It is no coincidence that Brother André was canonized on October 17, 2010, the world day for the fight against poverty. His whole life was dedicated to alleviating the suffering of others, to give them hope and to tell them that they are loved by God.
Advent 2022, a beautiful opportunity to feel and live, at the very heart of the turbulence of our time, the attention and the particular solicitude of God for each one, for humanity as a whole and for all creation.
To feel and live this exceptional experience of the attention of God for whom we count beyond our own understanding, I invite us to refer to the adventure of Zacchaeus in Luke 19, 1-10
The family is a reality, a natural institution that is found in all cultures, even if family life is lived differently in different places and times.
It is undeniable that our family life marks us deeply. There was a time when grandparents, parents, children and here and there an aunt or uncle lived in the same house every day. Nowadays, this intergenerational dimension is less present. But the family network still has a certain influence.
This year, Lent begins on March 2nd with Ash Wednesday. A period of forty days is proposed to us to live a spiritual journey that will lead us to the great feast of the Resurrection, that of Easter. We begin this period with an invitation to be converted and to believe in the Good News of the Gospel.
“Saint Brother André, we celebrate your presence among us.” This first sentence of the prayer that is offered “to obtain a special favor” through the intercession of Saint Brother André will resonate in a very special way during the month of August which is dedicated to him. More than an occasion to mark the birthday of the founder of the Oratory, born Alfred Bessette on August 9, 1845, this annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the Friend, the Brother, the Saint who accompanies us today.
With the Risen Jesus-Christ, hope is reborn when we accept that he walks with us, on the road of life. This is what we learn from the experience of the two disciples of Emmaus (Gospel according to Luke, chapter 24, verses 13 to 35).
The encounter of the Risen Christ with the two disciples, pilgrims of Emmaus, is “a therapy of Hope,” Pope Francis said during the General Audience on May 24, 2017.
How many times I went with my dad to P. A. Gouin, Pascal, Handy Andy, Léopold Duplessis or Canadian Tire to pick up a tool, some paint, a car part or all sorts of materials to repair, renovate or build something!
His workbench was just as carefully organized as the shelves at the hardware store: the nails and screws were categorized by their size and type. Everything was neatly ordered, and finding things was a snap.
It was on May 13 1917, while they were tending a flock of sheep and goats, that three children aged ten, nine, and seven, saw a lady above an oak tree. The lady, they said, was clothed in light brighter than the sun, yet whose rays did not dazzle, but were rather soothing to the eyes and imparted a sort of serenity. It was difficult to describe because they had never experienced anything like it before. These three little sheepherders were named Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.
Joseph understands the importance of work. As the carpenter in Nazareth, his job was his pride and his identity. He understood what it meant to work with dignity and to ensure the life and peace of his family.
We contemplate the Cross, symbol of suffering for human beings, symbol of our suffering. Depending on the person, suffering might mean long illness, adversity, failure, violence, grief… Right now, for all of us it means: COVID-19 pandemic. But the cross of Christ is special. It is for each and every one absolutely unique. Victory of love, it is our only Hope. Today, we celebrate neither suffering, nor death. Today, we celebrate the immense love that Christ and God have for all women and men without exception.