Gospel: Jn 15:9-17
JESUS said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
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Judas Iscariot did not remain in Jesus’ love. He went over to the devil. The choice of Matthias to replace Judas is made to fill in his office as member of the Twelve, the pillars of the “New Israel” which is composed of the believers in Jesus. The community is to continue its mission to witness to the love of Jesus that makes the believers his friends.
The choice of Matthias over the other candidate, Joseph Barsabbas, need not mean that he is more worthy. It is simply out of God graciousness, as in the case of the other apostles. St. Clement of Alexandria observes: “Not that they became apostles through being chosen for some distinguished peculiarity of nature, since also Judas was chosen along with them. But they were capable of becoming apostles on being chosen by Him who foresees even ultimate issues. Matthias, accordingly, who was not chosen along with them, on showing himself worthy of becoming an apostle, is substituted for Judas.”
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2017” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.