Saturday Feast of St Matthias, Apostle.
Acts 1:15-17; 20-26. After Peter explains what is needed in an apostle, Matthias is selected to fill the place vacated by Judas.
Jn 15:9-17. Among Jesus’ farewell instructions during the Last Supper, his central commandment to “Love as I have loved you.”
The qualifications of an Apostle as explained by Peter, head of the original apostolic group, are important to remember. For him it was essential for a member of the apostolic circle to have been with the Christian movement “from the beginning” and to have been “a witness to all Jesus said and did.” Matthias meets both criteria and could bear personal witness to the life and mind of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Apostles were witnesses to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. They spoke of him and lived lives that reflected his outlook. This same witness is expected of each of us, who have received the Holy Spirit and His Gifts. May our words and actions be such that they proclaim our belief in the Resurrected Lord. May those among whom we live and work see and hear the Risen Christ in our daily witness, today and always.
First Reading: Acts 1:15-17; 20-26
In those days Peter stood up among the believers(together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus – for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry. For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and ‘Let another take his position of overseer.’
So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us – one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
Gospel: John 15:9-17
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.