Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines

Remembering Justus & Matthias

Here are two men who qualified to fill in the vacancy left by Judas Iscariot in the college of apostles: Barsabbas and Matthias. Both of them were equally qualified. But ultimately, Matthias was chosen. What happened to Barsabbas? How would he have felt at his non-selection? Given the order of the mention of names and the length of description, you cannot but doubt that Barsabbas had greater popularity – “Joseph, called Barsabbas, also known as Justus” (= the just one). But, as always, God chose the second in line, who was simply mentioned by Peter as “and Matthias.” [As per tradition, Barsabbas later became Bishop of Eleutheropolis, died a martyr, and is venerated as St. Justus of Eleutheropolis.]  The choice of one over the other is no rejection of the latter; it is simply that God has his plans for each one. Whatever be the position assigned to us, it never robes us of doing the most important work: Keep on loving.


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