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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Matthias 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, 21-26

'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 so as to re-establish the 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 the Gospel that could not be stifled or suppressed. This is how it was then, and this is how it is even today: in Jesus’ eyes, all men and women must receive the announcement of salvation. This is why the Apostles had to elect the “twelfth”: no nation and no person are foreign to love of the Church and her caring concern. The Gospel needs to be communicated to all. The universal spirit of Jesus is an integral part of the mission of the Christian faith. Certainly, it was not a matter of electing just any person. As noted, a criterion was immediately established: the candidate had to be someone who was with Jesus: someone who heard, saw, touched and followed him. In sum, the person had to be a true witness. Tradition places Matthias among Jesus’ seventy-two disciples. The preface of the Ambrosian liturgy sings, “So that the number of the apostles would be fulfilled, You turned a special gaze of love on Matthias, who was initiated to following Your Christ and understanding his mysteries. His voice was added to the ones of the eleven witnesses of the Lord and he brought to the world the proclamation that Jesus of Nazareth was truly risen and that the kingdom of heaven was opened to men and women.” In Matthias we can see the name of the disciples of every time. Those, to whom the responsibility of caring about the community is entrusted, must live out the Gospel for themselves, in the first person. Only those who live out the Gospel in their lives are able to communicate it to others. The choice of the twelfth apostle means that each one of us can be a faithful witness of Jesus to others.

Memory of the Apostles