Keep Christ in Christmas

David “Reggie” R Vasquez, Visions Chairman

Slogans, we hear them all the time. We like them, we identify with them. How about “Texas Strong”? It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? How about “Don’t Mess with Texas”?

That evokes some strong meaning in everyone’s mind. And keeping that Texas flavor, “Lookie here…” it’s already December y’all - and that brings up the most important slogan of the year: “Keep Christ in Christmas”

Within the American society extraordinary measures have been taken to keep Christ out of Christmas and to keep Christ out of almost every facet of American life. That subtle trend on a societal level extents all the way to real persecution of Christians and their values. There are, here and there, heroic efforts to reset the balance and there are apologists, evangelicals, clergy, religious, and Church leaders who voice strong opinions and truths that too often echo in the halls of silence. For a large part of American society, we see evidence of erosion of values, erosion of moral awareness, and evidence of moral and judicial apathy. And more concerning may be not what we see, rather what we don’t see or observe.

So, the slogan is “Keep Christ in Christmas”. How do we go about doing that? All Knights of Columbus carry within themselves the sword of prayer. We begin every new liturgical year with a period of Advent wherein we anticipate the arrival of Jesus our Lord coming in the flesh at Bethlehem, His coming into our hearts daily, and His coming in glory at the end of time. We prayerfully consider the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah and to be alert for the Second coming. Through prayer and frequenting the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, we are nourished by an encounter with Christ.

In Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” he laid out the meaning and depth of Christian love. Significantly he stated: “A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak. He knows God is love and that God’s presence is felt at the very time when the only thing we do is love”. So we are called and indeed obligated to share the love of God as we encounter Christ in our relationship with Him and in others.

Knights of Columbus are well positioned to encounter Christ and are very well positioned to nourish good, moral, healthy relationships with others. Their very actions through their local and Order-wide programs are designed to further and build on the principles and virtues of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity and to further the evangelization of the kingdom of God brought to us in the person of Jesus Christ. As Knights act in charity and defend the faith, they encounter and nourish their relationship with Christ. And they keep Christ in Christmas.

Perhaps one of the best ways to help keep Christ in Christmas is to invite all eligible Catholic men to join us in our efforts as members in the Knights of Columbus. This Brotherhood of Catholic men do know when to speak of God and when to say nothing at all but let love alone speak. The good works informed by faith performed by Knights provide hope despite society’s extraordinary measures to keep Christ out of Christmas. Through everyday Council activities, programs, gatherings, meals, liturgical events, prayers, and promotion of each other, Knights are keeping Christ in Christmas. And the great thing is, they are not afraid to tell you they are. Keeping Christ in Christmas is all about encountering and nourishing a relationship with Christ; the Knights of Columbus provides its members a place and family to do just that.

Vivat Jesus! Viva Cristo Rey!

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