Monday, February 25, 2013

St. Matthias

Today the Church remembers Judas’ replacement, Matthias whom we read about in the 1st chapter of the Acts of the Apostles: 

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty people) and said, ‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’ (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) ‘For it is written in the book of Psalms, “Let his homestead become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it”; and “Let another take his position of overseer.”

So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’ And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1: 15-26).

There is really nothing known about Matthias other than what we have in the text above.  However, from the text, we can glean that Matthias was a follower of Jesus for Jesus’ entire public ministry.  I wonder what he was doing when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, where he was when Jesus was brought before Pilate, and where he was when Jesus was crucified?  How did he react to all of those events?  Did he run away as so many of us would have?  Was he in the background hoping not to be identified as one of Jesus’ followers?  What was Matthias’ reaction when he heard that Jesus had risen?  There are no answers to these questions, but we do know that he was a presence in the Early Church described in Acts.  I imagine Matthias as being someone who was a hard worker, preaching the risen Christ and the good news of salvation to the people who were not famous, or rich, or powerful, but to regular work a day people making the best of everyday life.  That ministry is admirable indeed!

Let us pray:  O Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


This Wednesday, the Lenten Series continues at 6 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church on 1115 36th Street on the Island.  This week we will hear from Fr. Peter and Br. Michael, monks of the Order of St. Benedict.

This Friday and Saturday, Wine Glass and Art Class with Lee Runion.

We will host St. Christopher’s quiet day and vestry planning day at St. Augustine’s this Saturday.

Remember to collect those paper towel tubes and oatmeal containers for the Summer Art Camp at St. Augustine’s.

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.

Your servant in Christ,

The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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