Day 1 of the Novena

Celebrating Newness

“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times… But I say to you…” (Matthew 5: 21-22) Jesus uplifts those who listen to him. He sets mutual responsibilities for us so that we may live in unity. Anger, insults, and contempt should no longer be found among us.

Jesus was bold in his audacity and originality. That kind of boldness emerges again among us with the saints. This is why they speak to us and impart their wisdom. Saint Joseph was bold in his daring to take to himself Mary, a virgin, who carried within her the New Child.

Brother André was bold in his innovation, by honoring Saint Joseph on the mountain, for mapping out a little path for prayer, and then, in all innocence, to dare to heal through faith and compassion. He had received, for our behalf, this faith which moves mountains.

When we climb this mountain in our day, are we ready to be renewed, turned upside down, unsettled, purified? Today, we begin the work of conversion.

Our concept of justice (which we have gotten quite used to before coming here) just won’t do anymore. Anger, insults, harsh judgment will have to be laid to rest. We now have to encounter each other unarmed. If I approach the altar where our prayers to God are piled high, conveyed by Saint Joseph, am I prepared to reconcile with my brother, my sister, my son, my daughter, my father, my mother… and with those whose names I do not even want to pronounce?

Saint Joseph, you had to face up to bewildering circumstances and to threatening conditions by making decisions from a place of peaceful openness; sustain us, make us open to the everyday challenge of human relations.

Make a Novena to Saint Joseph, from March 10 to 18, 2017.