Faithful to the One who calls us to the encounter … far beyond our borders

“You are a Jew. How is it that you ask me, a Samaritan, for something to drink?” (John 4:9) To reach out to the Samaritan woman, Jesus put himself into a situation in which he shared the same need with her. He also consented to be the one who was most disadvantaged, as he had no means to draw water from the well to quench his thirst. To encounter a woman, a Samaritan, in the scorching heat. . . beyond the prejudices that pitted Jews and Samaritans, men and women, against one another in those days. . . and to quench her thirst forever….

Likewise Joseph and Mary … Forced to take shelter in a stable, with no one to help them but simple folk, shepherds who brought them warmth and music, accompanied by their animals and the angels’ voices, and receiving in return God Himself in the form of a Child.

And Brother André … Frail in health, he reached out to the sick and the suffering, with the very compassion of God. A genuine encounter, beyond all boundaries, that called for no particular affiliation other than a deep trust in this quest for healing in order to continue serving.

Saint Joseph’s Oratory, where this year we are celebrating this Novena for the one hundredth time, is a shrine where we gather in prayer from different countries and cultures in the hope of encountering the One who can heal us, and heal our families, our countries and our planet. Year after year, the Congregation of Holy Cross, Brother André’s religious family, faithfully assumes this heritage of compassion so that bodies and hearts thirsty for healing may continue to be blessed and, in turn, become a blessing to our world.

Saint Joseph, you inspired Brother André to open his heart to all those in distress. Through your intercession, may God bless the Family of Holy Cross, the faithful heir of this same mission at the Oratory, and may people from all countries and origins who come here continue to find comfort for continuing their mission of compassion.
Make a Novena, from March 10 to March 18 2020.