Memorial of Saint Boniface, bishop and martyr
(Acts 22:30.23:6-11; John 17:20-26)
St. Boniface, the patron of Germany, was martyred while at work as a missionary. Born in late seventh century England, Boniface was commissioned by the pope to convert pagan tribes. Doing so, he endeavored to realize the vision that Jesus proclaims in today’s gospel.
Jesus is praying for unity. The words he uses – “’so that they may all be one’” – are often quoted in ecumenical circles. But Jesus has more in mind than the unification of disparate Christian communities. He wants to draw all people– believers and non-believers alike – into communion. In the end he is praying for the reconciliation of the whole world!
As always, we need to adopt Jesus’ position as our own. We not only pray but also endeavor to bring the world together in peace. Simple efforts are needed: conversing with people of different backgrounds, greeting friends of different religions on their holy days, and taking interest in the traditions of different nations.