Remain – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Acts 1:15-26
John 15:1, 6-16

St. Matthias

Today is the feast of St. Matthias who replaced Judas among the twelve apostles. Matthias had been with them since John baptized Jesus in the Jordan. He witnessed Jesus’ ministry with the crowds, heard the teaching, witnessed healings, had his own personal and communal experience of Jesus. Probably he was one of the 70 whom Jesus sent out and later was at the crucifixion. Hardly anything is written about him. The apostles selected two candidates. They drew lots thereby choosing Matthias.

The group probably wasn’t seeking a big personality. They already had that in Peter, James, and John. Now they were amid grief and change as Jesus had ascended back to heaven. Instead, they likely sought stability, one who had stuck it out with them and whom they trusted would remain. Remaining with through grief and loss is hard.

In language from the gospel, Matthias chose “to abide in Christ” and this company of friends. Abide can mean to live in, to make yourself at home. Abide also means to remain or to stick with through challenge. Jesus says the Father stuck with me. I’ll stick with you no matter what. Abide in my love, Jesus says. Remain with me.  

Remaining doesn’t mean being static, staying the same. Benedictine Michael Casey wrote: “Stability is not immobility. It’s the knack of remaining constant in the midst of change.”[i] Constancy comes through the little things, daily habits of showing up, being kind, giving thanks. Being gracious with our frailty and the imperfection of those around us. Constancy is all the little choices day by day choosing to stay and seek God here amid grief and waiting for what comes next.

God empowers us by grace to abide, to stick with each other, remaining through the hard, being constant in the little things. I imagine the apostles chose someone with whom they had experienced this. Blessed Matthias whom we remember today.

[i] Michael Casey (2005) “Perseverance” in Strangers to the City: reflections on the beliefs and values of The Rule of St. Benedict. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, p191

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