Pathways through Lent

With the Throw of the Dice

St. Matthias the Apostle

Psalm 15 Acts 1:15–26 Philippians 3:13–21 John 15:1, 6–16

All that we really know about St. Matthias is found in a few short verses in
Acts. Here we learn that, sometime between the Ascension and Pentecost,
the remaining eleven apostles determined that they should find a twelfth,
the replacement for Judas Iscariot. There were in fact two candidates for
the position, but Matthias ended up with the job not because he was better
qualified or elected but because the apostles cast dice and they fell in Matthias’
favor.
How different this is from our own elections, where candidates tout their
achievements in speeches, receiving applause and public admiration (or
disdain). We scrutinize every aspect of their lives before determining their
suitability to the job. Imagine basing our choice on a throw of the dice!
God chose Matthias not for whom he was but for the apostle He knew he
could one day become. God chooses us in the same way—for the apostles we
can become, not for whom or what we are now.
In Lent, it is helpful to remember Matthias, who is the saint of those willing
to answer God’s call no matter where it takes them. They are not looking for
fame. They do not require applause, special titles, or public admiration. Their
only desire is to serve the Lord. They do this quietly, without fanfare. They,
like St. Matthias, demonstrate the courage and the heart to bear testimony
to Jesus’ resurrection, and they do so in the face of adversaries and hardship,
without complaint or protest.
May we do so also.
–Patricia Cookson

Graveyard

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