The guests came from as far south as Texas, as far north as Saskatchewan, and many places in between. In spite of much extra work the novices commented that “it was all worth it.” When one after another the guests took the mic and spoke of how they experienced Christ during their visit, would never, ever forget their encounter, that God had a special presence in this house; a simple light came to mind.
Yes, to receive is to give. Since Christmas is about Christ, I think this was the best gift we could offer the Lord.
When Pope Francis speaks about creating alternative spaces for young people to encounter Christ, one cannot but help to think of the novitiate as one of those alternative spaces, especially for young men who are looking for something more in life. Like the early disciples, the “Where do you stay?” is still answered by Christ with: “Come and see.”