Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle, May 14
May Each of Us Respond with a Selfless Love to Our Lord’s Call to Discipleship, So That the Kingdom of God May Truly Be Built Up on This Side of the Eternal – One Soul at a Time.
“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”
Today is the Feastday of Saint Matthias, the Apostle who was chosen to replace Judas, the one who had betrayed our Lord and ended his own life by committing suicide. We just read in the Acts of the Apostles that Peter proposed that the person who is to be chosen should be someone who, as Peter says, “accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John…”
They wanted someone to join their ranks, so that the complement of Apostles would once again be twelve, someone who had known and followed Jesus, someone who had listened to all that He had taught, someone who would be strong in his faith and a true believer. And, as Scripture tells us, “they prayed” and “the lot fell upon Matthias.”
Unfortunately, Matthias is not mentioned by name anywhere else in the New Testament. And all further information concerning the life and death of Matthias is vague and conflicting. According to one historical account, he first preached the Gospel in Cappadocia, Judea, then in Ethiopia; and it was in Colchis that he was crucified and buried.
Still another tradition maintains that Matthias was stoned to death in Jerusalem by the Jews who rejected Christianity. It is said that Saint Helena brought the relics of Saint Matthias to Rome more than two centuries later.
In spite of the inconsistencies regarding any historical data upon the later life and death of Saint Matthias, what is important is that he fulfilled what our Lord spoke of in our Gospel for today when Jesus said, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…”
And it is this statement upon which we should meditate today – our own calling to discipleship. No matter what our state in life may be, whether one may be layman or cleric, bricklayer or doctor, housewife or a stay-at-home dad – whether we realize it or not, if we accept our state in life with an open heart, we are fulfilling what our Lord is asking of us.
It is through what we do, as long as we keep Christ first and foremost at the very center of our daily lives, that we are helping to build up the Kingdom of God here on Earth!
It is by the very virtue of our Baptism, as the late Pope St. John Paul II stated in his apostolic exhortation in December 1988, titled “Christifideles Laici (Christ’s Faithful People)”, that we participate in the threefold mission of Christ as “Priest, Prophet and King.” And our late Holy Father goes on to say, “Not only has our head been anointed, but we, His body, have also been anointed…therefore anointing comes to all Christians.”
And it is through this anointing of our Baptism wherein we are called to become Christ-like to all those we meet in our daily lives – first and foremost in our families, in school for those of us who are students, and also in our workplaces or when we are on vacation or even shopping. Christ calls each of us to become the extension of Himself in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves in life.
Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” And is this not the life that Matthias and the other Apostles lived, so as to bring about an increase of faith in all those they encountered?
Being Christian today – in a world which no longer recognizes sin, in a world which is consumed with secular pleasures – is NOT easy! For those who are called to ministry, be it clerical or lay, it is particularly normal to feel a certain apprehension, a certain nervousness that one might not be able to accomplish all that our Lord would be asking.
Yet, it is not in our success or lack of success in ministry that our Lord judges us; it is in our sincere efforts to fulfill all that our Lord invites us to become which pleases Him. For we, as His disciples, must first place our trust in the guidance given to us by His Spirit, and then trust that God’s will shall be accomplished in His way and in His time.
And we must also be aware that there are crosses oftentimes associated with discipleship. Our Lord did forewarn His disciples and us that we would face difficulties in spite of our best efforts, and that some would even be persecuted for our Christian beliefs.
Regarding His Apostles and all those who would follow His teachings, our Lord once prayed to His Father, words which we find in the Gospel of John, “They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world…I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.”
In fulfilling our lives as a faithful Christian people, our Lord breathes upon each of us His Holy Spirit, so that you and I may be strengthened to fulfill our calling to discipleship, our becoming faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ in our daily lives.
Our Most Loving Father NEEDS us to stand strong in a world which so greatly offends His Love and needs to hear His message!
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
As I had mentioned in a previous meditation, our Lord is telling both you and me that, by living His Commandments and placing Him and His Word first in our lives, we will experience true joy – for joy is the byproduct of a life lived in works of love for God and our neighbor, and a life filled with selfless generosity towards others.
The lasting joy which each of us, both you and I, ultimately seeks is the eternal joy, the eternal happiness with the God who loves each of us so intimately and so profoundly.
“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…”
May each of us respond with a selfless love to our Lord’s call to discipleship, no matter what form of cross we may be called to bear, as He asks each of us to become His representatives in our world today –
– so that the Kingdom of God may truly be built up on this side of the eternal – one heart, one mind, one soul at a time. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (John 15:16)
- “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14)
- “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)
- “Father…they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world…I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” (John 17:16, 20)
- “Every one who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
- “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12a)
- “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? …So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14, 17)
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
- “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
- “This I command you: love one another.” (John 15:17)
Prayer for the Day
“Lord Jesus, our Glorious Savior,
we humbly give to You our lives;
do with us as Your Divine Providence wills,
for Your greater honor and glory.
“Make our lives useful to Your service.
The only ambition we have is to humbly
and honestly fulfill Your Divine will.
We want to lift up Your Holy Name, Lord Jesus, not ours.
“We desire to make known the power of Your Spirit,
the Holy Spirit of Divine Love and Truth.
We want You to claim us for Yourself,
and use us according to Your Divine purpose.
“And no matter the task
which You assign to us in life,
we will be contented and full of joy,
to fulfill our purpose as disciples of Your Spirit.
“Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit live in us always,
guiding us to live a virtuous life,
always pleasing to You and helpful to our neighbor,
as we help to build up the Body of Christ here on Earth.
“Fill our lives with meaning and our hearts with hope.Anonymous
And when our time here is completed,
bless us with eternal life in Your Heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus, we humbly pray this with faith in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”