As the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles illustrates today, the 11 apostles had to choose between two really good men to replace Judas in their ranks to make their group a perfect 12 again. After praying to the Holy Spirit, then casting lots, they chose Matthias to fill the opening made by Judas Iscariot by his betrayal of Jesus followed by his suicide.
The feast day of any of the apostles is a great opportunity for us to reflect on their important role in the early church and their impact on our church and world today. Of course the first apostles were handpicked by Jesus from a group of hundreds of his disciples to be sent out into the world to start churches of their own. They were the first bishops!
At the end of their lives someone had to take their place to carry on their mission. Each of the 12 Apostles had people succeed them in their ministries in the churches they founded. And then they had successors and so on and so on and now 2,000 years later we have bishops throughout the world who are considered direct successors to the original 12 apostles of Jesus...including our very own Bishop...Bishop Terry LaValley!
As we honor the very first successor to an Apostle today, Matthias, let us pray for our very own bishop, Bishop LaValley, as he leads our church in the North Country. Let us also not only assist him with our prayers but hear the voice of Jesus calling us to make the name of Jesus known in our world through our words and actions.