A Relevant Feast: St. Matthias

Although the main celebration today is the Third Sunday in Lent, it’s also the Feast of St. Matthias, the apostle chosen to replace Judas.  The Collect for the feast is especially relevant in view of the current state of the Anglican Communion:

Almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; Grant that thy Church, being alway preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The story of Matthias’ election is as follows:

About this time, at a meeting of the Brethren, when there were about a hundred and twenty present, Peter rose to speak. "Brothers," he said, "it was necessary that the prediction of Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit made by the lips of David about Judas, who acted as guide to the men that arrested Jesus, For he was one of our number and had his part allotted him in this work of ours." (This man had bought a piece of land with the price of his treachery; and, falling heavily, his body had burst open, and all his bowels protruded. This became known to every one living in Jerusalem, so that the field came to be called, in their language, ‘Akeldama,’ which means the ‘Field of Blood.’) "For in the Book of Psalms," Peter continued, "it is said– ‘Let his dwelling become desolate, and let no one live in it’; and also–‘His office let another take.’ Therefore, from among the men who have been with us all the time that Jesus, our Master, went in and out among us– From his baptism by John down to that day on which he was taken from us–some one must be found to join us as a witness of his resurrection." So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabas, whose other name was Justus, and Matthias; And they offered this prayer–"O Lord, who reads all hearts, show which of these two men you have chosen To take the place in this apostolic work, which Judas has abandoned, to go to his proper place." Then they drew lots between them; and, the lot having fallen on Matthias, he was added to the number of the eleven Apostles. (Acts 1:15-26)

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