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 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 pray this 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: Matthias belonged to the "company" of disciples and apostles who followed Jesus from His baptism in the Jordan until the day of His ascension (Acts 1:21). Tradition holds that he even followed Jesus exactly in suffering crucifixion.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996