Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Year 1)
*Good News Reflection*
  Thursday of the Fifth    Week  of Easter
May 14, 2009
*Today's Feast: Saint Matthias, Apostle *
  Pray for vocations:
*Today's Readings:*
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Ps 113:1-8
John 15:9-17
*The winning lottery ticket*
Today's first reading shows how Saint Matthias became one of the "official" twelve Apostles or first bishops of the Church. Until this ceremony, he had been one of the many unnamed disciples who followed Jesus throughout his ministry. He watched the baptism of Jesus. He travelled with Jesus to learn from him. He was probably among the seventy-two whom Jesus appointed and sent out ahead of him (see Luke 10) to practice preaching  the Good News.
He might even have been present at the Last Supper when Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, although he wasn't  one of the twelve who were seated at table with him. And apparently he witnessed the crucifixion, encountered the risen Christ, and watched him ascend to heaven after hearing Jesus commission all of his disciples to spread the Good News throughout the earth.
What can St. Matthias teach us today? We know very little about him, but in the way he was ordained we are reminded that sometimes our vocations come unexpectedly after a period of serving in a different kind of calling.
Did Matthias ever wish to become included in Christ's innermost circle? Did his spirit stir when he grew in grace and spiritual wisdom as he listened to Jesus for three solid years of training and education? Did this cause him to strive for a leadership role in the spreading of the Good News?
From the scriptures, we can only see that he responded to the call of the priesthood in one short day, when Christ inspired Peter to find a replacement for Judas, and he was nominated by his peers, and the lottery  selected him instead of Barsabbas.
What has Jesus selected you to do? How many readers of this reflection have a calling to the priesthood or permanent diaconate without yet knowing anything but an inner stirring of the spirit? And those who are not called to be clergy: What is your apostolate?
The word "apostle" means "one who is sent". Vatican Council II produced a document, entitled /The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity/, urging all lay people to realize that they been sent by Christ to spread God's kingdom throughout the earth. We all have unique but necessary roles connected to the ministry of Christ. In this decree, the bishops officially call  us to contribute to Christ's mission by fully utilizing our particular gifts and talents and opportunities.
What are you waiting for? The winning lottery ticket? You already have it! Say yes to doing whatever Jesus is calling you to do next, whatever interest is stirring up within your heart. In the eyes of St. Matthias, taking action on your calling makes you quite a big winner.

© 2009 by Terry A. Modica
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