Homily of the Day

The Ascension and St. Matthias

After the Ascension, there was a need to replace Judas Iscariot. Since the 12 apostles were chosen by Christ himself, now that he had ascended into heaven, how would they know whom he would choose?

In front of a congregation of about 120 believers, Peter, as head of the apostles, presents the situation and the qualifications of the replacement of Judas: he should be a disciple of Christ from the outset, that is from Christ’s baptism up to his ascension. The one to be chosen will serve as a witness to Christ’s resurrection. Barsabbas and Matthias were nominated. The congregation prayed for divine assistance since only the Lord knew what was in the heart of each member. They cast lots to know God’s will and the lot fell on Matthias. There were no solicitations or intrigues. No one presented himself as being qualified or worthy to fill in the vacancy since to do so would be a sign of self-conceit and pride. In order to assume this ministry, the candidate must first be called by God. It is not the fruit of worldly talents or human industry. The selection is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Eventually, the apostle Matthias preached on the coasts of the Caspian Sea (Georgia), Cappadocia and Jerusalem. One account says he was martyred in Colchis (Ethiopia), yet there is another account that he was stoned to death in Jerusalem. Like Matthias, let us be ardent workers of Christ, not seeking human glory or compensation. May our reward be the Lord himself who rewards us abundantly.