14/05/2021

Today is celebrated Saint Matthias, apostle

Matthias is a frequent name among Jews and means "gift of God".

Today is celebrated Saint Matthias, apostle

It is the apostle who received the gift of the great privilege of being added to the Twelve, taking the vacant seat left by the defection of Judas Iscariot. His election was by lot, after the Lord's ascension, by the proposal of Simon Peter, who in a nutshell established the three requirements for apostolic ministry: belonging to those who followed Jesus from the beginning, being called and sent: “It is necessary, , that of these men who accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus lived among us, starting with the baptism of John until the day he was taken away from us, let there be one who becomes a witness with us of his resurrection ”.

Matthias was therefore constantly close to Jesus from the beginning to the end of his public life. Witness to Christ and, more precisely, to his resurrection, for the resurrection of the Savior is the very raison d'être of Christianity. Matthias, therefore, lived with the eleven the miracle of Easter and can rightly announce Christ to the world, as a spectator of the life and work of Christ “since the baptism of John”. The second and third conditions, to be divinely called and sent, are also clearly expressed by the prayer of the apostolic college: "Lord, you who know the hearts of all, show which of these two you have chosen".

The election of Matias by lot may surprise us. Taking the chance to know the divine will is a method well known in Sacred Scripture. The division of the promised land itself was by lot; and the apostles deemed it appropriate to conform to this custom. Between the two candidates proposed by the Christian community, José son of Saba, known as Justo, and Matias, the choice fell on the latter. The new apostle, whose name shines in Scripture only at the moment of election, lived with the eleven the brilliant experience of Pentecost before going, like the others, around the world to announce "the glory of the Lord".

Nothing is known of his apostolic activities, nor did he die a martyr or a natural death, since the narrations about him belong to the apocryphal writings. The tradition of death by beheading with an ax is linked to its special sponsorship of butchers and carpenters. His feast celebrated for a long time on February 24, to avoid the Lenten period, was fixed by the new calendar on May 14, a date that is certainly closer to the day of his election.

From the book:
A saint for every day, by Mario Sgarbossa and Luigi Giovannini.

Source: Paul

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