Reading 1 (ACTS 1:15-17, 20-26)

Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

Let his encampment become desolate,
and may no one dwell in it.

May another take his office.

Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8)

R.(8) The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R. Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R. Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R. Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
To seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (SEE JOHN 15:16)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 15:9-17)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

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.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Apostle Saint Matthias. The First Reading narrates his election into the College of Apostles, that the 12 Apostles may serve as the new 12 Tribes of the new Israel. This means that they serve as the foundation of the Church established by Christ through their preaching and witness. The Chief Apostle Peter proclaims that any unfaithful officer should be replaced by another, such as the case of Judas Iscariot who killed himself after betraying Christ. So through the use of wisdom, the Apostles elected Saint Matthias to replace Judas and join their company in the Gospel proclamation from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Their calling signifies Jesus’ discourse in the Gospel, that the identity of Christian mission is centered on love. Just as the Lord has loved us, we are called to love one another. And that love is the friendship that is agape: unconditional love. Even Christ himself out of love offered his life on the Cross to redeem us from sin. His Paschal Mystery has made us adopted children of God the Father. In return, we are called to be witnesses of the Good News, as we bear our Christian identity through love. And as the Midterm Elections have ended yesterday, may all of us, whether candidates for positions or voters, follow the example of Saint Matthias and the Apostles during the election of Judas’ successor, that we may seek God’s wisdom in continuing to secure a clean, honest, and peaceful elections in the Senate, Congress, Mayoral office, and city Council. May the Lord’s love prevail over the aspiring influences and powers in leadership.

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