Thursday, June 5 ~ Seventh Week in the Season of Easter
Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Holy Gospel: John 17:20-26
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”
The unity of Jesus and his Father is a unity of love and obedience and a unity of personal relationship. Because Jesus loved us first and united us through the Sacrament of Baptism we are called to live in a unity of love. Through the Eucharist, we are united to Christ in the greatest gift to us – Christ’s Body and Blood. Through his teachings, we follow him wherever he leads us as his disciples. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we demonstrate our heartfelt desire to reunite ourselves with him, recognizing our sinfulness, our sorrow for having sinned, and our pledge not to sin again. Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his sacrifice shows the great love and trust he has in his beloved disciples. He knows they would abandon him in his hour of trial, yet he entrusted to them the great task of spreading his name throughout the world and to the end of the ages. The Lord entrust us with the same mission…to make him known and loved by all. Jesus died and rose again that all might be one as he and the Father are one.
May the Martyr Saint Boniface be our advocate, O Lord, that we may firmly hold the faith he taught with his lips and sealed in his blood and confidently profess it by our deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Look around at the people in the pews who are with you in Church. Look around at the people in your office, your school, your home, your neighborhood. The distinctive mark of Jesus’ disciples is their love for God and their desire to do his will, and their love for one another. Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper concludes with the prayer for all men and women who will come after him and follow him as his disciples. In a special way Jesus prays here for us that as members of his body we would be one as he and his Father – God the father – are one.