Homily for the Memorial of St. Boniface
I think many of us, looking at the state of affairs in our country and in many other places around the world, have seen, especially over the last several months, just how far removed we are from Christian values. All we have to do is look at the level of division present within many of our communities, how many people are buying into political and social beliefs that are so opposed to the teachings of the Church – not to mention, the lack of attendance at Mass, even before COVID. Secularism has totally taken reign in many areas of our world. And I think many of us are seeing all of this happen and wondering, “Well, okay, what can we do about it?” Our saint for today, St. Boniface, gives us a possible solution.
Boniface was an English Benedictine monk who really dedicated his life to the conversion of the Germanic peoples. During his first trip to what is today Germany, Boniface found that paganism had taken root within the hearts and minds of the people, even among the Christians. Unfortunately, it was members of the clergy that were mainly responsible for that, especially since they were uneducated, lax in their responsibilities, and questionably obedient to their bishops.
Boniface received an instruction from Pope Gregory II to reform the German Church. He sought to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome and to establish of many houses of prayer. Those two things should give us an idea of how we can fight against the things that we are facing in our world today. A return to fidelity to the teachings of the Church and to perseverance in prayer.
If we want to change the world, we have to be steadfast in our resolve to be faithful to Christian discipleship, which means following what the Church teaches and seek to instill those values in all that we do. The world needs us to be countercultural, to stand out in the midst of the noise and confusion that we are facing. But in order to persevere in that, we have to have a deeply personal relationship with the Lord. We can’t do it on our own, we have to rely on Him.
The Lord needs us to be like St. Boniface. He needs us to stand up for our faith and to be true Christian disciples. Will we have the courage to respond to that invitation? May we ask for that grace today.