Duccio di Buoninsegna
Tempera on wood
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena
The Greek Matthias (or, in some manuscripts, Maththias), is a name derived from Mattathias, Heb. Mattithiah, signifying "gift of Yahweh." Matthias was one of the seventy disciples of Jesus, and had been with Him from His baptism by John to the Ascension (Acts 1:21, 22). It is related (Acts 1:15-26) that in the days following the Ascension, Peter proposed to the assembled brethren, who numbered one hundred and twenty, that they choose one to fill the place of the traitor Judas in the Apostolate. Two disciples, Joseph, called Barsabas, and Matthias were selected, and lots were drawn, with the result in favour of Matthias, who thus became associated with the eleven Apostles. Zeller has declared this narrative unhistoric, on the plea that the Apostles were in Galilee after the death of Jesus. As a matter of fact they did return to Galilee, but the Acts of the Apostles clearly state that about the feast of Pentecost they went back to Jerusalem.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
O God, who assigned Saint Matthias
a place in the college of Apostles,
grant us, through his intercession,
that, reoicing at how your love has been allotted to us,
we may merit to be numbered among the elect.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17, 20-26
In those days Peter stood up among the brethen (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, "Brethen, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry.
For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and 'his office let another take.'
So one of the men who have accompanied us during all 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 men must become with us a witness to His resurrection." And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast 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 Matthais; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.
Gospel Reading: John 15: 9-17
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another."
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