Saturday, 14 May 2016 : Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we commemorate together the feast of one of the Twelve Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, namely St. Matthias, who was not counted among the original Twelve Apostles. However, after the betrayal of Judas, who not only betrayed the Lord Jesus to the Pharisees and the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver, but also took his own life in guilt and regret, the Twelve Apostles became incomplete.

And as prophesied in the Scriptures, this had been foretold in the ages past, that someone else more worthy would take up the place vacated by the unworthy betrayer. And that worthy disciple is St. Matthias, who had followed Jesus as the other Eleven Apostles had, and therefore were admitted into their number. The Apostles were the chief and principal disciples of our Lord, through whom the Church were built upon.

And they have been sent by the Lord with the mission, to evangelise the Gospel to the people in the pagan nations who still have yet to hear the Good News of God, and to bring the light of Christ to all of them. And they passed on this mission to the other disciples, who helped them and helped in establishing the Church of God in many places, saving many souls in the process.

It was told that St. Matthias went to many places to preach the Gospel and gained many people for the Lord. Many were baptised and received the Lord as their Master and Saviour. His hard work and efforts contributed to the thriving communities of Christians in several places, including places as far as Ethiopia and Georgia, and helped to establish future works of evangelisation.

It was told that he was martyred in Judea and Jerusalem, where the Jewish authorities had been oppressive against the early Christians. Or another tell mentioned that he met his death in the faraway Ethiopia where he went to evangelise. In the end, he fulfilled the duty and the charge given to him as the Apostle of Jesus Christ, gaining the eternal glory promised to him by our Lord Himself.

St. Matthias was not originally counted among the Twelve Apostles, and yet, because Judas Iscariot was unworthy, he was cast out from their number and damned to perdition, while St. Matthias took the place of glory reserved to the faithful servants of our Lord, and he proved it through his faith and his many works in fulfilling the call of the Lord.

All these are lessons for us, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we all have to always work hard and seek to be righteous in all of our actions. It does not mean that we as Christians are guaranteed salvation, as even though Judas Iscariot was chosen among the members of the Twelve, but he betrayed the Lord and failed to do what he was supposed to do, and as a result what he got was instead eternal damnation.

And it is also a reminder for us that God calls us and He wants to make us worthy. He has chosen us all from among the world, and He has shown us His truth by revealing Himself to us through our priests and bishops, who themselves received the same truth from the Apostles, and who therefore received it from the Lord Jesus Himself. We are part of this great mission to save all mankind, and we too have an important role to play in this.

Shall we all also continue the works of the Apostles in delivering the light of Christ into the world? All of us Christians have to really be Christ-like in our words, deeds and actions, that is by loving one another, showing mercy and compassion, and caring for all those who are unloved. We should heed the examples of Christ and practice these in our own lives.

If others see and witness all the things which we have done, surely they will also follow in our footsteps. Who will believe us and follow us if we ourselves did not do what the Lord had asked us to do? We have to lead by example as the Apostles themselves had once done, as St. Matthias showed us through his hard work, labour, hardships and the tribulations he faced.

May God help us on our path, and may He give us courage to walk in the footsteps of His Apostles and saints, that as St. Matthias had done before us, we too may be important tools and instruments of God’s love and mercy in this world. God bless us all. Amen.

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