The Gospel reading for the Feast of Saint Matthias is John 15:9-17.

Christ continues His Farewell Discourse (John 13:31-16:33) in Jerusalem during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. After instructing the Apostles with the powerful allegory of the Vine and Branches which reveals the necessity of remaining connected to Christ, He now now teaches that men can stay connected to Him through self-sacrificing love. 

To abide in Christ, men must imitate His example of keeping the commandments. Because of His perfect unity with the Father and Holy Spirit, Christ has divine joy; Christ promises that men who abide in Him by keeping His commandments will enjoy the fullness of His joy.  Those who abide in Christ, can aspire to become “friends” with Him and He insists that if men wish to be friends with Him, they must keep His commandments. Despite offering His friendship to the Apostles, He remains their King; He makes it clear that it is He who has chosen them, He appoints them to spread the Gospel (bear fruit), He commands them to love one another and He confirms that it through Him (His Name) the Father grants their prayer petitions.  

After the condemning sin of betraying Christ, Judas Iscariot committed suicide, spilling his guts across a field (Matt 27:1-10, Acts 1:18). When Peter called for a replacement for Judas, Matthias, a follower of Christ from the time of His baptism, was chosen by lots (Acts 1:21-26). Tradition holds that St. Matthias preached the Gospel to barbarians and cannibals in modern day Ethiopia, also evangelized in what is now modern day Georgia and  was martyred by stoning/beheading in Jerusalem. St. Matthias’ relics continue to be venerated in the Abbey Church of St. Matthias in Trier Germany. 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ does not make suggestions, He in His Glorious Power and Wisdom, commands men to love. Divine King, Christ provides the perfect model for men and challenges men to imitate Him; He deliberately chooses and calls specific men. Son of Man, Christ offers His friendship to those who keep His commandments. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) God is infinitely beyond man’s ability to comprehend. Marvel that God descends in the Incarnation to become the Son of Man and offers His friendship to the men He created.

2) To experience the fullness of joy, men must remain in Christ’s love and keep His New Commandment to love God and neighbor (John 13:34). During Easter, renew your commitment to Charity (CCC 1822-1829) and pray for Christ to help you to live a life of overflowing love. St. Matthias, pray for us! 

3) In busyness and distractions of the world, men forget about the powerful champions Christ has given men in the Saints. Renew your understanding of the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and pray for Christ to help you to be strengthened by your patron Saint(s) (CCC 2165, 2156) and those Saints who can help you prevail over your life challenges.