Today my Church honors St. Matthias, a man who was mentioned only once in the Scriptures. The event was a momentous one for him and a lesson for people who live in consistent attention to their spiritual lives. The first lectionary reading today tells the story of how Matthias became the replacement for Judas in the band of apostles. (ACTS 1:15-26) He was one of the two nominees for the position because he had accompanied the apostles the whole time Jesus was with them “from the baptism of John to the day on which he was taken up,” having also been a witness to the Resurrection. He was clearly one of those folks who knew the value of staying close to the example and teachings of Jesus – without needing to be known as “one of the Twelve.”
I spent this past weekend with a cohort of people who gave witness to the kind of faithfulness Matthias showed toward life with Jesus. It was a privilege to be in the company of such welcoming individuals who have grown together as a community – some for many years and some who have only recently experienced the spirit that holds their parish together, manifested in willingness to accompany one another in loving service. I would venture to say as well that none of them are looking for recognition as “leader of the pack.” Everyone just pitches in to do what they are able for the good of the whole, something Matthias would have understood when he was chosen by lot (a process that reinforces the value of all “contenders”).
I came home with a warm heart and renewed hope for the future because of that energetic and joyful band of disciples living and loving in the state of Maryland, USA. Thanks be to God!