Acts 1.15-17,20-26; Psalm 112; John 15.9-17
After Jesus’ Ascension, Matthias was selected by the eleven surviving disciples as a replacement for Judas. Clearly they were impressed with the analogy between themselves and the twelve tribes of Israel, so an alternative for the traitorous disciple was imperative.
He was chosen from among those who had travelled around with Jesus and his disciples from the beginning of the Galilean ministry, a reminder that there were others who followed Jesus besides the chosen circle of twelve.
After his election as a “witness to the resurrection,” however, the New Testament records nothing further about Matthias. (Interestingly, the Roman Canon of the Mass names St Paul, not St Matthias, as the twelfth apostle.) Tradition has it that Matthias went on to preach in Cappadocia and along the coasts of the Caspian Sea and finally in Ethiopia where he was martyred. He is one of those who witnessed to the triumph of Christ over Satan, sin and death by laying down their own lives.