St Matthias Feast Day
Even though we are into the last days of Eastertide we can freely include St Matthias in the season. This is because the condition put on the election of a new apostle to replace Judas was that the person, “Had to have been with us from the beginning and is a witness to the resurrection.”
Being a “witness to the resurrection” was the important factor. If they had seen some of the great miracles of Jesus, for example, the raising of Lazarus, they still would not have qualified. If they knew all his teaching and understood more than the others what Jesus was saying, then they still would not have qualified.
The condition for the new apostle was that he had to have been a witness to the resurrection. This condition was as true then as it is now. The real apostles of Jesus, the people we can’t argue with, are those people whom we can sense that they know the risen Lord; that they have witnessed the work of Jesus in their lives. They have that certain something about them that sets them apart.
We see this in Pope Francis, we saw it in the past in the lives of John Paul II and Mother Teresa. But they are not all popes and saints. We see them every day when we talk to people, people who have been through the mill and have come out the other end and still believe; these people have witnessed God in a way that makes them understand that he is alive and alive as a person, not some ideal or notion.
The wonderful thing about people of God is that they are fully alive. They do not run from the world nor are they afraid of the world. Something inside them assures them the world is alright and that Jesus is still in control of all.
They are witnesses to the resurrection.