READINGS: Acts 1:15-17, 20-26/ 1 John 4:11-16/ John 17:11-19
7th Sunday of Easter 2024


Today is Mother’s Day. Once, our Lord Jesus Christ lamented over Jerusalem: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem … How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing” (Luke 13:34)! By using the imagery of a hen, Jesus alluded to His motherly love, protection, sacrifice, etc. Also, the Church is like a mother. Hence, the use of the expression, “Mother Church”. And the most distinguished, celebrated and honoured member of the Church, not just for an era, but for all generations is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord (cf. Luke 1:43, 48). All this means that dear mothers, you are very special. Enjoy your day and imitate Mother Mary as she intercedes for you and your families. Happy Mother’s Day to you all!


In the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, after Judas had exited, the latter was referred to as the one who was lost (cf. John 17:12; gospel reading). Then after the ascension of Jesus, at a meeting of about 120 disciples under the leadership of St. Peter, St. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas (cf. Acts 1:15-17, 20-26). Hence, our theme: “Matthias replaces Judas”.


Many traits could be identified in the character of Judas. However, we wish to limit ourselves to the following five traits:

A Disciple only in appearance: A disciple is a follower of Christ. Judas, however, only appeared to follow the Lord, for his mind and heart were distant from the purpose for which He called him. So far away was the agenda of Judas from our Lord’s that at even the high point of the Last Supper, he was contemplating evil against Him (cf. Matt. 26:14-16, 20-25). Similarly, there are Christians today who contemplate evil acts even during worship. Am I one of them?

In addition, Judas did not repent even when he realized that Jesus knew of his plot and had warned him of the consequences of his intended betrayal (cf. Matt. 26:23-24). Do I sometimes refuse to repent when the Word of God or my conscience speaks to me?

Lover of money: Judas loved money to the extent of preferring it to Jesus. He betrayed the Lord for thirty (30) silver pieces (cf. Matt. 26:15). Even today, there are too many Christians whose love for money or material wealth in general pushes them to engage in various corrupt and immoral acts. Am I sometimes a lover of money?

Dishonesty: Judas used to pilfer the money entrusted to him as the treasurer among the twelve apostles (cf. John 12:6). So dishonest was Judas that even when he suggested that the costly ointment poured on Jesus could have been sold to help the poor, he was not sincere about it (cf. John 12:4-6). Similarly, many Christians are dishonest in many respects, and some would even selfishly appropriate public funds designated for the poor or victims of disasters. Have I sometimes been dishonest?

Betrayer: Judas is notorious for betraying his innocent Master, the very Son of God (cf. Matt. 26:47-50). Many Christians today would protest if they are likened to Judas the betrayer. Nonetheless, in various ways, especially for material gains or in the face of threats, they would prefer to compromise their faith or even apostatize. Have I sometimes betrayed Jesus?

Under the influence of evil: Judas succumbed to the dictates of the evil one. This was evident in the story of his betrayal: “Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.… It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him” (John 13:21, 26-27). Even today, many Christians succumb to the evil one or operate under its influence. Do I sometimes act under the influence of evil?


In contrast to Judas, St. Matthias was a true disciple of Jesus, loyal to Him, honest, loved God and his neighbours, and lived under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Let us all strive, with the help of God’s grace, to get any Judas character traits in us replaced with the virtues exhibited by St. Matthias.

A True Disciple: In determining the person to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Judas, the criteria was: “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when He was taken up from us —one of these must become a witness with us to His resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22). That is, Christ’s agenda is salvation through His death and resurrection. So, a disciple (follower) of Christ who is committed to this agenda should be chosen to be its witness. Matthias was found to be thus committed. Am I, like Matthias, a true follower of Christ?

Loyalty to Christ: The loyalty or faithfulness of Matthias could be seen from the fact that he followed Christ from the moment he was called till He ascended (cf. Acts 1:21-22). Am I, like Matthias, loyal to Christ at all times?

Honesty: A story in the Old Testament gives us the hint that Matthias’ honesty was a reason why (of the two men who met the criteria to replace Judas) the lot fell on him. It is the story about the choice of a king for Israel. When Samuel thought Eliab qualified to be anointed king, God told him: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). So, honesty is about sincerity of heart, and Matthias, who was loyal to Christ, was honest. Am I always honest?

Lover of God and neighbours: Today’s second reading reminds us that God has loved us first, and invites us to love Him especially in our neighbours (cf. 1 John 4:11-16). Though, we don’t have an explicit story of Matthias’ fulfillment of the commandment of love, we could infer from his faithfulness to Christ. Instead of the love of money of Judas, am I passionate about the love of God and neighbours?

Under the influence of the Holy Spirit: “By this we know that we abide in Him [God] and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13). Matthias was among the apostles and disciples who received the spectacular outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day (cf. Acts 2:1-4). He would thus be empowered to witness to Christ as the unique Saviour of the world. Am I, likewise, living under the empowerment or influence of the Spirit?


If, like Judas, I am a disciple only in name, may the Holy Spirit make me, like Matthias, a true disciple. If I am disloyal to Jesus, may His Spirit make me loyal to Him. If I am dishonest, may the Spirit make me always honest. If I am a lover of money, may He give me the grace to love God above all things and my neighbor as myself. Finally, if I am under the influence of evil, may the Spirit destroy it and abide in me forever. Amen!

By Most Rev. John Kobina Louis

Bishop John Kobina Louis

Most Rev. John Kobina Louis is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana. More about him here.

View all posts

Catholic Homilies and Sermons for the Liturgical Year by Most Rev. John Kobina Louis, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.

Let’s talk about the Rosary