Scripture:Peter said to the believers, “One of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us – one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” So they proposed two, Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed. And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:21-24, 26)
Reflection:The Acts of the Apostles is the companion volume to Luke’s gospel. In other words, Luke’s gospel is the first volume of a two-volume work, and the Acts of the Apostles is volume two. One characteristic displayed in both books is that whatever Jesus did in the gospel, the apostles, especially Peter and Paul, do in the Acts. Jesus called twelve apostles in Luke’s gospel; the apostles called Matthias in the Acts to replace Judas, who, according to the Acts, fell headlong into a field and burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
Matthias is chosen by casting lots. The name, or initial, of each candidate is written on a stone and put in a jar. The jar is shaken until one stone falls out. This procedure is called divining, determining the will of God. While it may seem strange to people today – we would want to see a resume and conduct an interview – it was a normal practice by ancient people. Once Matthias is called, the Jewish Pentecost occurs, and Matthias is never heard of again in the Acts of the Apostles. His sole function is to fill the twelfth position – vacated by Judas – in the company of apostles.
Sometimes that is all that is needed for mission. A position needs to be filled, and someone is chosen to take the place. A volunteer is needed to answer the parish telephone for two hours, and one person asks another to fill the open spot. A small group of elderly people needs to fill a spot left open by a member’s death, and one invites another to join the study group. A group of highway trash collectors calls a friend to join them in their cleanup efforts, and a position is filled. All calls do not have to be glorious or fascinating. Some occur by lot; some because one makes a telephone call.
Journal/Meditation: Whom do you know answered the call to be one among others like Mattias did?
Prayer: Lord, you know everyone’s heart. When I need to call others, show me whom you have chosen to serve you. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.