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FRIDAY BEFORE EPIPHANY JANUARY 6, 2023 OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF ST ANDRÉ BESSETTE





A reading of the holy Gospel according to M 1:7-11


REFLECTION

"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."


Are there times we feel overlooked, devalued, or unappreciated by family, friends, workers or boss? Do we ignore, slight or render insignificant a family member, friends, co worker or a homeless person? How easy to get the two scenarios confused in our mind and in our deeds. It all depends where we belong in the picture to have a different effect on how we view things.


St André Bessette was orphaned at the age of 12 and was a failure in many of his endeavors: shoemaker, baker, blacksmith. Because of his poor health, the Congregation of the Holy Cross did not allow him to enter the novitiate but instead gave him the lowly job of doorkeeper at the Notre Dame College of Montreal. He was looked down on, but, nonetheless he focused on serving God, and therefore in spite of what others thought of him or treated him, St André was more eager to receive the heavenly reward promised to all who work for the Lord than the praises of man.


He lived in a little room next to the door, spent many hours on his knees praying. He had a strong devotion to St Joseph.


He eventually became a sacristan, laundry worker and messenger and finally was admitted to the religious order. He had a happy disposition and had a fondness for the sick. He would rub their back with oil burnt from the candles of the chapel. Rumors of those oils being miraculous brought many people to see him with their infirmities. He attributed all cures to the miraculous intervention of St Joseph. In fact under his care no one died in an epidemic.


He placed medals of St Joseph on the top of Mount Royal in Montreal as the Congregation wanted to buy it. And the owners relented and sold the property to them. The magnificent Oratory on Mount Royal was built. Alongside was a little chapel where St André lived and in that chapel can still be seen the many crutches, canes and wheelchairs left behind after St André prayed over them.


He was canonized in 2010 and buried where he lived. At his canonization in October 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said that Saint André “lived the beatitude of the pure of heart.”


"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" are precious words that we so want to hear when we meet God, our Father, on our judgment day.


Shape up now while it is not too late--never think less of others, never think less of yourself. If all is given to God with full abandonment that it is all in His hands for our good, then we do whatever job we are asked to do. Smiling and happy that if it is God who wants you to do it, you will do it with fervor and gladness following Him where He wants you to go.




God Bless You



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