Saint Matthias

We all know what it’s like to travel an unfamiliar road.  Suddenly, the road forks in two different directions.  You have three choices: go left, go right, or turn around and go back to where you came from.  You don’t have much time to decide because you are running low on petrol and you’re pressed for time.  So what do you do?

In situations like this, making a decision with no clear outcome can be stressful, scary, exciting, and nerve-racking all at the same time.  But such situations also present us with the perfect opportunity to trust God and not just rely on our own logic or understanding.

This is exactly what the Apostles did in today’s first reading.  They didn’t know who to choose as the next Apostle to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot.  Matthias and Barsabbas were both equally qualified for the job.  They both had their own set of strengths, and they both matched the requirements that Peter had set.  Both were effective preachers, and both were deeply committed to Jesus and to the Church he established.  So which one should they choose?  The Apostles didn’t have the long, drawn out process of discernment that we have today when someone claims to have a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life: the Apostles were strapped for time and so they drew lots and they left it up to God to decide for them.

God knows where he is leading us, and there are times when he’s the only One who knows how we’re going to get there.  The last thing we want to do is over-think a decision.  We can get so caught up in methods of discerning God’s will and making sure that we are absolutely right that we forget to let go and let God take control.  There will be times when we will simply not know what to do, and we have to leave it up to God.

Even after many years of discernment, whether it’s towards religious profession or the priesthood, or qualifying as a doctor or a teacher, or a lawyer there comes a point when we must let go and surrender ourselves to God’s will, make the best decision we can and go with it.  God will always be with us if we genuinely seek his will for our lives.  And this is exactly what Saint Matthias did.  He had the courage and the humility to offer himself; God did the rest and Matthias was able to fulfil his role as an Apostle.     Saint Matthias, pray for us.

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