Through the Acts of the Apostles, we know that Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as one of the apostles. He was chosen before the descent of the Holy Spirit, but this choice was not made by Jesus, but by the other 11 apostles. Tradition has it that Matthias was sent to spread the Gospel in Ethiopia and that he died a martyr. Tradition has it that the remains of Matthias are located at the Abbey of St Matthias in Trier, Germany, having been brought there by Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine. These remains of St Matthias were rediscovered there in the 13th century, at which time the abbey became a popular place of pilgrimage.
We have been challenged by our Church during this Year of Faith to undergo a new evangelization. We hear this term “new evangelization” so often, that one Catholic blogger feared that it would become a cliché or simply a slogan. As I understand it, through this new evangelization, we are to try to evangelize our own corner of the world, especially those of us who live in the traditionally Christian countries were our faith is coming under attack by the secular elements of our society and where a lot of people have left the faith. Many are eager to hear Pope Frances weigh-in on our Church’s program of new evangelization, which he has yet to do.
Paul and the Apostles like St Matthias faced many unknowns and many challenges as the preached the Gospel. We are faced with many challenges as well as we bring the message of the Gospel to our world. May we be inspired to live in the spirit of the Early Church and energetically witness to our world.