Thứ Bảy, 13 tháng 5, 2017

MAY 14, 2017 : FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Fifth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 52

Reading 1ACTS 6:1-7
As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
"It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word."
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 PT 2:4-9
Beloved:
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For it says in Scripture:
Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone, chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.
Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone, and
A stone that will make people stumble,
and a rock that will make them fall.
They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

You are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises" of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

AlleluiaJN 14:6
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father, except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:1-12
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him,
"Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him,
"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father."


5th Sunday of Easter – Cycle A

Note: Where a Scripture text is underlined in the body of this discussion, it is recommended that the reader look up and read that passage.

1st Reading - Acts 6:1-7

A new section of the Acts of the Apostles begins with our reading for today. We are introduced to two groups in the early community, identified by their background prior to conversion – the Hellenists, and the Hebrews. From this chapter onward, Christians are referred to as “disciples”; this term is no longer applied only to the apostles and to those who were adherents to Jesus during His life on earth – all the baptized are now disciples. Jesus is the Lord of His Church and the Teacher of all: after His ascension into heaven He teaches, sanctifies and governs Christians through the ministry of the apostles initially, and after the apostles’ death, through the ministry of their successors, the Pope and the Bishops, who are aided by priests.

Hellenists were Jews who had been born and lived for a time outside Palestine. They spoke Greek and had synagogues of their own where the Greek translation of Scripture (the Septuagint) was used. The Hebrews were Jews born in Palestine; they spoke Aramaic and used the Hebrew Bible in their synagogues. This difference of backgrounds naturally carried over into the Christian community during its early years.

This chapter relates the establishment by the apostles of “the seven”: this is the second identifiable group of disciples entrusted with a ministry in the Church, the first being “the twelve”. It is clear that the seven have been given a public role in the community, a role which extends beyond distribution of relief; Philip and Stephen preach and baptize as well.

Saint Luke uses the term diakonia but he doesn’t call the seven “deacons” (diakonoi). Nor do later ancient writers imply that these seven were deacons in the sense of the word today, constituting with priests and bishops the hierarchy of the Church. It is possible that the ministry described in the Acts of the Apostles for these diakonia played a part in the instituting of the diaconate proper.

1:1 [A]s the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

This most likely refers to the day-to-day survival effort by the unworldly, enthusiastic Christian community rather than to any assistance program to the Jewish society at large. You can easily imagine why widowed immigrants faced special economic hardships and why they might be “overlooked” in a food distribution run by the native contingent.

2    So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.

Could possibly mean to keep accounts in the dole to the poor.

3    Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task,

This seems to conform to the Old Testament model (Deuteronomy 1:13; Exodus 18:21) where Moses chose helpers.

4    whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

In contrast to “serving at table”. Nevertheless, we later find both Stephen and Philip engaged in this “apostolic” activity of preaching and baptizing.

5    The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

The seven names are all Greek.

6    They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.

The Jewish ritual which expresses both transfer of function and bestowal of powers (see Numbers 27:18-23). This is also an ecclesiastical practice of Luke’s own time (1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6). This graphically expresses the subordination of this originally independent Hellenistic leadership to Jesus’ chosen apostles.

7    The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

This minor summary of Luke’s marks the further progress of the Word of God. Members of many Jewish priestly families were obedient to the faith. A difference is to be noted between the role of the converted priests in the Christian Church and the clearly defined roles of priests and Levites.

2nd Reading - 1 Peter 2:4-9

The newly baptized are like babies recently born to a new life of grace. Just as little children clamor for their food, Christians should long for the spiritual nourishment that lies in the Word of God and the sacraments. Baptism makes us members of the Church. Saint Peter uses the idea of constructing a building to explain that Christians together go to make up the one, true people of God.

4 Come to him,

Join fully in the community of the New Israel by joining yourself to Christ.

a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God,

The words of Psalm 118:22 (revised with inclusive language) are applied to the Risen Christ, who was rejected but whose precious quality in God’s sight is found in the new life He shares with those who come to Him.

5 and, like living stones,

In contrast to the inanimate blocks used in pagan temples those who are “alive in Christ” are living stones. By sharing the life of the Risen Lord, Christians become with Him a household formed by the Holy Spirit.

“This is how Peter describes the way in which those who have been accepted by God are integrated into the Church. It is by sharing a common origin, and by being in harmony with one another, by thinking and saying the same things, by having the same mind and the same thoughts, that we are built into one house for the Lord.” [Theodoret of Cyr (ca. A.D. 430), Catena]

let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Christians, viewed corporately as a body of priests, present their lives of faith and love as a sacrifice to God (see Romans 12:1; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 4:18).

“The temple which Christ built is the universal (catholic in Greek) Church, which He gathers into the one structure of His faith and love from all the believers throughout the world, as it were from living stones.” [Saint Bede the Venerable (ca. A.D. 416), Homilies on the Gospels, 2,24]

6    For it says in scripture: “Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.”

An adapted form of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament dating from 200 B.C.) Isaiah 28:16.

7    Therefore, its value

“Value” reflects “precious” in the previous verse.

is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”

Quotes Psalm 118:22

8    and “A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall.”

Quotes Isaiah 8:14

They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

The unbelievers are destined by God to “stumble”. In the context used here, these are the pagan persecutors.

9    But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises”

The first three titles (chosen race, royal priesthood, a holy nation) are titles promised to Israel prior to the sin of the golden calf (Exodus 19:6). The final title (a people of his own) is a combination of Isaiah 43:21 and Malachi 3:17. Christians have become God’s possession by the shedding of the precious blood of Christ.

“All who have been born again in Christ are made kings by the sign of the cross and consecrated priests by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.” [Pope Saint Leo (The Great) I (after A.D. 461), Sermons, 4]

of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

This most aptly applied to converts from paganism [see 1 Peter 1:18 (3rd Sunday of Easter, Cycle A)].

Gospel - John 14:1-12

Today’s reading takes place at the Last Supper – just after Judas has left and Jesus has told the remaining eleven that He must soon depart too. This reading has been called “Jesus is the way to the Father”. The reading opens and closes with the commands to believe in God and believe in Jesus. It makes the claim that, if one will not believe Jesus’ words, then his “works” should provide the grounds for knowing the Jesus and the Father are one.

Jesus said to his disciples: 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Jesus begins His teaching with reassurance in view of the fact that His preceding words about His departure had saddened the disciples.

You have faith in God; have faith also in me.

Jesus has never hesitated to put Himself on the same level with the Father in the common work of salvation, thus He and the Father are equally the object of faith. To be a Christian, you must have faith in God and faith in Christ, who is God.

2    In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.

This is usually interpreted (even in ancient times) to mean the heavenly kingdom to which Jesus is returning (although there are no grounds for understanding “many” to mean “many kinds” or “many degrees”). However, John probably means another sense as well: In one way, after all, Christ has never left heaven and consequently need not return. The Father’s house is where God is, and whoever is with God is in His house; one of Paul’s favorite metaphors for the Church is this “House of God”. In this sense, the “many” would refer to the many members of the Church on earth, where Christ will also be (this too is an ancient interpretation).

If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

Though He has told the disciples that He will join them only later, Jesus has just reassured them that there is ample room where He will be. Therefore, they need have no fear that they will not find a place for them in His company.

3    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

These words could refer to the parousia – the end of time – but could also refer to Christ’s invisible return through the Spirit.

4    Where (I) am going you know the way.”

The way here, is of Jesus Himself. The term “The Way” is also a designation of Christianity in Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22.

5    Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”

Although Jesus has repeatedly told the disciples that He is going to the Father, and in what way, through His sacrificial death, which the model that all must take if they would follow Him, Thomas reflects the ignorance of all the disciples. The disciples have shown themselves to be as obtuse as Jesus’ Jewish opponents – what saves them is their good will.

6    Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.

Truth in John is the divinely revealed reality of the Father manifested in the person and works of Jesus. The possession of truth confers knowledge and liberation from sin (John 8:32).

No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jesus is not just a guide to salvation, the map of the heavenly geography, He is the source of life and truth; the only way. “Unless you eat My Flesh and drink My Blood ...”

7    If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

With the glorification of Christ and the coming of the Spirit, their understanding will be made perfect; even though they don’t understand now.

8    Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

The incomprehension is such that Philip asks for some kind of extraordinary manifestation. He is asking for a theophany like Exodus 24:9-10; 33:18.

9    Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

Jesus repeats almost word-for-word what he has stated on other occasions (John 7:16; 8:28; 10:38).

The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these,

It follows from this that the Christian will also perform the works of God, even as Christ has done on the same principle. These words, as addressed to the first apostles, refer not only to the fact that the works of the Christian believer are performed within the supernatural order, but, first and foremost, to the Church as possessing and continuing Christ’s divine power for salvation. Performance of greater deeds doesn’t refer primarily to miracles, though these will continue, but to the far greater scope, geographically and numerically within which the Church will exercise its salvific power.

because I am going to the Father.

The condition of this activity is Christ’s glorification and the giving of the Holy Spirit.

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Picayune, MS http://www.scborromeo.org


Meditation: "Lord, show us the Father"
Do you allow any troubles to rob you of God's gift of peace? As much as we try to avoid it, we inevitably encounter challenges and trials that can shake our confidence and our trust in God. Jesus knew that his disciples would be put to the test when their Master was taken from them during his suffering and passion - his arrest, trial, and rejection by the leaders of his own people, and crucifixion by the Romans. Jesus encouraged his disciples to put their faith and hope in God the Father and also in himself.
When adversity or trouble comes your way, does it make you lose hope or give into fear and despair, or does it press you closer to the Lord Jesus and to the strength and help he offers you? When the people of Israel became discouraged and grew weary during their 40 years in the wilderness, the Lord assured them that he would personally bring them safely into the promised land.
"It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed" (Deuteronomy 31:8).
This land of promise was a sign that prefigured and pointed to the true heavenly homeland which God offers to all who accept his gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus, through his victory on the cross and his resurrection, has opened the way for each one of us to live in peace and friendship with our heavenly Father.
A place for you in my Father's house
During Jesus' last supper meal with his apostles, he spoke in plain words to them about his approaching departure. He tells them that he is returning to his Father to prepare a place for them in the Father's house. Jesus not only goes to secure for his disciples a place of refuge, peace, and security, he secures for them the best the Father has to offer - intimate communion, friendship, and joy with the Father at his table (Luke 12:37, Matthew 8:11) and place of rest and refreshment.
Jesus promised his disciples - and each one of us - that he would return again to personally bring us to the Father's house. Are you ready to follow the Lord Jesus wherever he wishes to lead you now and in the future? And do you trust him to bring you safely to your home with the Father in his kingdom? Paul the Apostle reminds us that nothing in this world can compare with the glory of feasting with the Father in his house. "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18). Is your hope securely placed in Jesus and his promise to raise you up in glory with him?
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life
The disciples were surprised that Jesus was going to his Father's house and would return to take them with him. And they were even more surprised when Jesus said he expected them to know the way to the Father's house. Jesus' answer to there question, "show us the way", was both a reminder that his disciples should trust their Master and Teacher to show them the way, and a challenge for them to recognize that Jesus had intimate knowledge of God and where God came from. Jesus made a statement that invoked the very name which God had revealed to Moses, "I am who I am" (Exodus 3:14), and he made three claims which only God could make. He stated unequivocally to his disciples: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6)
Jesus proclaims: I am the Way (John 14:6). He alone knows the way to the Father because he has been with the Father from the beginning - before time and creation ever existed. The Lord Jesus gives us more than a road map and guide book. He personally is the way to the Father's kingdom, and we cannot miss it if we follow him. He accompanies us on our daily journey and watches over us as the good shepherd who leads and sustains us each and every step of the way. Are you in step with the Lord and do you trust in his guiding hand for your life?
Jesus proclaims that he is the Truth (John 14:6). Many can say, "I have taught you the truth." Only Jesus can say, I am the Truth. He posseses in himself the fulness of truth. Jesus claims to be one with the Father and to speak the truth which proceeds from the Father. Jesus promised his disciples that if they continued in his word, they would learn the truth and the  truth would set them free" (John 8:31). The truth which Jesus proclaims has power to set us free from ignorance, deception, and sin. The words which Jesus speaks are true because there is no lie or falsehood in him. Moral truth requires more than mere words or ideas because the person who speaks them must be true - true in thought, speech, deed, example, and action. Jesus embodies the truth in his person.
Jesus proclaims that he is the Life (John 14:6). He not only shows us the path of life (Psalm 16:11); he gives the kind of life which only God can give - abundant life that lasts forever. Is there any trouble, fear, or distracton that keeps you from the perfect peace and joy of a life surrendered to Jesus Christ?
Knowing God personally
One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Father, is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God - a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the revelation of God - a God who loves us completely, unconditionally, and perfectly for our good. Jesus also promises that God the Father will hear our prayers when we pray in his name. That is why Jesus taught his followers to pray with confidence, Our Father who art in heaven... give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:9). Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for you?
Doing the works that Jesus did
Jesus told his disciples that they would do the same works which he had done - and even greater works! While Jesus was physically present to his disciples in Galilee and Jerusalem, he was subject to the physical limitations of time, space, and circumstances. Now as the Risen Savior who is glorified and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, the Lord Jesus makes his presence and power known to every place on earth through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit who lives and works through all the members of the body of Christ on earth.
Theresa of Avila (1515-1582) wrote:  “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Wherever we go the Lord Jesus wants us to bring the good news and blessings of his kingdom to as many people as we can. The Lord Jesus calls us the salt of the earth. He wants us to bring the flavor of his goodness and holiness into every area of society we are engaged in. Christ calls us the light of the world. He wants us to make him known and loved by helping people to see the radiance of his love and truth and the beauty of his kingdom. That is why Jesus continues to commission his followers throughout every age to “make disciples of all nations”(John 17:18, Matthew 28:19).
"Lord Jesus, you fill us with the joy of your saving presence and you give us the hope of everlasting life with the Father in Heaven. Show me the Father that I may know and glorify him more fully."
A Daily Quote for the early church fathersThe Father Works Together with the Son, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"The Father was not born of the Virgin, and yet this birth of the Son from the Virgin was the work of both Father and Son. The Father did not suffer on the cross, and yet the passion of the Son was the work of both Father and Son. The Father did not rise again from the dead, and yet the resurrection of the Son was the work of both Father and Son. You have the persons quite distinct, and their working inseparable. So let us never say that the Father worked anything without the Son, the Son anything without the Father. Or perhaps you are worried about the miracles Jesus did, in case perhaps he did some that the Father did not do? Then what about 'But the Father abiding in me does his works'?" (excerpt from Sermon 52,14)

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
SUNDAY, MAY 14, JOHN 14:1-12

(Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33; 1 Peter 2:4-9)

KEY VERSE: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (v.6).
TO KNOW: When Judas went off to betray Jesus, he left the light and went out into the night (Jn 13:30). Then Jesus spoke to his faithful disciples. As he prepared to depart from this world, he consoled his grieving disciples and strengthened their faith in him. Jesus insisted on the necessity of faith, telling them to "believe in God," and also "believe in me." He told them to have confidence in his promise that they would dwell eternally with him. Jesus was the pathway to God; he revealed the truth of God; and he gave them the abundant life of God. Jesus likened heaven to a huge mansion in which there were many rooms. He told them that he was going to prepare a place for them, and that he would return to take them with him, the promise of his future return as the Lord of the world (the parousia = coming). Jesus would continue to intercede on behalf of those who had faith in him. He would empower them to do even greater works in his name.
TO LOVE: How can I show others the way, truth and life of Jesus' words?
TO SERVE: Risen Lord, show me the way to the Father so that I may live eternally in his truth.​

MOTHER'S DAY

Mother's Day in the United States was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe as a day dedicated to peace, but Howe died without gaining formal recognition for her vision. In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, inspired by her own mother in caring for soldiers and their families during the Civil War, was successful in her campaign for a national day of recognition for all mothers to be celebrated on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May. Many countries celebrate Mother's Day at different times throughout the year.


Sunday 14 May 2017

5th Sunday of Easter. W. Week I Psalter.
Acts 6:1‑7. Psalms 32(33):1-2, 4-5, 18-19. 1 Peter 2:4-9. John 14:1-12.
Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you — Psalms 32(33):1-2, 4-5, 18-19.
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.’
It’s all very well for you to talk like that, Lord, but my heart is troubled. It is troubled about the state of war among nations, the enormous destruction that seems moments away from us. It is troubled by anxiety about my own family. It is troubled wondering about my future and where I am going. Lord, these are times when I need hope, when all seems to be so uncertain.
And yet these are times in which hope has its meaning. ‘Trust in God’, you say. I try, Lord. If only I could feel closer to you, it would be easier. I need your presence, calling me to be with you. I know that in dark times you too continued to hope, to trust in the Father’s love and will.
Lord, now is the age for hope: help me to bring the good news of the Father’s promise and abiding love into the darkness of despair.


ST. MATTHIAS, APOSTLE

Matthias, whose name means “gift of God”,  was the disciple chosen to replace Judas as one of the twelve Apostles. The Acts of the Apostles state that he was also one of the 72 disciples that the Lord Jesus sent out to preach the good news. Matthias was with the Lord since His Baptism, and was “a witness to Christ’s Resurrection,” according to St. Peter in Acts. He remained with Jesus until His Ascension.
According to various traditions, Matthias preached in Cappadocia, Jerusalem, the shores of the Caspian Sea (in modern day Georgia) and Ethiopia.  He is said to have met his death by crucifixion in Colchis or by stoning in Jerusalem.
There is evidence cited in some of the early Church fathers that there was a Gospel according to Matthias in circulation, but it has since been lost, and was declared apocryphal by Pope Gelasius.
He is invoked for assisstance against alcoholism, and for support by recovered alcoholics.

LECTIO DIVINA: 5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (A)
Lectio Divina: 
 Sunday, May 14, 2017

I am the way, the truth and the life
An answer to the constant questions of the human heart
John 14: 1-12
1. OPENING PRAYER
Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.
Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.
2. READING
a) A key to guide the reading:
As you read, try to listen as though you were present at the last meeting of Jesus with his disciples. Listen to his words as though they were addressed to you, today, at this moment.
b) A division of chapter 14 to help with the reading:
John 14: 1-4: Let nothing disturb you!
John 14: 5-7: Thomas’ question and Jesus’ reply
John 14: 8-21: Philip’s question and Jesus’ reply
John 14: 22-31: Judas Thaddaeus’ question and Jesus’ reply.
c) The text:
1-4: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
5-7: Thomas said, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him.
8-12: Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and then we shall be satisfied.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? 'Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father, so how can you say, "Show us the Father"? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works. You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe it on the evidence of these works. In all truth I tell you, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.
3. A MOMENT OF PRAYERFUL SILENCE
so that the Word of God may enter into us and enlighten our life.
4. SOME QUESTIONS
to help us in our personal reflection.
a) Which word of Jesus most touched my heart? Why?
b) What traces of the face of God the Father, revealed by Jesus, appear in these twelve verses?
c) What do these verses reveal about the relationship of Jesus with the Father?
d) What do these verses tell us about our relationship with the Father?
e) What are the "greater works", which, according to Jesus, we shall be able to accomplish?
f) Jesus said, "In my Father’s house there are many places to live in". What do these words mean for us today?
g) Which problems and desires are implied in the questions of Thomas and Philip?
5. A KEY TO THE READING
for those who wish to go deeper into the text.
a) John’s Gospel: a cloth woven from three threads:
* The word text means cloth. Hence, John’s Gospel is like a beautiful cloth woven from three very different and yet very similar threads. These three threads harmonise so well that we sometimes get confused and are not aware that we are passing from one thread to another.
a) The first thread: is the facts of Jesus’ life that happened in the year 30 as remembered by eyewitnesses, those who lived with Jesus and saw the things he did and heard the words he taught. This is the historical Jesus, preserved in the witness of the Beloved Disciple (1 Jn 1:1).
b) The second thread: is the facts and problems of the life of the community in the second half of the first century. Beginning with faith in Jesus and convinced of the presence of the Risen One among them, the communities enlightened these facts and problems by means of the words and signs of Jesus. Thus, for instance, the conflicts they had with the Pharisees, greatly influenced the story and the reporting of the discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees.
c) The third thread: is the Evangelist’s comments. In some passages, it is difficult for us to discern when Jesus stops talking and when the Evangelist begins his comments (Jn 2:22; 3:16-21; 7:39; 12:37-43; 20:30-31).
* In the five chapters, which describe Jesus’ farewell (Jn 13 to 17), we can see these three threads: Jesus speaking, the communities speaking and the Evangelist speaking. In these chapters the three threads are interwoven in such a way that they present a whole of great beauty and inspiration, where it is difficult to distinguish which is which.
b) Chapters 13 to 17 of John’s Gospel:
* The long conversation (Jn 13:1 to 17:26) between Jesus and his disciples at the last supper, on the eve of his apprehension and death, is the Testament he left us. In it Jesus expresses his last desire concerning life in community for his disciples. It was a friendly conversation, which the Disciple remembered well. The Evangelist wishes to convey that Jesus desired to prolong to the utmost that final meeting of friends, a moment of great intimacy. The same happens today. There are various kinds of conversations. There is the superficial conversation that leaves everything up in the air and reveals emptiness in the persons involved. Then there is the deep conversation that touches the heart. All of us, at some time, experience these moments of friendly sharing which expand our hearts and strengthen us in times of difficulty. This kind of conversation helps us to grow in trust and to overcome fear.
* These five chapters (Jn 13 to 17) are also an example of the way the communities of the Beloved Disciple catechised. The questions of the three disciples, Thomas (Jn 14:5), Philip (Jn 14:8) and Judas Thaddaeus (Jn 14:22), were also the questions of the communities of the late first century. Jesus’ replies to the three were like a mirror where the communities found an answer to their doubts and difficulties. Thus, chapter 14 was (and still is) a catechesis that teaches the communities how to live without the physical presence of Jesus.
c) Chapter 14: 1-12: An answer to the constant questions of the human heart:
John 14:1-4The communities asked: "How can we live in community with so many different opinions?" Jesus replies with an exhortation, "Do not let your hearts be troubled! There are many rooms in my Father’s house!" The insistence on encouraging words that would help to overcome the troubles and divergences, means that there must have been different tendencies among the communities, each claiming to be truer than the other. Jesus says, "There are many rooms in my Father’s house!" It is not necessary for all to think alike. What matters is that all accept Jesus as the revelation of the Father and that, for love of him, all take on an attitude of service and love. Love and service are the concrete, which binds together the many bricks of the wall and makes the diverse communities into one Church of brothers and sisters.
John 14:5-7Thomas asks, "Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus replies, "I am the way, the life and the truth!" Three important words. Without the way we cannot walk. Without the truth we cannot be certain. Without life, there is only death! Jesus explains that he is the way because "No one can come to the Father except through me!" He is the door through which the sheep enter and leave (Jn 10:9). Jesus is the truth because seeing him we see the image of the Father. "If you know me, you know my Father too!" Jesus is the life because if we walk in his footsteps we shall be united to the Father and shall have life in us.
John 14:8-11Philip asks, "Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’" Philip expressed the desire of many in John’s communities and continues to be the desire of all of us: what must I do to see the Father of whom Jesus speaks so much? Jesus’ answer is very beautiful, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." We must not think that God is far away, distant and unknown. Anyone who desires to know how and who God the Father is, has only to look at Jesus. He has revealed the Father in the words and signs of his life! "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." Through his manner of being, Jesus revealed a new face of God that drew people to him. Through his obedience, he was completely identified with the Father. At all times he did that which the Father told him to do (Jn 5:30; 8:28-29.38). That is why everything in Jesus is the revelation of the Father! The signs and works he did are the work of the Father! In the same way, we, by our manner of living and living together, must be a revelation of Jesus. To have seen us should be to have seen and recognised in us a part of Jesus.
What we need to meditate here is "How do I reflect Jesus?" Am I like Peter who would not accept a servant and suffering Jesus and wanted a Jesus according to his wishes? (Mk 8:32-33). Am I like those who can only say "Lord! Lord!" (Mt 7:21). Am I like those who only wish for a celestial and glorious Christ and forget that Jesus of Nazareth walked with the poor, welcomed the marginalized, healed the sick, reinstated those excluded and who, because of his commitment to the people and the Father, was persecuted and crucified.
John 14: 12Jesus’ promise. Jesus says that an intimate relationship with the Father is not his privilege alone, but is possible for all of us who believe in him. Through him, we can do the same things he did for the people of his time. He will intercede for us. Whatsoever we ask of him, he will ask of the Father and will obtain for us, provided it is in order to serve (Jn 14:13)
6. PSALM 43 (42)

"Your light and your truth will guide me on my way"
As a hart longs for flowing streams,
so longs my soul for thee, O God.(Picture)
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and behold the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while men say to me continually, "Where is your God?"
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help
and my God.
My soul is cast down within me,
therefore I remember thee from the land of Jordan
and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the thunder of thy cataracts;
all thy waves and thy billows have gone over me.
By day the LORD commands his steadfast love;
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
"Why hast thou forgotten me?
Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
As with a deadly wound in my body,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
"Where is your God?"
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
Vindicate me, O God,
and defend my cause against an ungodly people;
from deceitful and unjust men deliver me!
For thou art the God in whom I take refuge;
why hast thou cast me off?
Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Oh send out thy light and thy truth;
let them lead me,
let them bring me to thy holy hill and to thy dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise thee with the lyre, O God, my God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.
7. FINAL PRAYER
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practise the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.