The Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
Updated: May 15, 2021
Memorial Feast: Saint Matthias, Apostle (born in Judea - +80) Patron of Alcoholism and Smallpox
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26, Psalm 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, & John 15:9-17
Today we honor Saint Matthias, the apostle, and martyr. We don’t know much about Matthias, other than from the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, which is his only appearance in Scripture.
We know he was one of the seventy disciples of Jesus, and Matthias had been with Jesus from His baptism to the Ascension. After the betrayal and death of Judas, the disciples selected, by lot, Matthias to join the ranks of the Apostles.
Tradition has it that he preached the Gospel for thirty years in Judea, Cappadocia in Asia Minor, then in Egypt and Ethiopia. He was reportedly martyred in 80 AD by being stoned to death in Colchis, modern-day Georgia, on the Black Sea. His brief story has much to teach us.
First, we learn that, from the very beginning, Jesus' disciples concluded that the apostolic foundation of the Church was essential.
Second, Jesus had chosen twelve, the number of the tribes of Israel for His Church, the New Israel, was to come from His disciples; therefore, a twelfth was required to succeed the unfaithful Judas.
Finally, the idea of apostolic succession is introduced right from the start. Matthias is chosen and numbered among the apostles. Therefore, there is a cause for rejoicing on our part, rejoicing that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of today is the same Church that Jesus established. Our bishops are the successors of the apostles, and the Church remains guided by apostolic leadership under the Holy Spirit.
Questions of the Day: Imagine yourself in Matthias’ place and were asked to join the apostles, just after Jesus’ crucifixion. How would you live your life? What could you do to bring the lives of others today in conformance with your call?
Prayer: Lord God, You chose Saint Matthias to be an Apostle replacing Judas. Through his intervention, may we enjoy the reward of Your love and be numbered among the elect. Amen.