As a sort of epilogue to the reflection on the choosing of Matthias as one of the Twelve it is perhaps useful to ponder him a little further…..
We know from scripture that Matthias was journeying around with the disciples from the first days of the Lord’s ministry up until the time Jesus ascended into Heaven. That he had experienced the Lord first-hand and so was a suitable witness to these events. Despite him not being the first choice as an apostle, we can happily believe that he was always destined to this role. God knew Matthias through and through before he was even conceived in his mother’s womb just as He knows each of us through and through. He knew the high calling He had placed on this son of His and so throughout Matthias’ life the Lord was preparing him for that vocation. Can you imagine the occasions of Matthias’ contact with the Lord? The conversations and encounters he had with Him? It is not a huge leap of the imagination to think that the Lord would have been giving him specific instructions without letting on why He was giving them. In Jesus’ knowledge of future events which He displays quite often in scripture (perhaps most pertinently in this case – the betrayal of Judas and his ultimate demise), the Lord would undoubtedly out of love and consideration for His future witness, not left him unprepared for the task he would later fulfil as ‘Apostle number Twelve’.
Perhaps Jesus would have said on occasion such things as, ‘Matthias, watch Me carefully and listen to My words as they are important for your future life’? Or ‘Don’t settle for the ordinary path Matthias, the Heavenly Father has called you to a great destiny’? When the Lord spoke certain parables or certain teachings did He glance at Matthias as if to say ‘Remember this’? Or maybe He didn’t even distinguish him from the rest of the crowds in any way and simply communicated Matthias’ high calling to the depths of his heart? Maybe He simply left it all to God’s working through the Holy Spirit to bring all His words to fruition at the appropriate time.
Whatever the ways and means the Lord used, surely all of this is relevant to our own experience of God’s love for us and His communication with us? We are all called to a high destiny as children of God. Not many of us have a fanfare announcing it to the world but it is implicit through our baptismal calling. We don’t have the Lord physically appear to us and tell us what we are to do (at least the majority of us don’t!) But we do feel the call to follow Him where He leads, to respond at the appropriate time to the nudges He gives, and to address the matters at hand.
God loves to communicate with us in very ordinary ways. Through friends and family. Through something we see in nature. Through a passage of the bible we read. Why is that? I suspect part of it is because it is only us that perceive these things as ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’. In truth everything is a miracle. Our being here on this earth is a miracle. Our ability to communicate with each other is a miracle. Everything. So the Lord using the ordinary to communicate to us is in fact not ordinary at all. It is completely extraordinary! He brought us into being through the breath of His mouth. He created all the universe with just a thought. He is present throughout creation and through the exercising of His own kingship He uses the very ‘little things’ to speak loudly. ‘I bless You Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children! Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased You to do.’ The Lord loves to reach out to His ‘little ones’ to everybody who, in humility and sincerity of heart, seeks Him out.
Perhaps we should ask Saint Matthias’ intercession for ourselves that we are always ready for whatever the Lord is calling us to? That in our every day comings and goings we are listening for His voice that beckons each of us constantly, and that we respond with that same whole-hearted ‘Yes’ that Matthias gave to the Lord.