The Gospel Today
Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Julius de Gracia):
“Joyfully Remaining in the Lord”
We will remain joyfully in the Lord through our obedience and living out of his commandments. When Jesus said, “LOVE ONE ANOTHER as I HAVE LOVED YOU” we remain to this commandment never twisting it or watering down its meaning. For if we do this is the start of our fall. Our tendency is to water down this commandment and we say “LOVE ANOTHER ONE”. If you are a married, committed and consecrated person you do not do this for if you do, it’s the start of your misery. Anything that is opposed to the commandment of God is leading to doomed that we call “SIN”.
Sin is the main enemy and the door towards it is temptations. Temptation let us always remember is never a sin, for temptation can be a testing ground of our fidelity to God and his commandments. Once we “give in, we choose, we adhere” to sin then it’s a different story. Sin could be presenting itself in a different manner and name but let us remember it’s still the same sin. It could be hatred, envy, lust, revenge, fear and or sloth.
The important thing to remember is this, sin destroys or is the destroyer of our being joyfully remaining in the Lord, thus we become empty even in the midst of wealth, fame and power. Why? For our destiny is not for the created goods of this world, but rather we are created for God greater glory.
Let us take the concrete example of our saint this day – as we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle. He died a martyrs death. Why? Because he joyfully remained faithful and steadfast to the commandment of the Lord Jesus while he does his mission as an apostle. Maybe for the eyes of the world he died in a tragic manner, but truly HE DIED JOYFULLY FOR THE LORD and WITH the LORD.
How about us? Are we willing to remain joyfully with the Lord by dying to once selfishness and self-centeredness?