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Home » Daily Readings

Feast of St. Matthias

Submitted by on Thursday, 14 May 2009One Comment

Matthias

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Today is the feast of St. Matthias, the apostle who took the place of Judas among the Twelve. The feast day of St. Matthias was originally celebrated on February 24 (25), but with the reforms of Vatican II, was transferred to May 14 so that it would be within the Easter celebrations and near the Feast of the Ascension.

The day’s first reading is taken from Acts 1:15-26 (passim) where Peter initiates the process of succession. First, he tells the reason for the act about to be performed: the defection of Judas. Note that the Scriptures quoted in v. 20 are from imprecations in the psalms (109 and 69) which underline the seriousness of the betrayal of Judas. Second, Peter gives the criteria for the choice: the successor of an apostle should have been with the group of Jesus from the time of the Baptist until the Resurrection. In short, the nominees were presented and the one chosen was Matthias. It is to be noted that the choice of Matthias was the answer to the prayer of Peter.

The name “Matthias” will no longer appear in the rest of the Acts of the Apostles. In Hebrew, the name means “Gift of Yahweh”. It is somehow similar to Nathanael (from the Hebrew root ntn and el), which means “given of God”, and so there is a scholar who says the two are the same person.

The Gospel reading continues the one from yesterday. It has nothing to do with the Feast of Matthias but is related to the theme of the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

Below are some informative pages about St. Matthias on the web:

American Catholic

A short and simple article about St. Matthias. There is also a “Comment” that answers the question “What was the holiness of Matthias?” It is a good question since outside of Acts 1:15-26, Matthias no longer appears.
Catholic Encyclopedia

A 1911 article from the Catholic Encyclopedia. Interesting here is the critical evaluation of extra-biblical traditions about the life and death of Matthias — an evaluation that one would not find in WikiPedia articles which simply describe what is found in sources.
A nice page containing the same information is found here: St. Matthias
Wikipedia

Notes the absence of the name “Matthias” in the Synoptic gospels and John. But this should be expected since the gospels were not autobiographical in interest. Besides, the lists of the apostles appearing there reflects the situation ante-Crucifixion. “Matthias” became important in the Lucan narrative because of the theme of “The Way”, an ongoing journey towards the Kingdom of God.
The article also notes the conflicting accounts of whether Matthias died as a martyr or because of old age.
Acts 1:15-26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
15In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty:)
16Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus:
17Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out.
19And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.
21Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us,
22Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection.
23And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.
26And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Acts 1:15-26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
15In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty:)
16Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus:
17Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out.
19And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.
21Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us,
22Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection.
23And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.
26And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

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  • Twelfth « Shared thoughts… said:

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