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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Saint of Anonymity

English: Saint Matthias, who replaced Judas Is...
English: Saint Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot as apostle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After finishing the monumental task of rehauling to a new Blogger template, I am now ready to tackle a thought that has been on my mind since yesterday.

It is about St Matthias, whose feast we celebrated yesterday. He was the one that was chosen by lot, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to be one of the 12 apostles replacing Judas (Iscariot) who defected.

What was inspiring about this saint was because he was, firstly, uninspiring!

Consider this...

He was with Jesus since the beginning of his ministry and was there to witness his resurrection, as well. But apart from this, he was literally a nobody. A nobody until he was chosen to be an apostle - and only because there was an urgent and crucial need to replace the one who was lost, to make up to the number of 12. Even when nominations were taken, he really wasn't among the top favourite to win, humanly speaking. Joseph son of Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, was the really the main incumbent. The way the passage described it, it seemed that Justus would be a shoe-in for the role of the apostle. Matthias seemed like a name thrown in to offer some credence and weight to the election.

But as God would have it, Matthias would be His chosen one. By the way, 'Matthias' is a variant of 'Matthew', meaning gift of God. So, it was no wonder, Matthias was chosen in the end!

Better yet, after that, just as Matthias had came in from obscurity, he vanished into obscurity. No more special mention of his exploits or deeds were recorded. There were some traditional accounts of his spreading the gospel into Ethiopia but this are not substantiated. There was also, supposedly, a gospel under his name. However, all this aside, St Matthias, was a true disciple and apostle, since he numbered  among the 12 and I believe, for him, that was already enough. He probably remembered what Jesus had mentioned earlier in his ministry while he was on earth - about the faithful unworthy servant, doing the duty accorded to him and no more.

We have a natural tendency to be wanting to be define as someone by what we do and the various status symbols which we can acquire over our lifetime. We want to be known as a person who can do something worthy for the attention the general public. In St Matthias, I have come to realised that when you have said that someone was a disciple of Jesus you have said the essential thing and that is enough.
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