*LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SAYS CHRIST
(Tuesday, May 14, 2019 The Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle)
Today marks the Feast of St. Matthias, the Apostle, the day when the early apostles of our Lord chose him as the replacement for Judas. “So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.
“Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.” To most of us, making an important decision by flipping a coin or drawing lots may not be quite acceptable. But for the ancient Jews and our Lord’s early disciples, this practice was perfectly normal. To the early Jews, drawing lots was a good way to show God’s will. To them, His will was more important than life itself. Drawing lots was a way to keep feelings and prejudices from influencing key decisions. It was a way to put an outcome into God’s hands.
Whatever the approach we may choose in emerging our leaders- whether it be flipping the coin, drawing lots or establishing a very prudent system that is canonically aligned with church procedures-we should all be held accountable and responsible for the outcome. In the gospel of today, Jesus said: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.” Jesus meant to love one another is by serving the community with love, order and great prudence. It is being honest, transparent and accountable to God and community. It is abiding by His will and never to let our human desires and plans to prevail. Christ reminds us to be more self-giving and to die to self. This means knowing how to swallow our pride and be humble even in the midst of scrutiny and persecution. Dying to self implies giving up our own dispositions and beliefs for the sake of the common good. It is a way of surrender and allowing God to take control amidst any adversity and never to take God’s will and authority into our hands. It just implies that dirty politics should never be given space in our Christian community.
The Apostles and the entire Christian community through St. Peter as their head chose Matthias to replace Judas in a peaceful way for the sake of the common good not through war, character assassinations, not through malpractice and bribery which characterize our present day of choosing our leaders.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me grace to follow you always in love and to be willing to lay down my life for others. Amen.