Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
First Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 113
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.” (Jn 15:9-17)
Simplicity, this is a word that has seemed to escaped our culture. Simplicity means "freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts." It also means "absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc." Everyone has so many things and is so connected, that it is completely against the grain not to be. It is not enough to have a big house, you have to have the nice car that goes in the driveway, and of course you are going to have to decorate the house nicely inside and outside. Then of course because you are in competition with your neighbors you are going to have to have the best lawn, flowers and garden. It is not enough to simply have a computer at home, but we also have to have the laptop so we can travel and be connected, we need the new blackberry or iPhone so that we can text, send pics, check our email, and check out the latest news all from our phone ... oh yeah, and we might even use that phone once in a while to call people. Yes, it seems as though simplicity has escaped us; the question is is this a product of our society or of human nature? It is my opinion that it is a product of human nature. Very rarely are we good at making things simple. It seems to be in our fallen nature to complicate things and to move away from simplicity.
Our tendency towards the complex is the reason why we must be active in our faith and why we should be seeking God's will in our lives. When the world says make things complex and add more stuff and issues to your life, the Lord says keep it simple. The Lord isn't asking you to have the latest things or to be the most connected person in the world, no He is only asking one simple thing ... love one another. That is it! It is as simple as that. That is why we are here, to love and be loved. God does not make things complex, we do; and all that He asks us to do in this life is to love one another as He loves us. This is His greatest commandment, one which we should be striving to follow every moment of every day.
We must remember that like Saint Matthias, it was not we who chose God, but rather God who chose us for a specific purpose in this life. May the Lord grant us all the strength and courage to love one another as we are meant to.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we thank you and praise you for all that you have blessed us with in this life. Lord, you are our good and merciful God who always wants what is best for us. Help us to love as you call us to and to never stop. Lord, we pray for all those who do not know you and are in need of love and conversion in their life, may they find their peace and home in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.