Although only mentioned briefly in the Acts of the Apostles, the election of Matthias as an apostle illustrates for us the importance of discernment in the life of the Church.
We are told that shortly after Jesus’ Ascension, on the eve of Pentecost, the apostles gathered together to appoint a replacement for Judas. Judas’ tragic death left their number at only 11 — a problematic matter given not only Jesus’ original call of 12, but also for symbolic reasons. The 12 represented the 12 tribes of Israel and the mission of Jesus’ disciples to witness God’s salvation to the world.
The original band of apostles was confronted with a unique challenge in finding a replacement for Judas. The criteria for apostleship meant that the replacement had to have witnessed Jesus’ ministry and resurrection. The apostles called from the disciples two men who met the criteria: Joseph and Matthias.
As only one of the two could be elected an apostle, the apostles entrusted the call to God. While we may no longer cast lots to discern God’s will, the apostles show us an example of what we can do to discern God’s will. They prayed. They genuinely placed into God’s hands their decision.
Now this may not seem so profound to us today. Yet if we really gave it some thought, do we find ourselves always entrusting to God those things that trouble our hearts? Do we turn to God when considering our vocations in life? Or do we try to control those things that are so often beyond our control?
It seems to me that if we invite and allow God in our discernment, we likely will discover greater joy and happiness when we live in accord with God’s plan for us.
-Don Beyers, Marketing Manager