Saint Matthias, an outsider welcomed in
Catholic Online's saint of the day is St. Matthias. Matthias is the apostle who replaced Judas after his betrayal and suicide. The selection of Matthias is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles. Matthias is associated with luck and is invoked against the temptations of the flesh. Mattias is also an example of a newcomer to an exclusive group.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Have you ever felt excluded from a group? How did it make you feel to be told that you could not join a group or belong to a society? Rejection is painful and traumatic and it can lead to serious issues later on.
We are not called to reject people, but rather to welcome them, even outsiders. This is following the example of Christ who invited tax collectors and prostitutes to sit with him. In Roman society, there were no people who were more hated and despised than these. These were the quintessential outsiders, the ones who committed sins and betrayal at the fundamental level.
However, by inviting these people and welcoming them with mercy, Christ won the conversion of their hearts to God.
St. Matthias was already a loyal follower of Christ, having been present since his baptism and through the crucifixion, but he was still an outsider to the 11 remaining apostles. Yet, he was welcomed and immediately given the mantle of apostleship.
We are called to follow these examples.
A common problem we witness is that people who are far from us or different from us, are ignored or left to their own misfortune. Instead of behaving like the apostles, we act more like those who passed by the wounded traveler on the other side of the street. It's easier to continue on our way than to play the role of Good Samaritan.
This is a deficiency on our part, and one that should be addressed. We must welcome all those around us, especially those who are least likely to find welcome. It may seem strange or counter-intuitive, but this really is how we show ourselves worthy of the sacrifice of Christ, by following his footsteps precisely.
Your Catholic Voice Foundation (YCVF), in the name of St. Matthias, is asking each person who reads this article to do what they can to help those around them. Give food to a person in need overseas. Send a Bible to a veteran or a child. Support the bridge fund which closes gaps between donations and deliveries of much-needed food and medicine.
If you cannot do these things, then light a candle and pray for those who can. May their hearts welcome the least among us into their company and may they act with compassion and generosity.
Thank you for your 'Prayer and Action' and may St. Matthias pray for us to The Lord, our God.
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