Saint Matthias, Apostle
“The lot fell upon Matthias.” (Acts 1:26)
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26;Psalm 113:1-8; John 15:9-17
Most symphony orchestras consist of nearly a hundred musicians playing a variety of instruments. Strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion sections work together to produce complex, beautiful music. Each instrumentalist plays an integral part in making the pieces come to life. Some of these musicians, like the first violinist, get a good share of the limelight, while others tend to play in the background. Still, if just one instrument were to be omitted, people would notice the difference.
St. Matthias was probably one of God’s background instruments. Chosen by the apostles to replace the traitor Judas, Matthias leaves the scene as quickly as he enters. He is mentioned in the Scriptures only in this scene. Apart from a few legends, we know nothing about where he came from or what he ended up doing. Still, he is honored in the Church as an apostle—a witness to Jesus’ resurrection and a hero of the faith. And that’s a very good thing.
By honoring Matthias, we honor all the unsung heroes and heroines of the Church. We recognize the “women … who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him” (Matthew 27:55). We honor Epaphroditus, whom Paul called “my brother and co-worker” (Philippians 2:25). We honor Phoebe, Andronicaus, Junia, Ampliatus, Persis, and so many others (Romans 16:1-16). We honor all the people whose names aren’t even mentioned in the Bible. We don’t know what they did, but we know that they loved the Lord and laid down their lives for him. And that is well worth celebrating!
While we’re praising God for all these hidden saints, let’s also look at today as our feast day. Very few of us are influential bishops, powerful miracle workers, or heroic martyrs. We’re just ordinary people. But whoever we are, we too share in the same calling as the apostles: to be a “witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:22). History may not recall our names or our deeds—but God will. He rejoices over every good deed done in his name. So let’s go out and share the gospel. Let’s go out and love people as God has called us to do.
“I praise you, Lord, that my name is written in the book of life.”~wau