For those of you that don’t know, I am a proud 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. The Knights are a charitable, fraternal organization built around the core principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. In addition, they require the men in the organization to be “practical Catholic gentlemen” meaning that we live in accordance to the Church teachings and follow the lead of the Magisterium.
This year, I had the opportunity to participate in Denver’s nationally televised Saint Patrick’s Day parade. The photo included on this post is us arranging our formation in the staging area. We had about nine Knights in regalia (the chapeau, cape, sword, and baldric) leading two floats from Knights of Columbus councils in our area and cars containing dignitaries from our State Council and State Ladies Auxiliary. Suffice it to say we had a very impressive showing.
I was one of the Knights in regalia, so I got to march it on foot. The crowd was incredibly large, estimated at 350,000. As we started on the parade route, it was somewhat surreal to see the number of people hanging out of windows and practically bursting onto the street yelling their support for the Knights. At one point, an ebullient person in the crowd shouted “I love you, Knights of Columbus!”
The road narrowed a little, which brought the crowd very close to our formation. I don’t know if it was the sea of green shirts and waving arms, or the fact that the crowd was very close to us, but I was reminded of the flashback scene in Passion of the Christ where Christ and the Apostles were welcomed into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. I spent much of the rest of the parade thinking about what it must have been like for our Lord to go through the cheering crowd knowing what was in store for him later that week. As I thought about the rest of Holy Week, I was thankful that I would likely only have sore muscles and a stiff back at the end of my walk through a crowd and would not have to endure anything like Christ would.
I am always grateful when I am reminded in small ways like this of the life of Jesus. It helps me to reflect on what He went through for us, to feel closer to Him, and to strive to be more like Him in life. This is one of many different ways that being a member of the Knights of Columbus has helped me draw closer to The Lord. If you are a Catholic man that observes Church teachings and wants to further their faith, I strongly suggest that you find your local Knights of Columbus Council and inquire about becoming a member.