Archive for February 24th, 2018


One of the symbols of St. Matthias is a pair of dice because the Disciples cast lots to decide who would take the place of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1: 15-26).  The only time he is mentioned in the Bible is at the time of his selection.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, You chose Your servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve. Grant that Your Church, ever preserved from false teachers, may be taught and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Lessons:  Isaiah 66: 1-2  Psalm 134 Acts 1: 15-26   St. Matthew 11:  25-30

St. Matthias is one of the lesser-known apostles. According to the Early Church Fathers, Matthias was one of the seventy-two sent out by Jesus in Luke 10:1-20. After the ascension, Matthias was chosen by lot to fill the vacancy in the Twelve resulting from the death of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:16-25). Early Church tradition places Matthias in a number of locations. Some historians suggest that he went to Ethiopia; others place him in Armenia, the first nation to adopt Christianity as a national religion. Martyred for his faith, Matthias may well have met his death at Colchis in Asia Minor, around AD 50. The Church of St. Matthias at Trier, Germany, claims the honor of being the final burial site for Matthias, the only one of the Twelve to be buried in Europe north of the Alps.

In the reportage of Matthias’ election to the  Apostles a few things stand out:

1.  The Scriptural understanding that the Holy Spirit works only through the Scripture:   “…the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas” vs. 16. 

2.  Therefore, in order to replace the position that Judas forfeited, it is the Scripture that informs the Apostles that there should be a new apostle elected: “For it is written in the Book of Psalms…” vs. 20. 

3.  The importance of citing Scripture as  a proof text of the faith and practice of the Church, vs. 20.   

4. Based upon Scripture and Scriptures’ Lord, Jesus Christ, the qualifications for an Apostle is set forth:  he must have been with us the whole time in Christ’s earthly ministry and an eyewitness to the Resurrection, vss. 21-23.

5.  The casting of lots (a Biblical method mentioned many times in the Old Testament) is nevertheless secondary to the centrality of prayer before a decision of such magnitude! (vs. 24-25).  Scriptural authority alone proclaims the apostolicity of the Church’s faith and practice so that the saving truth of the Gospel be preached and taught.

Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240)  wrote,

  “…all doctrine that agrees with the apostolic churches, which are the molds and original sources, must be regarded as the truth that contains what was received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ,and Christ from God.  All doctrine must immediately be regarded as false that has the taste of being different from that which the churches received from the apostles, from Christ, from God. ” (As quoted in The Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH, for this feast day)

Those who have received the true apostolic doctrine of justification by grace received through faith knows that anything else tastes wrong.  If the Christian is preached to save himself in one iota, and does not preach the Christ for you is truly bad taste.   If good works are preached as necessary to save oneself, then that treaching is wrong but if good works are not encouraged in the life of the Church to serve one’s neighbor in love,  this also is  non-apostolic.  If the Sacraments of Baptism and the Altar are not encouraged and enjoined for the upbuilding of Christ’s holy people, per Christ’s command and promise, then it likewise is non-apostolic. 

I could go on!  I will sum up the true taste of the living doctrine from the Lord by His own word: 

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34:8)

As Matthias was faithful in the care of the Lord’s lambs, pray for all pastors and ministers to feed His flock the truth as Jesus Himself said to Peter: Feed My Sheep.

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