Homily (Reflection) for the Feast of Saint Matthias, Ap. (14th May, 2016) on the Gospel and the Feast
(Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter)

Acts 1:15-17.20-26;
Ps 112:1-8. (R. cf. v. 8);
Jn 15:9-17.

Saint Matthias was chosen by the believers to replace Judas Iscariot following Judas' betrayal of Jesus and his subsequent suicide, cf. Matt 27:3-5; Acts 1:15-26. This selection was made after Christ’s ascension into heaven but before the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. He died c. 80 AD.[1][2]

Topic: They have a common door.

The gospel we read on Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter, 28th April 2016 (Jn 15:9-11) and that of Friday of the same week, 29th April 2016 (Jn 15:12-17) together form today’s gospel. And for easier access to our reflections on them, these are their links: http://www.thepulpitonline.com/2016/04/abiding-in-christs-love-thursday-of.html and http://www.thepulpitonline.com/2016/04/christs-commandments-memorial-of-saint.html respectively.

In today’s gospel, Jesus requests us to remain in His love likened to His Father’s love for Him. Just like the water from the sanctuary brings total transformation and restoration to wherever it flows, Christ’s love brings fullness of joy to all who receive it, cf. Ezek 47:8, 12. However, Christ’s love has a condition attached to it. Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” He went further and said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Jesus did not simply ask us to love each other but He gave us a standard, His love for us. As a result one might ask, ‘How does Christ love us?’ Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans reads, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.... God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6,8).

For anyone to remain in Christ’s love, he/she must allow Christ’s love to flow. That is, the person must love Him back through loving others just as He loved us, cf. Matt 25:40, 45. And we have seen that His love for us was shown when we were still sinners. Our love for Christ (others) and Christ’s love for us share the same door. Hence, shutting the door of love against anybody means shutting oneself out of Christ’s love. And just as Saint Matthias was chosen to witness to the resurrection of Christ, we all are chosen to witness to Christ’s love by loving others as Christ loved us.

Bible Reading: Ezek 47:1-12; Rom 5:1-11.

Thought for today: You must love all to be loved by Christ.

Let us pray: Lord, help us love our brothers and sisters as you loved us – Amen.

Saint Matthias – Pray for us.

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