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Saint Matthias.... A Not-So-Trivial Life

Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hit 755 Home Runs in his Hall of Fame Career

Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hit 755 Home Runs in his Hall of Fame Career

“Trivia is a fact in search of a home.” ~ Don Rittner

“....the Scripture had to be fulfilled.” ~ Saint Peter the Apostle


...and I promise to add a local Georgia flavor to these questions as a nod to my friends in the St. Michael the Archangel RCIA Group.

Can you name the pitcher that Atlanta Braves legend Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final career home run off of?

Can you name the guitarist who replaced the otherwise irreplaceable Duane Allman in the Allman Brothers Band after his tragic and fatal motorcycle accident in 1971?

Can you name the Presidential hopeful who finished in 2nd place to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 Democratic Presidential Primaries?

And finally....can you name the man who replaced Judas Iscariot as the 12th Apostle?

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You can leave your answers to the first 3 questions in the Comments Section below, but the answer to the 4th Question, Saint Matthias, is the man whose Feast Day we celebrate today. As such, despite my interest in politics, baseball and the greatest American Rock Band of all time, it is Saint Matthias, the Patron Saint of alcoholics, carpenters, tailors, Gary, Indiana, Great Falls-Billings, Montana, and those afflicted with smallpox ~ more trivia for those interested ~ who shall take center stage on this the 14th day of May.

According to Scripture, Matthias’ fate was decided by the casting of lots (Acts 1:26). It went down like this:

ACTS 1:15-17, 20-36 ~ In those days Peter stood up among the believers and said, 'Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus - for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.' 'For it is written in the book of Psalms, “Let his homestead become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it"; and “Let another take his position of overseer."

After coming to a mutual agreement that the man chosen to replace Judas should be someone who accompanied them throughout the time that Jesus went ”in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from them,” the field was narrowed down to an even deuce. Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, 'Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.' They would then cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

This is the only reference to St. Matthias in all of Sacred Scripture, but Biblical Historians tell us that he was with Jesus from His Baptism until His Ascension. As Catholic Priests around the world donned their red vestments at Daily Mass this morning, we are also reminded that Matthias suffered the same fate as the others, dying a martyr’s death. The choice of Matthias was a critical one that shaped the early history of our Church. He restored stability to a tightly-knit group that was otherwise rocked by Judas’ betrayal.

Once again the Apostles show us why they are a part of the very bedrock of our faith by their witness, as we see them turning to God in prayer. Scripture tells us that upwards of 120 people had gathered in the upper room to pray over this decision so as to insure the right man was chosen. Although the lot fell upon Matthias in what would otherwise on the surface appear to have been a proverbial roll of the dice, we know that it was faith coupled with deep prayer that insured God’s will was in fact fulfilled.

Let us seek the intercession of St. Matthias today as we go out into the world seeking to spread the word of God as he did, through our thoughts, words, choices, and actions.

Saint Matthias‘ pray for us...

The great Duane Allman

The great Duane Allman

President Jimmy Carter (1976-1980)

President Jimmy Carter (1976-1980)

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