The homily at daily Mass in the USCCB chapel took a unique turn today. It was pointed out that St. Matthias, whose feast is today, is the patron of carpenters, alcoholics and Gary, Indiana -- which would make him a particularly appropriate saint for an alcoholic carpenter from Gary.
The reading from Acts of the Apostles had recounted how Matthias was chosen by the remaining 11 Apostles to replace Judas, and the homilist suggested that perhaps the early church of this reading and alcoholics have something in common -- their need for recovery.
The church, he noted, had just encountered scandal after scandal -- the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the flight of the Apostles at the arrest of Judas, and the mega-scandal of the passion and death of Jesus. After all of this damage, they needed to recover. They needed to be made whole. And so they chose Matthias to make them 12 Apostles once more.
The homilist then recalled reading a blog comment that suggested Matthias replacing Judas could be seen as a symbol for our wounded, human nature being replaced by something new in Jesus Christ. He suggested that we remember our need for recovery, to be made whole again by what Christ offers.