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Saturday, May 14, 2011

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St. Matthias

Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Psalm 113:1-8
John 15:9-17

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the skeleton crew

"The choice fell to Matthias, who was added to the eleven apostles." —Acts 1:26

During the first Pentecost novena, Jesus' disciples "devoted themselves to constant prayer" (Acts 1:14). As they prayed, they realized they had to bring out some skeletons from their closets. They needed to sift through Judas' betrayal of Jesus, their abandonment of Jesus on Calvary, and Judas' suicide. Peter, despite his three denials of Jesus, was led by the Lord to bring up the subjects, to share two Scriptures (Acts 1:20), and to work through the process of replacing Judas. The naming of Matthias to replace Judas was the fruit of this constant prayer, soul-searching, repentance, and discernment. Matthias was more than a replacement. He was an answer to prayer, the result of repentance and healing, and a preparation for Pentecost.

As we prepare to pray the upcoming Pentecost novena, we may hear the bones of certain skeletons rattling in the closets of our past (see Ez 37:7). Instead of trying to hide our shame, confusion, and sin, we need a Matthias to help us bring them to the Lord. Then Pentecost will be very near.

Prayer:  Father, may I not deny my sins or Your mercy. Today, in an accelerated way, prepare me for Pentecost.

Promise:  "It was not you who chose Me, it was I Who chose you to go forth and bear fruit. Your fruit must endure." —Jn 15:16

Praise:  On the day of the first Christian Pentecost, St. Matthias spoke in tongues, proclaiming the gospel to the Cappadocian pilgrims in Jerusalem (Acts 2:4, 9). Later, he traveled to Cappadocia and evangelized the entire region.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Praying for a New Pentecost or our audio tapes AV 92A-1, AV 92A-3, AV 92B-1 or our video series of two tapes that starts with V-92A.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011

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