After the Twelve Apostles

Happy Feast Day of Saint Matthias, who was one of the twelve apostles. He is not the most widely known or discussed saint and apostle, but he played a critical role in the early Church.  His is a positive legacy of two thousand years.


Jesus had ascended to Heaven, Judas was dead and the Twelve Apostles now only numbered eleven. To get back to the proper number established by Jesus (twelve), a replacement for Judas needed to be chosen. The Holy Spirit helped the eleven choose Matthias as that replacement.  Using a sports analogy, he was called off the bench to fill in at a crucial time. The succession plan of our Church was set in motion, and it’s still in place for finding suitable replacements in the Church hierarchy. Things do tend to get complicated over time, if there are humans involved, however.

Not All Good

Religious people in general, and Catholics in particular, are metaphorically beaten up by folks who call out the flaws in our religious leaders. We can all agree that the hierarchy in our Catholic history has not always been perfect. The legacy and revelations of abusive priests still sends massive tremors through our Church. Many will suggest that we should just abandon organized religion because of the bad people involved.

I’m all for cleaning house, but NOT for going to a non-organized and structured Church. As another sports analogy, Jesus had twelve first round draft picks for his first group of Apostles. He was Jesus, who could read hearts and minds, so he had a scouting report on each person. It turns out that one of the twelve, Judas, turned out to be a terrible pick. That is eight percent of the original group.  Some of the others were not shining examples at the beginning, either. How many times did Peter deny Christ?

Be Good Examples

Let’s be good examples to those around us, so we can help lead people to our Church, and to Jesus. Let it be our legacy. Be good examples, and stand out in today’s society as being a bright light, and a solid example of goodness.  We are all chosen to spread God’s word and continue the works of the Church, even if we aren’t first round draft picks, and we aren’t named Matthias.

[Readings: Acts 1: 15-17, 20-26; Jn 15:9-17]

Paul Verderber

Paul Verderber is a husband, father of two daughters, religious education teacher, fruit and vegetable ingredients salesman, and President of Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc. He holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Chemical Engineering, as well as a Masters in Business. He lives outside of Raleigh, North Carolina and is the President of Gratia Vobis Ministries. [email protected]

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