HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ST. MATTHIAS , APOSTLE
THEME: The Luck of the Draw
BY: Deacon Bill Frere
HOMILY FOR SATURDAY MAY 14 2022
Gospel – John 15:9-17
I do enjoy all my cooking competition shows. Whether it’s Top Chef, Great British Baking, and my favorite Master Chef Junior, it’s fun to watch the chefs and amateurs battle it out. But there is one cooking event that always makes me uneasy – the team challenge – especially when the team members are chosen at random. Draw a knife and see who your teammates are! It’s a ‘recipe’ for disaster. Leaving it all to the luck of the draw ends up sometimes with a team that you just know won’t get along. As they spend their time arguing, it’s a wonder they will get anything on the plate. In fact, you sit there just hoping they all make it out alive. Cringeworthy!
We celebrate today the Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle. And here is what we know about Matthias – he was selected by lot to take Judas’ place as one of the Twelve. That’s it; that’s all we know about Matthias. No background! No info on his missionary work or even his death, nothing! All we have is a roll of the dice, a casting of lots.
Peter did have one requirement. The person selected must be a disciple from the beginning, from the point of Jesus’ Baptism and all the way through to the Ascension. He must be a disciple who followed Jesus even when others stepped aside and returned to their former life. Only 2 disciples fit that description – Matthias and Barsabbas! So they cast lots and Matthias was chosen!
So was that all just a matter of chance? Sheer blind luck? Today’s Gospel tells us that was not the case. What is important here is what the disciples did BEFORE the casting of lots. They prayed!! They knew this would be an important moment; they knew the choice would ultimately not be random. They prayed for God’s assistance and inspiration. They left nothing to chance! Luck had nothing to do with it! It was divinely inspired. God was at work as He always is.
Jesus tells His Apostles “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you”. God chose us as His children out of love. What we see as a personal choice is really a response to God’s call! God calls each and every one of us to follow Him, to follow His commandments, to share His message of forgiveness and compassion, and to love one another. What we have to discern is how to answer God’s call! What is our response?
Deacon Bill Frere