Join Members

Home of the Knights of Columbus Council 6020

Reflections on Christian Manhood

Prepared for Knights of Columbus Council 6020

By Deacon Joe Sullivan, Past Grand Knight Council 6020

June 2017


When God created us as men, he gave us size, strength and purpose. I believe God has given us three missions in life by making us men: protect and defend, provide and lead, and serve in sacrifice.


Our model in every aspect of true manhood is Jesus.


First, we are called to protect and defend women, children, those who are vulnerable including the unborn, and the poor and powerless. Protecting the lives and dignity of others is a key part of our very nature as Christian men. An example offered by Father Mike Schmidt of a man in the Bible not living up to this important role is Adam. When the serpent spoke to Eve, Adam was standing right there, but he let her be intimidated into choosing wrong – why? Father Mike said the word we translate as “serpent” here is only used one other place in the Bible, and there it is translated as “leviathan” (a sea monster) – this was something scary, not a little snake! So Eve was probably afraid, but Adam just looked the other way so she did what the serpent said she should do. Contrast this with Jesus, who protected the woman caught in adultery, defended the outcasts and cast out demons to free people from wickedness – he was always at war with the evils threatening vulnerable people, even though it could cost him his life. We have to train ourselves physically and mentally (and spiritually) to be ready to protect and defend, like our military, police and firefighters, or like Jesus who was strong in every respect.


Second, we are called to provide for our families and be leaders in our families, church, community and workplace. Our world and our loved ones need us to provide leadership in Christian discipleship, in forming ourselves morally, and doing the right thing even when that is hard. Not like Adam, who let Eve choose to do the wrong thing, and then he followed her into sin! Another example in the Bible of a man not living up to his role is David, who was otherwise a great king and favored by God. But at one point, he was not out leading his army into battle, which is what the king is supposed to do, but was instead lazing around his mansion when he spied Bathsheba and chose to commit adultery with her. Contrast this with Jesus who fed the hungry, healed the sick, and taught and led his disciples in spite of the danger to himself.


Finally, we are called in our strength and capabilities to serve our families and those in need. We must not take advantage of those who are weaker than us, and must avoid the temptations to the four main idols: wealth, pleasure, power and honor. Examples in the Bible of men not living up to this role include David, who used his position to intimidate Bathsheba into adultery and then used his power to have her loyal and honorable husband killed to cover his crime, and the religious leaders of Israel who took advantage of the law to enrich themselves at great cost to the poor people of the community. Jesus, on the other hand, made the ultimate sacrifice for others, giving his life to save us from sin and death. Our model in every aspect of true manhood is Jesus.


Thoughts on David from Bishop Barron in the Catholicism DVD series:


David is the paradigmatic king in the old testament. His kingship recalls that of Adam in the Garden of Eden, and yet it points toward the King par excellence, Jesus Christ. Adam was the first king and steward of the rightly ordered Garden of Eden. He was called to govern the garden according to God’s mind and purpose, but by allowing negative influences to wreak havoc on Eden, he did not fulfill his kingly responsibility. Long after Adam, David emerged as the definitive king who would restore order in the Garden and bring the world under the lordship of God. But like Adam, David fell, and his reign ushered in a succession of compromised kings and rejected prophets. 



A really appropriate poem/song for Catholic men


Rise up O men of God – have done with lesser things.

Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings!


Rise up O men of God – His kingdom tarries long.

Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong!


Rise up O men of God – the Church for you does wait.

Sent forth to serve the needs of men, in Christ our strength is great!


Lift high the cross of Christ! Tread where his feet have trod!

As brothers of the Son of Man, rise up, O men of God!