By tradition today is considered the luckiest day of the year! This is because May 14 is designated as the feast of St. Matthias. He was chosen by the remaining eleven apostles to replace Judas Iscariot who had betrayed Jesus. Although he had not been among the original personally picked out by Jesus during His earthly ministry, St. Matthias had tagged along with the group the entire time beginning with Christ’s Baptism and even witnessed His Resurrection. What was unique is that St. Matthias ended up being chosen by lot:
Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles. (Acts 1:21-26).
In other words, St. Peter did an eenie, meenie, miney, moe! It is kind of like praying for God’s will, then closing one’s eyes, and putting one’s finger on a page in the Bible. It is important to note that the Apostles prayed first for God’s will. This is much different from only picking someone by lot. What can be gleaned from this is when faced with a choice we must do it prayerfully, in spite of the discernment method used. Even if we make a mistake, God’s will can be done if we earnestly seek Him.
Many people are paralyzed from making choices for fear of making the wrong one. Such is often the source of procrastination. Some delay by stating that they are waiting for discernment and put off making important decisions in such a manner. But if we prayerfully do the best that we can with what we are given, still God’s will can be done! Remember, He’s in the business of helping us through our blindness.
Clement of Alexandria quoted that St. Matthias was chosen not because of whom he was, but because of whom Jesus saw he could become: Not that they became apostles through being chosen for some distinguished peculiarity of nature, since also Judas was chosen along with them. But they were capable of becoming apostles on being chosen by Him who foresees even ultimate issues.
The Church originally had the feast of St. Matthias on February 24. However it was transferred to May 14 in 1969 so as to be closer to the Feast of the Ascension instead of being observed in Lent. It is not surprising that St. Matthias is also the patron of those struggling with alcoholism and gambling. Also this saint is helpful for those who are being interviewed for a position or hoping to obtain a promotion at work.
I don’t believe in luck. If I happen to say, “good luck,” or “break a leg” it is by only habit. My culture tends to have many such phrases. Don’t get me wrong, I wish you well, but what I really want and mean to say is “God be with You” or “God’s Will be done.”