St. Matthias, Apostle, Friday, May 14
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26 / John 15:9-17
Jesus speaks about life; "Live in my love; keep my commandments. "
Three people were discussing some recent translations of the Bible.The first said, "I like the New American Version. It's clearer than the older versions, which makes it easier to read." The second said, "I like the Jerusalem Bible. It's not only clearer but also more poetic, which makes it easier to pray from."
The third said, "I like my mother's translation best of all. She translated the Bible into action, which makes it easier to apply to daily life." That's what Jesus is talking about in today's reading. He's asking us to translate the Bible into action.
How faithful are we in translating the Bible into action? Our greatest need is not to gain more knowledge, but to put into practice what we already know.
The feast of St. Matthias is placed in the period between the Ascension of the Lord and the feast of Pentecost. (In Some dioceses, the Ascension falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter).
The reason is that in the Acts of the Apostles, it was during this time that St. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. It was St. Peter who spelt out the requisite - it must be someone who had been with them from the time Jesus was going around with them till He ascended into heaven. But the most important criterion was that the candidate should also be a witness of the resurrection.
So, St. Matthias was not just someone who was with the apostles during all this while; he was also a witness to the resurrection. He was a witness to the love that God the Father had for Jesus in raising Him from the dead and glorifying Him in the Ascension.
And so, after prayer and the drawing of lots, St Matthias was chosen. But he was not chosen simply to replace Judas. St. Matthias was chosen to witness to the love that Jesus has for all of us. Eventually St. Matthias would also have to witness to that love by laying down his own life in martyrdom. In St. Matthias we can see that God will always call and choose persons to witness to His love for us.
Yet by virtue of our baptism we are also called and chosen. May we remain faithful to that call and pray that we also fulfil God's choice of us.
Matthias was elected by the apostles to replace Judas, the traitor, because he had been a disciple of Jesus from the very beginning, from the time when Jesus was baptized by John until the ascension. His qualification was, then, that he could witness to the risen Christ. And so should we.
Lord God, your apostle Matthias was a witness to the life and death of Jesus Christ and to his glorious resurrection. May also today your people bear witness to the life of your Son by living his life as best as they can, and radiating the joy of people who are rising with him to a new and deeper life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen