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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of St. Mathias the Apostle

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 1, 15-17.20-26

One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers -- there were about a hundred and twenty people in the congregation,

'Brothers,' he said, 'the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who acted as guide to the men who arrested Jesus-

after being one of our number and sharing our ministry.

Now in the Book of Psalms it says: Reduce his encampment to ruin and leave his tent unoccupied. And again: Let someone else take over his office.

'Out of the men who have been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was living with us,

from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us, one must be appointed to serve with us as a witness to his resurrection.'

Having nominated two candidates, Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias,

they prayed, 'Lord, you can read everyone's heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen

to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place.'

They then drew lots for them, and as the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today we remember the apostle Matthias. He was elected to re-establish the complete number of the twelve apostles, which corresponds to the twelve tribes of Israel, that is, to the entire chosen people. In that number, we see a longing for completeness, for the universality of salvation. This vocation to universality could not be stifled or even suppressed. This is how it was at the beginning, and this is how it is even more today: in Jesus’ eyes, all men and women have the right to receive the announcement of salvation. This is why the Church has the duty to communicate it to the ends of the earth. This is why it was necessary to elect the "twelfth" apostle: no people, no nation and no individual person are foreign to the love and care of the Church. The Gospel must be proclaimed to all. The universal spirit of Jesus is an integral part of Christian faith. Certainly, it was not a matter of electing just any person. Indeed, a criterion was immediately established: the candidate had to be someone who lived with Jesus; someone who heard, saw, touched and followed him. In sum, the person had to be a true witness. The tradition, in fact, makes Matthias one of Jesus’ seventy-two disciples. The preface of the Ambrosian liturgy sings: "So that the number of apostles was complete, you turned a unique look of love to Matthias, who was initiated into following and into the mysteries of your Christ. His voice is joined to that of the other eleven witnesses of the Lord and brought to the world the announcement that Jesus of Nazareth had truly risen and that the kingdom of heaven was now opened to humankind." In Matthias we can discern the name of the disciples of every age. All those who are entrusted with the care of the community are themselves asked to be the first to live the Gospel. In fact, only the one who hears and puts into practice the Word of God can communicate it to others. The choice of the twelfth suggests to each one of us that we receive the Gospel in our heart so as to be a faithful witness of Jesus among humanity.

Memory of the Apostles