Tuesday, June 04, 2019
WEDNESDAY, 7TH Week of Easter
June 5, 2019 – WEDNESDAY, 7TH Week of Easter
St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Acts 20: 28 – 38 / Jn 17: 11b – 19
[Eid-al-Fitr, End of Ramadan]
St. Boniface (680 – 754), a Benedictine monk born in England, was consecrated the first Bishop of Germany.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Jn 17: 11b – 13
Jesus said, "Holy Father, keep them in your Name (that you have given me) so that they may be one, just as we are. When I was with them, I kept them safe in your Name, and not one was lost except the one who was already lost, and in this the Scripture was fulfilled. But now I am coming to you and I leave these my words in the world that my joy may be complete in them…
"I do not ask you to remove them from the world but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world; consecrate them in the truth – your word is truth."
The context of "Keep them in your Name" is crucial to understanding today's Gospel reading. Soon after this prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, Jesus is arrested and dies on the cross. Just as Jesus was hated, so will his followers be. Will his followers remain united? Or will they be dispersed? So Jesus prays for them, "Holy Father, keep them in your Name."
This prayer of Jesus sounds like the "Our Father": "hallowed be thy Name." God's "hallowing his own Name" finds its meaning from Ezekiel 36. The Israelites were dispersed into exile. But when they went into exile, instead of hallowing God's name, they profaned it.
God then declares that he himself will sanctify his great Name: "I will make known the holiness of my great Name, profaned among the nations because of you, and they will know that I am Yahweh when I show them my holiness among you. For I will gather you from all the nations and bring you to your own land. . . I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I shall remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. . . You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you shall be my people and I will be our God." (Ez 36: 23 – 28)
Here God hallows his Name by gathering his people from dispersion, by giving them a new heart and a new spirit so that they can live united following God's social order.
When Jesus prays to keep his disciples in his Father's Name, aware of the coming darkness and possible dispersion, he calls on God, as in Ezekiel's time, to gather the disciples together, to give them a new heart and a new spirit so that they may remain united. By their own efforts they will be lost.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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