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Saint Matthias, Apostle

Friday 14/05/2021 Saint Matthias, Apostle Jn 15,9 -17

St Matthias was not one of the Twelve; but, after the death of Judas Iscariot, someone needed to take his place. Two candidates were selected, and lots were drawn to decide which one it would be: the choice fell to Matthias. Nothing is known for certain about his subsequent history.

Drawing lots to select a candidate for office sounds strange to us, but it was a recognised Jewish custom: e.g. the priest who was to enter the Temple sanctuary and burn incense there was not chosen by some rota but by lot. Random events, independent of any obvious natural or human cause, were seen as a direct expression of God’s will. Drawing lots did not replace decision-making – Matthias was chosen as a candidate, just as others decided which priests were eligible on which days. It was a way of putting the final choice into God’s hands.

When we attain some high or responsible position, we may congratulate ourselves on being the best candidate for the job but we do well to remember that it was because of the people we met and the things we have been doing. In other words, because of the gifts and talents that God has given us. These things are essentially random: like Matthias, we too have been chosen by lot.

Whatever we are chosen to do by the Lord, we respond as his friends and not as his servants. So, it is as friends of the Lord that we give of ourselves in service of others. What holds all this together, what unites us to those we serve, what truly inspires us, is Jesus’ love for us and our love for Jesus. Let us go forth with these words of Jesus ringing in our ears, “I chose you from the world to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last!”

by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a

Photo @News Catholic Agency


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