May 14 – Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle
Matthias (d. 80) was an Apostle. As he could bear witness to the Resurrection of Jesus, he was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. He preached the Gospel for more than 30 years in Judaea, Cappadocia, Egypt, and Ethopia. He is remembered for preaching the need for mortification of the flesh with regard to all its sensual and irregular desires. He was martyred in Colchis in AD 80 by stoning.
- Patron Saint Index
About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.
1 Peter 2:4-9
The Lord is the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house. As scripture says: See how I lay in Zion a precious cornerstone that I have chosen and the man who rests his trust on it will not be disappointed. That means that for you who are believers, it is precious; but for unbelievers, the stone rejected by the builders has proved to be the keystone, a stone to stumble over, a rock to bring men down. They stumble over it because they do not believe in the word; it was the fate in store for them.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’ ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?
‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me
will perform the same works as I do myself,
he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.’
“If you know me, you know my Father too.”
Even now when I am already in my fifties, I have been called ‘idealistic’. Over the course of my work life, I have changed jobs, even careers, when I found out that people did not ‘walk their talk’. Many a person has sat me down and told me to be pragmatic and that it is the way of the world. While I am obviously far from perfection, I refuse to compromise my belief that one’s life must reflect his values, or at least his journey towards his values.
Jesus alludes to this in today’s gospel. When asked by the apostle Philip to let them ‘see’ the Father, Jesus’ answer was that one sees the Father when one sees Jesus.
Let us reflect on this.
What applies to Jesus certainly must apply to us. When others see us, they MUST see God. As humans, many of us are accustomed to compartmentalising our lives. If we choose the “way of the world” when we are working, how are we then to reflect the true image of God. How do others actually see God working in us?
We see the application of this in the first reading of today. In seeking to delegate their work of distributing goods daily, the disciples did not set criteria to select men strong in the area of logistics. Instead, they sought “seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom”. Once in possession of these, it was easy to figure out the rest.
Let us be guided by Jesus and the early disciples, that who we are may always reflect the values of our Christian faith.
(Today’s Oxygen by Paul Wee)
Prayer – Father, we pray that You may always give us strength to be unafraid to be authentic; to show to the world our faith and belief.
Thanksgiving – Thank You, Father God, for always sending Your Spirit to show us the right thing to do. Thank You for never giving up on us, O God.