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The Seventh Sunday of Easter
(Sunday after Ascension Day)

Acts 1.15-17, 21-26
1 John 5.9-13
John 17.6-19

The interesting thing about the choice of Matthias has nothing to do with Matthias himself. Nor is it the striking method of his selection, which if applied today would simplify clergy appointments no end. It is the fact that it was deemed necessary. The Twelve were one short.

Instead of regarding Judas’s demise as the beginning of a process of natural wastage – the Twelve did not appoint further successors when, quite soon after this, they began to be killed off – they saw it, on biblical grounds inconveniently omitted by the squeamish lectionary, as constituting a hole needing to be plugged. The symbolism of the twelve tribes had to be maintained for the initial witness to make its point. The prophets had foretold that Israel would be regathered; most of the tribes, after all, had long since disappeared when the northern kingdom was devastated seven hundred years earlier. Even before the covenant-renewing wind and fire of Pentecost, the young Church found its identity in the belief that in Jesus these prophecies had come true...

Taken from Twelve Months of Sundays Year B by N T Wright

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