Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17, 20-26
Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
Let his encampment become desolate,
and may no one dwell in it.
May another take his office.
Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.
Normally the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven today, but most dioceses transfer the feast day to Sunday because it is an extremely important event in the history of the Church. So today, on May 14th, the Church honors the 13th Apostle, St. Matthias.
Who was presiding over this gathering of about 120 persons? It was Peter, upon whom Jesus had built His Church. Peter reminded those gathered that it has been prophesied in the Old Testament that someone would betray the Lord and his land would be “desolate”. So in order to maintain the perfect number of Twelve Apostles, each one representing the twelve tribes of Israel, they discerned who would replace Judas.
What were their criteria for Judas’ replacement?
- It had to be a man that was with them from John’s baptism until the Lord ascended into heaven.
- He had to be a witness of the resurrection.
- He had to be chosen by the Holy Spirit.
So they proposed two men who fit this description – Barsabbas and Matthias. They prayed that God would show them who should replace Judas and then they gave lots to the two men. Matthias was chosen and became one of the Twelve Apostles. Matthias then continued the mission given to the Twelve – to baptize all nations and to make disciples of all nations.
We too are called to be disciples and apostles. We may not be counted among the Twelve, but we are called to continue Christ’s mission. We may not have witnessed John’s baptism or heard Jesus’ teaching first-hand or seen His resurrection. However, we have read about these occurrences in Scripture and the Holy Spirit guides us from within our hearts. When the fire of Christ love burns in our hearts, we are sent forth to make disciples of all nations.
Are you a true disciple of Jesus, one who studies Jesus and follows Him closely?
Does your life witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Are you willing to go wherever the Lord sends you on mission?
Have a blessed day!