Commentary on the Gospel of

Larry Hopp-Creighton University's Energy Technology Program

Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle

How do we cope?  With so much that doesn’t seem right in our world today, it is so easy to despair.  To forget our purpose and to drown in hopelessness. This feeling is nothing new.  With the betrayal by Judas Iscariot and the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, the disciples certainly found themselves in unimaginable despair.  But at that precise moment, we are introduced to Matthias, whose life was about to be changed forever as he was chosen to replace Judas as one of the eleven apostles. 

So was Matthias chosen by luck? Are we to rely on the luck-of-the-draw in facing the challenges in our lives each day?

In today’s first reading from the book of Acts, Peter reminds us that “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled.”  That would certainly lead us to believe that luck really has nothing to do with how our lives unfold.  God has had a plan from the moment of creation.  That plan is not just a general plan for the universe, but it is a plan for each one of us individually.  The disciples turned to the one who “knows the hearts of all” in their selection of Matthias.  They simply put their faith in God and trusted in His plan – the plan for that specific decision as well as ALL the daily decisions as their lives continued to unfold.  Those decisions were unfolding in a world that definitely did not seem right or just, a world uncannily mirroring our world today.

So God really does indeed have a plan for each of us.  Today’s Psalm reminds us that we are His people.  “The servants of the Lord.”  Like Matthias, we are “chosen from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last.”  That certainly does not fit the luck-of-the-draw concept.  For each of our lives has a purpose, one could even call it a divine purpose – part of God’s plan for us and for our world. 

How then do we cope?  It seems rather obvious.  As John points out in today’s Gospel, we simply remain in Jesus’ love, keeping His commandments - trusting completely in His plan for our life because we know that through Jesus, His joy will be in us and our joy will be complete.  How else could we, or anyone else for that matter, face the trials of this life? 

Dear Heavenly Father, we are so thankful for your agape love for us.  We know that you have a plan for our lives.  That nothing is wasted.  Help us to face every moment of every day with the assurance that your plan is in fact unfolding in our very lives.  Help us never to forget that your plan is precisely what we need and to trust you with all our heart.


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