Feast of Saint Matthias, apostle
(Acts1:15-17.20-26; John 15:9-17)
Many like to think of themselves as pro-active. They want to be seen as autonomous, that is self-directed. The very assertive might call themselves Type-A. Such individuals run the risk of thinking too much of themselves. In today’s gospel Jesus indicates who really is in charge, at least of his disciples.
When he says that he has chosen his disciples and not vice versa, Jesus echoes a basic Old Testament theme. There God is always the actor with the people responding to his initiatives. The first reading from Acts gives testimony that the disciples have understood the lesson. They make no pretense at all about choosing a successor to Judas but allow God to indicate His choice casting lots.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being an assertive person. It should be said as well that casting lots in most circumstances is hardly the best way to determine God’s will on a matter. However, we do need to defer to God in prayer before we act and then to give Him thanks for enabling us to do what we must in any situation. Far from intending to dominate our will, God wants to lead us to our destiny as His daughters and sons.