If you’ve ever experienced the power of a novena, you can truly understand these words of Jesus told by St. Matthew in today’s Gospel  .
Novenas are often discovered out of despair, when your own attempts for a solution have failed. You discover one that fits your situation and you start praying like mad, knowing there will be an answer. Deep inside we all have something called faith, that awakens when called upon.
At first it seems you are praying alone. Determined to find a happy ending to your story, you persist. Then God takes over and your days become filled with Him, into the night. You recognize this as grace because you’ve never been able to sustain such prayer on your own. That combination of desperation and a little faith begin working a small miracle in your soul.
When you call on your loving Father with all your heart, as the anguished Queen Esther does in today’s First Reading , the fire of the Holy Spirit speaks to you with His presence, saying, “You have found me because you looked for me in earnest. Now I will turn your mourning into gladness, your sorrow into wholeness” (Esther C:23-25).
Peace begins, as your novena transforms itself from a cry of distress into a remembrance of your first encounter with the divine.
Everyone is invited to knock, not just the inconsolable. But when the door opens and He calls you by name, you must enter. Then you will discover the enormous love of Jesus Christ . . .
“Lord, on the day I called for help, You answered me” (Psalm 138).