Thursday, May 14, 2020

Feast of Saint Matthias, apostle

(Acts 1:15-17.20-26; John 15:9-17)

Of St. Matthias very little is known.  His name appears only in today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles.  Yet he represents a critical development in the story of salvation.

It was not by accident that Jesus chose twelve disciples to be his apostles.  From the beginning God the Father had given him the project of rebuilding the twelve tribes of Israel.  They were to constitute the leadership of a holy nation dedicated to bringing the world together in love.  When Judas Iscariot proved unworthy of the task, he needed replacement.  Acts indicates that the choice was not made arbitrarily.  The two candidates proposed for the position met definite criteria.  They were part of Jesus’ ministry from the beginning and also were witnesses to his resurrection.  The actual choice was left to the Holy Spirit.

We should note that the development of the Church -- and the world for that matter -- does not take place by chance.  It is not like evolution, as many scientists see it, following a purposeless course of random selection.  Rather, God is guiding it to an end of universal love d peace – His kingdom.  Amid trials like the Covid-19 pandemic, we are challenged to believe in such benign providence.  But this is the message that Jesus came to teach us.