General News

Embrace Your Mission

Posted on March 07, 2024 in: General News

Embrace Your Mission

God calls each of us uniquely, seeking to accomplish his plan in and through our lives

By Supreme Knight Patrick E. Kelly



Later this month, we will observe Good Friday on March 29, which also marks Founder’s Day — the 142nd anniversary of the founding of the Knights of Columbus by Blessed Michael McGivney.

Father McGivney’s decision to start the Knights was, no doubt, the result of much prayer and discernment. He was addressing a particular need in his parish at the time: to strengthen the faith of Catholic men and to support their families in time of need. It’s safe to say that Father McGivney couldn’t fathom what the Knights would become or how much God would accomplish through him. But this wasn’t the young priest’s concern. Though the Lord would use his special talents to accomplish many great things, Father McGivney was given a specific mission in a particular time and place.

The same is true for us. God has given each of us natural gifts, talents and desires. And through our baptism, the Lord is calling us to use these gifts to be an instrument in his plan. No matter who we are or what has happened to us in the past, God wants to awaken our hearts and accomplish his plan in and through us. This is true for everyone. Pope Benedict XVI was once asked by a reporter how many paths there are to God. He answered: “As many as there are people.”

The Apostles were average men. Yet they were changed in astounding ways by receiving the Holy Spirit and accepting the mission given to them by Jesus. The same can be true for each of us. Whether we are a priest, religious or lay person, single or married, parent or grandparent, we are each called to serve God in the particular circumstances of our lives.

Though the Lord would use his special talents to accomplish many great things, Father McGivney was given a specific mission in a particular time and place. The same is true for us.

There is great power and freedom in using the gifts the Lord has given us to fulfill his plan. A personal acceptance of mission provides clarity amid the multitude of choices that lie before us. If we are open to discovering the Lord’s will for us and allow him to work through our lives, we will find great fulfillment and joy. And the more we strive for real holiness in our daily lives, the more we remove obstacles that get in the way of his plan.

We may never know in this life the good that will come about through our personal acceptance of our mission in Christ, just as Father McGivney didn’t know how our Lord would use the Knights over the past 142 years. What we can be assured of, however, is that if we seek to find and live out the mission that God has given us, then we, our loved ones, and all those we encounter will be blessed as a result.

It’s encouraging to remember that it’s not all up to us; it’s not even mostly up to us. We are but servants who must rely on the Lord to do the heavy lifting: “He made me a sharpened arrow, in his quiver he hid me” (Is 49:2).

We will certainly experience fear, setbacks and reversals, but St. Paul reminds us, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). We know that Father McGivney experienced many discouraging days in those early months and years after founding the Knights. Yet he witnessed to the scriptural call to “persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith” (Heb 12:1-2).

The lesson for us is this: Put aside discouraging thoughts and pray for clarity. The Lord is with us and wants to give us the freedom to use our gifts and talents with generosity, courage and joy — for love of neighbor and the greater glory of God.

Vivat Jesus!