Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle
Some things bear repeating. Take for example today’s Gospel (John 15:9-17) for the feast of St. Matthias. This is the third time in less than a week (last Thursday and Friday, this past Sunday, and now today) that the Church has presented these words of Our Lord for our contemplation and praise. “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. …Love one another as I love you.” (John 15:9;12) The love of the Father, the very inner life of God, is a great mystery. And we might have been able to excuse ourselves from comprehending such love, if Christ had not come into our world, into our lives and shown each of us the greatness of this love. Now that Jesus has treated us as His own beloved friends, we have a great responsibility: to love one another with the same love.
The good news is that this is possible because of the gift of God’s love. The Father’s love is not gift separate from the giver. The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. So, too, the Son wants to dwell in us, and so extend His love through us to others. This was the mission of St. Matthias whom we celebrate today. Unlike the other apostles who were appointed by Jesus as He walked this earth, this saint whose feast we celebrate so close to Pentecost, was chosen under the direction of the Holy Spirit. He was chosen to take “the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.” (Acts 1:25) By the Love of Christ, dwelling in our hearts, may we not ‘turn away to go to our own place’, but rather seek to serve the Lord in loving one another.