Thursday, May 14, 1998
First Reading: Acts 1: 15-17, 20-26
Psalms: Psalm 113: 1-8
Gospel Reading: John 15: 9-17
SAINT MATTHIAS, APOSTLE
Known as the "After" Apostle, Saint Matthias won out over fellow disciple Barsabbas to take the place of the defector Judas after Jesus' Ascension into Heaven. Matthias had been a devoted disciple of Our Lord since being present when John the Baptist baptized the Messiah. Needing to make the number twelve again in accordance with the needs of the new Church, the Apostles gathered in the same upper room where Christ had instituted the Holy Eucharist and then appeared to them after the Resurrection. There, they decided on two candidates and left the rest up to the Spirit of Christ, Which was, of course, the
Holy Spirit. The Divine light shone upon Matthias through the method of casting lots. It was a precursor of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday where Matthias, now one of the twelve, was instilled with the gifts and strength of the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Matthias preached the Gospel and the virtues of self-denial wherever he was sent, ultimately ending up in Ethiopia in Africa where he was martyred for his beliefs in the city of Colchis. Though little is truly known about this "last" Apostle, he was renowned for his virtues, chief among them the mortification of the flesh.