Matthias . . . was counted with the Eleven Apostles. 


When we think of Jesus traveling from place to place, we picture him surrounded by his twelve apostles.   But we don’t often think about all the other people who also followed him.   In today’s first reading (Acts 1:15 – 17, 20 – 26), we learn that there were about 120 men and women with Peter when he stood up to speak on Pentecost (Acts 1:15).   We can assume that these people, and maybe others, had also accompanied Jesus at some point.   In fact, we learn from Peter that Matthias had been with them “the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us” (1:21).

Matthias was chosen to replace Judas, but what about the others?   We will never know all their names, but we do know that they found Jesus so compelling that they left their homes, families, and jobs to be with him.   It’s possible they never knew where they would be going next or where their next meal would come from.   After Jesus’ resurrection, they were probably among those who formed the first Christian community, sharing all they had with one another (Acts 2:42-47).

These anonymous believers were the first in a long line of hidden saints.   Imagine the millions of people over the centuries whose names we will never know who have followed in their footsteps.   Think especially of those who have given up homes, families, and careers to follow the Lord.   They labored in God’s vineyard and brought other people to faith; some even sacrificed their lives for Jesus.

As we honor St. Matthias today, let’s honor these men and women as well.   Matthias would not have been an apostle if the lot hadn’t fallen to him (Acts 1:26).   But like these others, he would have still been a saint—someone who experienced the love of God, became his disciple, and did whatever God called him to do.

Let’s also honor the “saints” among us.   Let’s honor the people we know who wholeheartedly offer themselves in service to the Lord. May their witness inspire us to do the same.

“St. Matthias, pray for me to have the grace and courage to follow Jesus with all my heart.”

Psalm 113:1-8
John 15:9-17