It is fitting to celebrate the feast of the Apostle Matthias in these last days of the Easter season. His vocation reminds us of the mission we share with the apostles. Jesus chose his disciples out of pure grace: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.” Our proper response to this precious gift is to “bear fruit”—fruit that “endures.” Elected to replace Judas in his vacated position among the Twelve apostles, Matthias experiences in his person the echo of the command of Jesus to remain in his love. This also holds true for all of us. This “remaining” is particularly realized in the disciples’ love for one another and when they keep his commandments.
Jesus has kept the Father’s commandments, and this has been his constant source of joy amidst trials. Jesus would like to share this joy with his disciples. The paradox of discipleship is experienced not in carefully protecting one’s life, but in the joy of giving up one’s life for one’s friend. Those who willingly do so find life again in eternity. In Jesus, we have a sure model of a selfless love that is worth imitating.
GOSPEL • John 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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