Daily Reflection
May 14th, 2003
Howie Kalb, S.J.
Jesuit Community
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Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Psalm 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
John 15:9-17

For a Pastor, one of the greatest assets and treasures he can have in a parish is a few willing and available, faithful parishioners in reserve.  St. Matthias, the honored Saint of today’s liturgy, is just such a faithful reserve of the early Christian Community.  He embraced the Lord and “The Way” back at the river Jordan when Jesus was baptized by his cousin John.  We know this because in today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we’re told it was the first requisite to be nominated to take the place of Judas.

Then too, he grew spiritually, more just and upright, while he traveled and learned the Good News from Jesus during the Public Life.  This was the second requirement for the person who would become the replacement for the apostle who fell away. 

The point is that Matthias was content to be a faithful reserve to the new community.  He was not driven to push himself into the limelight or to make a place for himself among the leaders.  Matthias was aware that the essential condition for being a promoter of the Kingdom of God is to be “called” by the Lord to serve.  As we read in todays Gospel Jesus tells us; “It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit.”  It wasn’t even important what process was employed to make the Lord’s choice known.  It simply says they drew lots and the choice fell to Matthias and he was added to the eleven apostles.

A person often wonders why so often would-be charismatic leaders, special movements, new organizations or promising institutions collapse on birthing and never reach maturity or attain their objective.  We can question whether they were inspired by human ambition or whether the Lord actually called them into existence.  We’ll only know in the next life.  Here on earth the challenge is to be the “faithful, available reserves,” just as Matthias was, growing and developing ourselves into credible instruments ready to respond to the Lord’s call if, when and how he needs us to support and proclaim the Kingdom.

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