of today’s greatest heresies is the belief that the “Church” will maintain our faith for us, that we have only to attend mass weekly (if that often) and all will go well. Unfortunately, that is wishful thinking again and holds no more water than Cinderella expecting some woman she never met before to give her a chance to go to the ball. To be a Christian, and a Catholic, we need to practice. I remind you that I have al-ready told you that thinking that we only need to go to church once a week is wishful thinking. It will not, in and of itself, save us. In fact, I believe this is the root of what is amounting to the greatest crisis our church has faced in a very long time. Our parent’s generation were likely the last generation that could just count on the Church to do these things for us. People had limited access to the greater world and competing messages from other sources didn’t influence us the way we are not inundated with information from all sides. They just knew that their kids would be taught ‘the faith’ and that they would follow the ways of the Church. Yet, maybe not even then… In my family, I’m the only one who still is practicing. My parents were deeply religious and very faith filled, yet I’m the only one left. My brothers, one by one, bought into the idea, I think, that they only needed to ‘go to church’ and then that became old and they stopped.

I think the Devil’s greatest ploy to destroy our faith it to make us believe that we don’t have to do anything. That the Church will do it all for us. Our Parish, unfortunately, is declining because of this belief. We still have a very active parish and a very active Knights of Columbus council, but both the parish and the Knights are in essentially a holding pattern. By that, I mean that we are merely doing the same things with the same people over and over again. But those people all have a limit. Their ability to keep on doing what they do is not infinite. As one member steps down from their duties, few step up to replace them. Our numbers of active members are dropping rapidly now, as some of the members get older and can no longer participate as they once did. In our parish, we see many gray heads in the pews but fewer and fewer children and young families. We cannot maintain this holding pattern any longer. We need to step up and realize that our full participation in the faith life of our parish and our Knights of Columbus council is absolutely necessary if we expect to be able to reap the rewards of their continued works. Please, brother knights, especially if you are thinking you don’t have anything to contribute or if you are thinking there’s somebody already doing ‘that’. I bet a lot of those “somebodies” would gladly welcome the help or even would welcome having someone else take over. We need you all to participate fully in our council to keep it functioning. We need you all to help bring new young members into the fold so they can eventually take over from us. To put it bluntly, We need your help. We cannot just maintain. We must grow.

I hope you can make greater participation in your Church, your KofC Council, your faith life in general the first and most important New Year’s resolution this year. I pray you all have a great and faith-filled new year and that you all find deep and lasting joy in actively participating in our Church, Parish and Council.

In Christ,
Grand Knight Michael

Be vigilant! Be prepared! The Lord is coming, when you least expect it!

If you have been keeping up with the daily readings, you will notice a common theme that keeps cropping up. Be vigilant! Be prepared! The Lord is coming, when you least expect it! We get these readings each year at this time of year as we approach the end of the Liturgical Calendar, we get into “End Times” readings. Are you ready for the coming of Christ in your life? In Paul’s letter to the Romans, 7:19 “For I for I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing”. This is my constant fight. Daily, I find that I have failed yet again to live a perfect life, as Christ wants us to live. Daily, I find myself lacking in my own abilities to be that perfect Christian, despite my desire to be perfect. Jesus challenges us to “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” Matt 5:48 all the while he knows that we cannot live up to that perfection by ourselves. We are not ready to receive Christ into our lives.

Christ within us can strengthen us through the Holy Spirit to live that perfect life but only if we allow ourselves to be led by him. Are you willing to allow Christ into your life? It may cost you something that is precious to you at the moment. Perhaps it will cost you an hour a day of time you would otherwise dedicate to watching TV or looking at your Cell phone. Perhaps it means you allow yourself to be led to volunteer your time and energy in places you would not otherwise have considered. I think first, it means admitting to ourselves that we are not doing a very good job of being perfect when we rely only on ourselves. Our relationships suffer, our work can suffer, our own self image and emotions can suffer when we allow our fleshly urges to guide us.

We are approaching the end of the year now and we need to remember that to rely on God, we first must stop trying to rely on ourselves. But, Here’s the thing. God has given us the greatest gift of all. He gave us the freedom to choose. We have the freedom to decide to go it alone, all by ourselves, but we also have the freedom to choose to empty our-selves of our emotionally charged, selfish motivations and allow Him to enter us and guide us. I know that each of us can offer up a prayer now to promise God our hearts and lives. Many Christians do this regularly. An Ignatian practice involves a nightly examen. A daily stock-taking of our lives, before we have forgotten what happened that day. Each night, before we’re too sleepy, we need to take a few minutes to do our nightly examen. The Jesuits do their examen twice a day, at noon and again at night. I have found over the months of doing these that I often cannot even recall what I did that morning so I understand how twice daily might be a good idea but at least once, as a part of your nightly preparations before heading off to bed (not after you get into bed because by then you will be too sleepy to complete it) you might consider performing an examen. Here is a brief outline of how to do a nightly examen.

  • Ponder God’s presence in your life right there and then. Let the day’s events pass through your mind, both the good and the bad.
  • Take time to count all the various blessings you received through the day. Did the sun shine? Did someone smile at you? Did you eat well today? Did you have success in any of your endeavors, at work or at home? Make sure you bask in the awareness of all that God did for you today.
  • Go back through your day again, this time recalling all the times when you did not accept the graces God was offering. When did you choose to follow your fleshly desires rather than doing His will? When did you not smile at someone and say “Hi!”. Did you speak poorly of someone? Did you lust after someone or something, even if only in your heart? Did you waste time watching a screen (big or small) when you could have been doing something productive?
  • Now, resolve and ask the Lord to help you with your resolution to not do the same sins again tomorrow. Ask the Lord to let you make a perfect contrition and give you the graces you will need to be better tomorrow.
  • Finally, end your time in joy and hope, recognizing that God will continue to bless you with his presence, his Grace and will continuously be offering to guide you out of your sin and into a loving relationship with Him and others, if you allow him to.
  • God bless and sleep well, knowing you are once again justified in your relationship with God.
    ……….
     

    Once you have become familiar with doing a nightly examen, you will also become more aware of why you need to partake in the sacrament of reconciliation, something which was instituted by Christ himself Matt 16:19 “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The Church has this sacrament so that we can partake and hear those words “Go in peace, your sins are forgiven”. This wonderful gift of knowing Christ himself, through the priest has spoken forgiveness to us is something we should partake in joyfully on a regular basis. The church wants us to partake at least twice a year but recommends we do it monthly. When is the last time you went to ‘confession’? For me, it was a few weeks now and I am feeling the need to go once again. The Pope goes every week to his confessor. If he needs to go weekly, then clearly, you and I, sinners, need to go at least that often too.

Vivat Jesus!

Michael Mombourquette
Grand Knight

Welcome Brothers to a new season

Welcome Brothers to a new season. Summer is unofficially over with the coming of Labor Day weekend, School is starting, the nights are getting cooler and we are looking at a the Autumn racing towards us. There are many things in life that signal a change in our routines, birth of a new child, death of a family member, a new age-related ache we just noticed. How many of us recognize when God is calling us to a new life? How many of us are able to see God in our day-to-day events, in the people we meet, in our own family? As most of you know, Cynthia and I have three Children, Matthew, Sean and Amy and each of them is embarking on a new life, starting now. Matt just left, heading back to Western university to finish up his Degree, Sean, who just finished this spring is hoping for a call back on one of the applications he has submitted for a new job and Amy is heading off to start Grade 12. Wow, I distinctly remember being the young couple in the parish with a 20 month-old Matthew and a brand-new baby (Sean). Now, I’m just past my 62nd Birthday and all pretenses at being a young man, given my many aches and pains, are gone.

OK God, No Fair! I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t ready! I clearly missed that one. What am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to behave? In the Sunday Gospel for 22nd Sunday (Sept. 1), we read a few things about how we should be living. In the First reading, Sirac 3:17 I read “My child, conduct your affairs with humility”. In the psalm (ps: 68), I read “The Father of orphans and the defender of widows is God”. The second reading tells us to keep our eyes on the things of Heaven and finally, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us that we should place ourselves last so that our Master can honour us.

So, When I look on my life as it stands now, How do I live those things? I see quite a few places where I still have a ways to go to live up to those guidelines. I really do like being recognized and I do find myself doing things in the hopes that others will see how much work I put in, or what a good person I am. I need to remember that I am a good person only as God enables it, and God can only enable me to be good if I cooperate with him, if I conduct myself with humility and not seek the glory and recognition of others. As a Knight of Columbus, I need to seek ways to help in the good works we do for the sake of the Body of Christ. With Christ guiding my gaze, I can more confidently step out to accomplish all he asks. If I forget Christ I may also be forgetting the graces He can bestow on me when I cooperate with him.

A good friend brought to my attention a prayer for humility. You can find it on the EWTN website at
https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/litany-of-humility-245
I suggest you look up the prayer and repeat it often.

Here are a select few lines. Wherever I cut a few lines out, I replaced them with an ellipsis (…).

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others,
Deliver me, O Jesus.

From the desire of being approved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated,
Deliver me, O Jesus.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Vivat Jesus!

Michael Mombourquette
Grand Knight

Thoughts on the coming Fraternal Year – 2019-2020

Well, another Fraternal year is past and we are pondering what we will be doing this new year. Some of us will remain in our roles as Knights in various executive positions. Others are looking at whole new positions and activities in the upcoming year. I will, as you may know, be remaining in my two roles, as Purser for the J.V. Cleary Assembly 0857 and as Grand Knight for St. Paul the Apostle Council 9652. So, what will this year entail? How do we go about improving our involvement and our lives in general?

In the reading from 13th Sunday in Ordinary time, Jesus admonishes the young man who is contemplating following him with

“No one who sets a hand to the plough and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” Lk 9:62

We need to keep moving forward and not spend our lives looking backwards at all our past troubles, failures or misadventures. The analogy is an apt one. In the days of plowing using an oxen or a horse to pull a blade through the soil, it required both hands on the plow and both eyes on the row ahead in order to keep the furrow straight and true. Turning one’s head to look backwards generally results in accidentally turning the whole plow and messing up the furrow in progress.

This Fraternal year, we need to step up and move forward. Let’s make sure that we can see our potential in the future. Let’s focus on developing our life in Christ and on how we will be living out the Christian life. As Knights of Columbus, we have a particular challenge to live our Catholic lives in a rather public way. We do our work best when we are seen doing our work. Take, for example, the ad-vert in the recent Kingston Whig, giving thanks for all the sponsors and help for the charity work that Council 9652 did in its annual Charity Golf Tournament. Works like this, and so many others need to be visible and out there so that others can know what we do.

We are also “out there”, day to day in everything we do. Keep in mind our witness to Christ in all that we do. Always remember to set an example for those around us, both our brother Knights and the people at large. We are modelling Catholic, Christian behaviour for all the people we meet on a daily basis. Let’s all trust in the Grace of God to give us the courage to step up boldly, knowing that while our goals may seem more than we can handle as individuals, they are not so great that we and God cannot succeed together.

All Glory and Praise to God our Father in Heaven.

Vivat Jesus!

Michael Mombourquette
Grand Knight

Remembering Brother Tom Penning

THOMAS PENNING
11-Apr-1931 – 30-Apr-2019

 

 

 

PENNING, Thomas Richard –
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Thomas on April 30, 2019 at West Park Healthcare Centre, at the age of 88.

Beloved husband of Joan for 61 years.

Loving father of Donald (Hillary), Joanne (Andie), Barbara (Peter), and Paula (Alfred).

Devoted grandfather of Marion, Alison, Simon, Carolyn, Danielle, Emily, and Tom.

Cherished brother of Doreen (Lloyd) and brother in law of Lucy (Ralph) and Dorothy.

Predeceased by Ruth (Ralph), Jimmy (Gertrude), George (Shirley), Don, and Jim (Lee).

Tom will be deeply missed by his great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Visitation will take place at the Brampton Funeral Home & Cemetery, Brampton on Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 1-5pm. A funeral service will take on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 2pm in the chapel, burial to follow.

If desired, donations in Thomas Richard’s memory may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Remembering Brother Larry Raycroft

 

Larry John William Raycroft

1952 – 2019

 

 

 

Larry John William Raycroft, born October 7, 1952 in Toronto, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on the evening of June 14 in his 67th year. Larry will be greatly missed by Anita, his loving wife of 20 years, and his children Caylee (Scott), Joey, Jeannie (Dan), Andrew, Glenna (Jordan), Sally (Braydon), Holly (Brandon), Paige (Bryn), Katy, and Layne, as well as his granddaughter Jovanna (and Punim the cat). Sisters Wendy (Mark), Nancy, and Heather (Jon), and all of his nieces and nephews deeply mourn the sudden loss of their big brother and uncle. He will be greeted in Heaven by his mother, Jeanne Booth, his father Glenn Raycroft, and his infant son Robbie. Larry was a man of many talents – a gifted musician, a pilot, motorcyclist, and an avid traveler. Of all of his accomplishments, the one Larry treasured most was his family. The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the doctors and nurses in the cardiac intensive care unit at KGH, who went above and beyond to provide compassionate support. A special thank you to Cathy MacGillivary and Tim DeJonge for their emotional assistance during our difficult time.

Visitations will be at James Reid Funeral Home (1900 John Counter Blvd.,) on Wednesday, June 19 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, and 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be at St Paul the Apostle Parish (1111 Taylor Kidd Blvd.,) on Thursday, June 20 at 11:00am.  Rite of Committal at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.  Reception to follow the burial at James Reid Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or Ride for Dad to further prostate cancer research.

Remembering Brother Michael Beeman

 

MICHAEL CARRUTHERS BEEMAN
9/21/1936 – 5/29/2019

 

 

In Loving Memory Of
Michael Carruthers Beeman, U.E., died on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, aged 82, at Providence Manor in Kingston.

Born on September 21, 1936, he was the youngest of four children of Brigadier William Gilbert Beeman and Kathleen Burpee Carruthers of Kingston. His three older siblings passed away before him: Patricia Carruthers “Patsy” Beeman Fleming (survived by Robert John “Bob” Fleming of Kingston); William John Milton “Bill” Beeman (married to the late Nancy Jane Logan Beeman of London); and Peter Carruthers Henault Beeman (survived by Elizabeth “Betty” Fleming Beeman of Whitby).

He leaves a niece, Kathleen Louise Beeman of Kingston, his primary caregiver for many years. He also leaves three nephews, Christopher Douglas Beeman of Brandon, William Logan “Sandy” Beeman of Ottawa, and Robert John Carruthers Fleming of Montreal, married to Claudine Roy, whose children are Nicolas (Saada El-Akhrass), Philippe (Kat Cadegan) and Amélie (Simon Larose).

A proud member of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, Michael was one of the youngest of Kingston’s extended Carruthers clan, and was closest to his cousin Elizabeth “Lizzy” Panet Fairbairn, who now also resides in Providence Manor. Michael’s cousins from this family include the Baynes, Campbells, Chowns, Constantines, Cookes, Cowies, Danbys, Fairbairns, Forgies, Formans, Frenches, Fyons, Garcias, Ginns, Hamiltons, Hansons, MacDuffs, Mackays, Marins, Massies, Panets, Percivals, Ruddicks, Sculthorpes, Shirreffs, Silcotts, Simsons, Smiths, Sullivans, Tobers, Wards and their descendants.

Further afield, Michael was close to his Ross cousins – David (married to Heather Anderson-Ross, of Toronto, with sons Jamie and Cam), Czashka (married to Gary Roth, of Pennsylvania and Panama, with sons Ivan, Nicholas and Peter), Cory (married to Greg Conaway, of Oregon, with her daughters Shane and Jil), and Ali (with daughters Robin and Leah). Michael is also survived by his cousin William “Bill” Little and partner Joy Dexter of Perth, Ontario.

Michael’s life was enriched by his friends, and he continued to make them throughout his life. With Kevin Kittner he explored every corner of the city; Pat Kittner was a friend, nurse and host of delicious dinners. Travis Docteur, whose family were neighbours, formed a decades-long bond, and Anna Docteur showed many kindnesses.

Michael was an adventurer, a musician, and a seeker all his life. He learned how to fly at age 19, and piloted his friends from Kingston airport to New York City, a feat meriting coverage in the Whig Standard. This in turn led to his career as a NORAD air traffic controller, and other military work, ending as an internal auditor at the Canadian Forces Base Kingston.

He loved outdoor sports and won a trophy for cross-country running at Lakefield College School. The younger members of his family remember skiing and snowmobiling expeditions with him. A crowning achievement resulted from his rescuing one of the Royal Military College’s heavy oak iceboats, in which he and his crew raced across the ice of Lake Ontario and nearby waterways during several winters. He enjoyed sailing, cruising, and relaxing with his family at the idyllic beach at Carruthers Point.

Early in life Michael passed rigorous selections to sing with two of the most demanding choirs in Canada, at St. George’s in Kingston and St. Mary Magdalene’s in Toronto. His Steinway was the pride of his living room, he proctored examinations for the Royal Conservatory of Music, and he enjoyed his front-row balcony seats at the Kingston Symphony. He had a discerning ear, and before Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot achieved stardom, he took his nephew John to their concerts.

As Michael began his retirement he increased his work in the community, ranging from volunteering as a member of the board of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, serving on the Citizen Advisory Committee for Correctional Services Canada, to driving for Meals on Wheels.

Later in life Michael began a new life in the Catholic faith, and joined a welcoming church family at St. Paul the Apostle, with its priest Father Leo Byrne,succeeded by Father Sebastian Amato. His spirit of service saw him participating as a greeter and lay reader, and he was welcomed into the brotherhood of the Knights of Columbus, where he rose to the fourth degree. An admirer of the Sisters of Providence, Michael entered one of their foundations, Providence Manor, as his life drew to its close, and benefited from the kindly attendants, the caring nurses, and the moving spiritual life.

Michael’s family will receive his friends and acquaintances at the Gordon F. Tompkins Funeral Home – Township Chapel, 435 Davis Drive in Kingston on Friday, June 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. His funeral mass as a Knight will take place at St. Paul the Apostle church, 1111 Taylor Kidd Boulevard, at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 29. His remains will be buried in his family plot at Newburgh United Church cemetery, 2157 Camden Road, outside Newburgh, later the same day.

Michael recognised for 19 years of service in KofCMichael being recognized by GK. Terry Finn for 19 years of service with KofC.

Alleluia, He is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

This is the traditional greeting and response of Catholics at this Easter time. How many of us have actually used this greeting “out there, in the street?” Personally, I have to admit, “not very often”. It seems a bit ‘out there’ to make such proclamations, Yet Jesus was willing to be tortured, stripped and nailed to a cross for us. He was slain for us, so that we might be able to be saved and be with him forever in Heaven.

On Passion (Palm) Sunday, I was the second reader and I had a powerful, spiritual experience while I was at the Ambo reading. When I got to the part where “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”, I found myself standing, not at the Ambo but at the foot of the cross in Calvary. I looked up and saw Jesus looking at me and I said “Why? You did all this? For ME?” and then I was suddenly standing in front of the ambo again. I picked up where I had left off and finished the reading. But when I tried to walk away, back to my place, my legs didn’t quite work right. I had to grab the ambo for balance. Shaun Tymchuk noticed; he asked me if I was OK – did I need to sit down. I think he thought I had a medical issue and was about to pass out. I have heard it said that some call this kind of experience “Slain in the Spirit”. While I didn’t collapse, I certainly stumbled.

The answers to my questions were slowly revealed me the rest of Holy Week through the Easter Weekend. “Why? All this for me? I’m not worthy. What have I done to deserve this?” At the Chrism Mass, I saw the Holy Spirit working in all the parishes through the bishops, the priests and deacons and so many lay people. On Thursday, He washed my feet, on Friday, He opened his arms to show me how much he loved me. And on Easter He rose up and spoke love.

This past week after Easter, there were several Gospel versions of the story of Mary [the] Magdalene finding the empty tomb and meeting Jesus. There are several historic meanings to the word Magdalene ranging from Curly-haired beauty to, well… did you know that one of them means, essentially Prostitute? Mary was a woman who was (in her mind) unworthy, yet Jesus saved her, despite her previous life (some scholars say she was the woman he saved from stoning, others, the sister of Martha, the one who poured out perfume on his feet). She had finally found a man who loved her as a person, not for what she could do for him but just because she was a person who deserved to be loved. He appeared to her first, not Peter or John, Mary! I finally realized that Jesus loved me too, despite my not being worthy, just because I was a person He loved. It all came together for me.

You too are that person whom He loves. We have all just journeyed through the season of Lent. We had been focusing on our sins and how they contributed to the separation between us and God, between us and our brothers and sisters in Christ and on a wider scale, to the separation, even between peoples on earth. That was hard!

Now, we can see that Jesus loves us despite our unworthiness. He took upon himself all our sins and we are free. We do not need to carry that burden any more. We are free of the sins that kept us from being able to love Christ. Free from the sins that kept us from being able to love each other. We are free of the habits and attitudes that enslaved us for so long. Let’s not go back there. Remember, before Lent, I suggested you consider giving something up for life? Well, now, let’s not go back. We found, instead of burying ourselves in TV or Facebook or sports or other things, that we could be more available to love our wives, our children, to pray, to renew ourselves spiritually. Let’s continue that renewal but now, with the knowledge that we can be free of our sins forever and that Jesus Loves us into holiness, despite what we may have believed about ourselves.

Vivat Jesus, the traditional greeting for Brother Knights means Long Live Jesus (in your Hearts).

Long Live Jesus. May He forever be the centre of your hearts and lives, and may you forever be free of all your past sins to love and worship Him and each other. In Jesus Name, I pray this, Amen.

Vivat Jesus!
GK Michael Mombourquette