St. Matthias (d. first century) replaced Judas Iscariot as the twelfth apostle.  The criteria to become the twelfth was to have been a follower of Jesus from the time of His baptism by John through the Resurrection.  St. Matthias and Joseph called Barabbas both qualified, and the apostles decided to let the Lord choose between the two by having them cast lots.  St. Matthias was chosen.

Little is known about St. Matthias.  One story speculates that he preached in Judea and was martyred in Jerusalem.  He is patron saint of carpenters, tailors, smallpox, and hope.  Richard McBrien, Lives of the Saints

Retaining the number 12 had special significance for the apostles as it was tied to the 12 tribes of ancient Israel, a sign of continuity between the Old and New Covenants. “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his [Judas] encampment become desolate and may no one dwell in it.  And: May another take his office.”  (Acts 1: 20, from the first reading at today’s Mass.)  It is healthy for us to reminisce about those we are joined to from our past, to consider what they taught us and how they formed who we are today as human beings.

Pray for our final Sophomore Retreat of the year.  Today’s theme is “My Acceptance of God and Others.”

St.  Matthias, pray for us.  St. John Berchmans, pray for us.  St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us.

Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.  Ralph Waldo Emerson