Today we honor St. Matthias, patron of those seeking help with perseverance and hope
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Matthias (May 14, 2021): ACTS 1:15-17,2026; PS 113:1-2,3-4,5-6,7-8; JN 15:9-17
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"Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles." (Acts 1:26)
St. Matthias fulfilled a unique part as an Apostle in the way he was selected. All we really know about him comes from the Acts of the Apostles. After the Ascension of Christ, but before the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter addressed about 120 disciples, both men and women. He explained the necessity for them to pick somebody to take the place that Judas had abandoned through his betrayal of Jesus followed by his own suicide. Peter continued, saying, “‘It is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us… become with us a witness to His resurrection.’ So they proposed two.... Then they prayed.… Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles” (Acts 1:21-24, 26). We know that Matthias was a disciple throughout Jesus’ ministry, beginning with His baptism by St. John at the River Jordan. There is no more Scriptural information about the life or work of St. Matthias. However, by tradition we learn that he preached in Judea, Ethiopia and as far as the shores of the Caspian Sea. Because St. Matthias is often pictured with an axe, he is believed to have suffered martyrdom by beheading. He is a patron of those seeking help with perseverance and hope.
Because he had spent a long time in the company of the other devout followers of Christ and was nominated for the highly significant role of Apostle, we can infer that Matthias was well respected. He must also have been completely willing to dedicate himself to sharing Jesus’ message of salvation. Like the other Apostles, he accepted the transformation of his personal life in order to commit himself to telling the world about our loving Lord, the Son of God.