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May 14: Saint Matthias, Apostle

Reading Acts 1:15-17,20-26
Gospel John 15:9-17

So they proposed two, Joseph… and Matthias.

Saint Matthias is mentioned by name only once in the Scriptures, on the occasion of his election to the office of apostle. By this we see how important this ministry is to the on-going nature of the Church.

It’s fitting that the Church usually celebrates this feast of Saint Matthias during the Season of Easter. Throughout the first weeks of the Easter season, we hear accounts of Jesus speaking to the apostles. These words are the Lord’s preparation for His Ascension, and for the Holy Spirit’s descent. These words are His preparation for the new life of the Church. His words reveal to us the nature of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

Hearing about the election of Matthias to fill the vacancy left by Judas Iscariot, we recognize that God the Holy Spirit works through the acts of the apostles and their successors. Both the apostles’ human selection of two candidates, and the Holy Spirit’s election of Matthias to the apostolic office, are the means by which this vocation is given to Matthias. Both divine grace and human works work together in the life of the Church, and in the life of each Christian, to continue the saving work of the Lord Jesus.