YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER. FEAST OF ST. MATTHIAS THE APOSTLE
HOMILY THEME: CHOSEN BY GOD FOR A PURPOSE
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.” John 15:16-17.
Our election as Christians is not by our own making yet what we do after we have been called and chosen by God is our responsibility. Judas Iscariot did not make himself an Apostle. He did not call himself, he was chosen by Jesus not because of any special qualities he had but out of the sheer graciousness of God.
Judas, like the rest of us, was called for one purpose: “to bear fruit…that… should abide…by loving one another.” However, instead of bearing fruits, he stabbed a dear friend in the back out of his greed for money. Even when he realized his mistake, he couldn’t come back to ask God to beg for mercy like that tax collector Jesus spoke about who (without raising his eyes to heaven) said: “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” Judas made another mistake, he took his own life.
No wonder the saying goes, the God who made you without your permission will not save you without your cooperation. Having made his choice, Judas left a vacancy in the company of the twelve Apostles. It was absolutely necessary that he be replaced by someone else.
Dear friends, we did not create ourselves neither did we create our talents and special gifts. Everything we have, we were given but how we make use our gifts is fully our responsibility. If like Judas, we fail to bear fruits, if we use our calling simply to enrich ourselves worshipping money and fame, God will have no choice other than to replace us with someone else.
The election of Mathias teaches us that no matter how good we may assume we are, there would always be someone else who can take our place and do better that which we are doing now. We should, therefore, avoid pride and arrogance and avoid acting as though we are gods. There is no position you may be in life that will last forever. So, when climbing the ladder of success, remember those you meet along the way because you might need them when coming down.
Another lesson we learn from this election is that when we have a choice to make, it is always good for us to consult God in prayer. “And they prayed and said, ‘Lord who knows the hearts of all men, show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” Acts 1:24-25.
Are you trying to make a tough choice between two palatable options, why not bring the matter to God and pray as the Apostles did?
The third lesson we learn from the election of Mathias is the importance of friendship. Who are your friends? Who are those you associate with? Note that both Mathias and Joseph (surnamed Justus) were friends of the Apostles. They were among those working in the background with the Apostles. As Peter noted: “So one of the men who has accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us — one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” Acts 1:21-22.
Select your friends carefully, move with people you know are heading your direction in life; people who challenge you to be your best, people who increase your knowledge about God, people who have values; not people who bring you down or lead you to sin. Jesus even said it: “I call you friends for all that I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you.” John 15:15.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may St. Mathias intercede for me and may I use my gifts and opportunities in life according to your will and pleasure. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Feast of St. Mathias, the Apostle. Bible Study: Acts 1:15-26 and John 15:9-17).