NB—I transferred the commemoration of St. Matthias from 2/24 (Tuesday) to 2/26 (Thursday) for our regularly scheduled Thursday Mass.
St. Matthias, in many ways, is the unknown saint. All we can say about him with confidence comes from Acts 1:15-21. Here we find that he meets the requirements for replacing Judas in that he was a follower of Jesus from the beginning until the Ascension, and was thus to be (and was) a witness to the Resurrection. Even his selection was not overly noteworthy, in that there was at least one other who met the requirements (Joseph Barsabbas AKA Justus), and after prayer lots were cast between the two. Matthias’ lot came up and he became an Apostle. (This may actually not be a bad way to elect ecclesiastical authorities, especially the part where the qualifications are to be a follower of Jesus and a witness to the Resurrection.)
Other than that, there are scattered traditions about his ministry in what is now Georgia and his method of death circa 80 AD.
So he is not well known, and I expect among Christians is essentially unknown or un-thought of today. Yet, I find this strangely comforting. Today we remember an Apostle who was simply faithful and lived out his vocation. In today’s environment of “rock star” pastors doing the publishing and talk show circuits, who attract crowds of devoted fans, and over whom the media fawn, it is a comfort to remember Matthias. Matthias is truly a patron saint for those who quietly work the vineyard of the Lord and striving to remain faithful to their vocations and their Master. May Matthias be an example to all Christians in their work, and as we remember Matthias may we be assured that our God will remember us in the same way.
Blessed Matthias, pray for us.