Homily 18 – Thursday, May 14, 2020 – St. Raphael reflection
Feast of St. Matthias
Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthias, the twelfth Apostle who was selected to replace Judas who betrayed Christ. Matthias is unique among the Apostles in that Jesus did not personally select him. In our reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter stood up in the midst of his brothers and he quoted the Book of Psalms – “May another take his office”. Matthias was selected after Christ ascended, but before the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost.
Jesus selected twelve Apostles to correspond with the twelve sons and twelve tribes of Israel – when Judas killed himself, the remaining eleven knew that they had to replace him.
Matthias accompanied the original twelve the whole time Jesus was with them, from the baptism of John until Christ ascended, so he was intimately familiar with all that Christ had said and all that he did. Matthias followed Jesus before the crowds knew him, he stayed with Christ when others were fleeing, and he believed Christ’s teachings even when Jesus spoke of dying on a cross and eating his body – teachings which others could not accept.
Other than this short reference in the Acts, Matthias is not mentioned in the Bible. He is little more than a footnote in the greatest story ever told.
Pope Benedict noted that the Catholic Church has members who are evil and treacherous, and it is up to the good and the holy to counterbalance this evil. Judas betrayed Christ and he did not repent for his sin and out of despair, he killed himself. Peter denied Christ three times, but unlike Judas, he did express remorse, was forgiven and went on to become the rock of the Catholic Church.
Are we comfortable being a quiet, anonymous follower of Christ, one whom Christ knows well and loves? Are we living a life of virtue to help offset others who may be living a life of evil? Do we quickly seek forgiveness when we fall and hurt Christ? If you answered yes to all three of these questions, congratulations, you are on the path of the saints.
May God Bless each of you.
– Deacon Dan