Today's saint is named in the Bible's Acts of the Apostles. St. Peter wanted to replace Judas after Jesus' resurrection. Peter asked the community to suggest someone. He wanted a person who had been among the disciples from the time Jesus was baptized by John until the Lord's death and resurrection. The first Christians proposed two men, both of whom were qualified to be apostles. One was Joseph, called Barsabbas, and the other was Matthias. "One of these men must become a witness with us of Jesus' resurrection," Peter said.
The community prayed. "Lord," they said, "you are familiar with each of us here. Help us to know the person who should take the place of Judas." Then they "cast lots." The man selected was Matthias. He was added to the company of apostles. Not much is known of Matthias or Joseph Barsabbas. The early Church writer, Eusebius, considered Joseph one of the seventy-two disciples.
Soon the disciples spread out and went to other places. This was necessary to avoid persecution. It is believed that Joseph Barsabbas preached in many places. He spent his energy to spread the Good News. Little else is known. In fact, his death is not even recorded. But his love for the Church and his dedication whether he was chosen or not, are his gift to us.
Reflection: When we sometimes feel unappreciated for what we have done, we can pray to the Holy Spirit to free us from the need to be praised.