Whenever Jesus lifts his eyes to heaven to address his Father, we are allowed a glimpse into the deep desires of his Heart, burning and motivated by love alone, love for the Father and love for us. Jesus’ desire is for the oneness that love alone makes possible and makes real. He prays that we may be one in love just as he is one with the Father in love.

Why does he desire this? Because he wants us to “share his joy completely”, and it is this true, profound oneness based on mutual love that brings us the fullness of joy.

The “world” often distracts us from this profound wisdom and calling by convincing us that other things will make us happy – power, prestige, prosperity, popularity, and pleasure (what I call the “5 P’s”) pull on all our minds and hearts, but ultimately leave us empty. When we embrace our baptismal grace and anointing into Jesus’ life and his mission as priest, prophet, and king, we enter into the path of true life, which always fills us with peace and joy. Jesus is praying for this out loud for the apostles, so they can glimpse the relationship he has with the Father and begin to understand that they are called to enter into this same communion and this same mission. “Just as the Father sent me, so I send you” (Jn 20:21).

There is another glimpse into the realities we face each day: Jesus specifically asks the Father to “keep them from the Evil One.” The Enemy of our souls is always at work to distract and detract with the clever lie and confusion, and keep us reaching in the wrong direction for all we need, just as he did with Adam and Eve. They gave into the lie, letting their trust in God’s love for them shrivel up, and grasping for something that was not theirs to have. They believed the lie that this would make them happy. But the result of giving into this lie was a human catastrophe that reaches through every life all the way to the end of time!

Jesus, who IS Truth, came to fix this catastrophe, and he asks the Father to consecrate his followers in the truth. We are called to embrace the fullness of Truth so that we can receive the fullness of joy. But clinging to the hard Truth in the face of the Lie can be a difficult thing. Admittedly, it is not always clear or easy to our fallen natures, and will always meet with opposition from the world, our own weakness, and the many distractions from the Enemy. So let us ask for the grace to remain steadfast and adhere to ultimate Truth in all things, so that we will be blessed with the joy and peace for which we are created. 

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Saint Boniface

Saint Boniface was an English Benedictine monk who made it his life’s mission to convert the Germanic tribes to Christianity. He found it was no easy task and ended up giving his life for the cause. Boniface was martyred on June 5, 754.