Monday, February 25, 2013

Morning Prayer Guide - Monday

Monday, February 25, 2013 – St. Matthias, Apostle (Transferred)
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Psalm 15, Acts 1:15-26, Philippians 3:13b-21, and John 15:1, 6-16

We know very little about St. Matthias aside from the passage in Acts 1.  Tradition holds that he preached first in Judea and then in either Ethiopia or else in what is now the nation of Georgia (located between the Black and Caspian Seas, just north of Turkey).  Those who believe he went to Ethiopia say he went to a village of cannibals, and may have been killed and eaten by them.  However, there is also a marker in the Roman ruins in Georgia which claims he is buried nearby.  Still others say he was martyred in Jerusalem, or else died there of old age.  So the net result is that we know very little about him or his ministry.

Matthias was the one elected to take Judas Iscariot’s place.  Some theologians have said that St. Paul should have been the twelfth apostle, and that the Eleven were too impatient.  However, we cannot fault them for doing the best they could under the circumstances, and at any rate we cannot say for certain one way or the other on the matter.  What we do know is this: Those who were part of the company of Apostles all gave their lives for the Gospel.  St. John is traditionally held to be the only one who died of natural causes, although the Romans certainly tried to kill him.  If the traditions are correct and Matthias was martyred, it means that he gave his very life for Jesus.

Take some time to pray about this.  Are you willing to give up your life for Christ?  You may find the following prayer helpful:
Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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