ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
In the first part of my work,
I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught
from the beginning until the day when he ascended to heaven.
But first he had instructed through the Holy Spirit
the apostles he had chosen.
After his passion,
he presented himself to them,
giving many signs that he was alive;
over a period of forty days he appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God.
Once when he had been eating with them,
he told them,
“Do not leave Jerusalem
but wait for the fulfilment of the Father’s promise about which I have spoken to you:
John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit within a few days.”
When they had come together,
they asked him,
“Is it now that you will restore the Kingdom of Israel?”
And he answered,
“It is not for you to know the time and the steps that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth.”
After Jesus said this,
he was taken up before their eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight.
While they were still looking up to heaven where he went,
two men dressed in white stood beside them and said,
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven,
will return in the same way as you have seen him go there.”
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olives, which is a fifteen minute walk away.
On entering the city they went to the room upstairs where they were staying.
Present there were Peter, John, James and Andrew;
Philip and Thomas,
Bartholomew and Matthew,
James, son of Alpheus;
Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James.
All of these together gave themselves to constant prayer.
With them were some women
and also Mary, the mother of Jesus,
and his brothers.
It was during this time that Peter stood up in the midst of the community
– about one hundred and twenty in all –
and he said,
it was necessary that the Scriptures referring to Judas be fulfilled.
The Holy Spirit had spoken through David
about the one would lead the crowd coming to arrest Jesus.
He was one of our number and had been called to share our common ministry.
(We know that he bought a field with the reward of his sin;
yet he threw himself headlong to his death,
his body burst open and all his bowels spilled out.
This event became known to all the people living in Jerusalem
and they named that field Akeldama in their own language, which means Field of Blood).
In the book of Psalms it written:
Let his house become deserted and may no one live in it.
But it is also written:
May another take his office.
Therefore we must choose someone from among those
who were with us during all the time that the Lord Jesus moved about with us,
beginning with John’s baptism
until the day when Jesus was taken away from us.
One of these has to become, with us, a witness to his resurrection.”
Then they proposed two:
Joseph, called Barsabbas, also known as Justus,
“You know, Lord, what is in the hearts of all.
Show us, therefore, which of the two you have chosen to replace Judas
in this apostolic ministry which he deserted to go to the place he deserved.”
Then they drew lots between the two
and the choice fell on Matthias
who was added to the eleven apostles.