Faithful to an encounter with our brothers and sisters, and with Christ
Today, as we prepare ourselves to celebrate the great feast of Saint Joseph, on March 19, we acknowledge that we are invited to encounter our loving God.
Pope Francis always speaks in terms of our encounter with the other, with our brother or sister, with our neighbour, with those who love us and those who do not love us. Our encounter with the other is really an encounter with Christ. When we deliberately seek to encounter the other, we do so with Christ.
These nine days of prayer invite us to reflect on our own encounter with God; to examine our stance toward our brothers and sisters; and most of all, to open our arms ready to embrace them all with love as did Jesus.
This Novena provides us with the opportunity to approach our two patrons here on the top of Mount Royal, Saint Joseph and Saint Brother André. We are reminded that Joseph speaks not a word in the gospels, but acts to protect, to save and to nurture the child Jesus and his mother Mary. Joseph the just is the model of one who teaches and is a model of strength, of love and faithfulness. Joseph was strong in his faithfulness. He was faithful in his strength.
Saint Brother André, the disciple and best friend of Saint Joseph, reminds us of faithfulness to prayer and love. He reminds us that we must be in a relationship with Saint Joseph and most of all with our loving God. Yes God loves us immensely, but we must learn to appreciate that immense love, to allow ourselves to be loved by this God, and to love Him immensely as well.