In this passage Peter helps us remember the historical significance of Judas’s role, so Jesus may redeem the world by his death and resurrection. Now there is a void in the structure of the 12 Apostles—only 11 remain. Two capable followers of our Lord fit the criteria to replace the open void, so how do the remaining apostles decide who should become the 12th apostle? They draw lots, and choose Matthias.
It is interesting to me that two very capable men were chosen by Jesus to follow our Lord; but, without our Lord’s presence, they had to resort to casting lots. How do you think Barsabbas felt when he was not chosen? Did he feel left out, sad, angry, jealous? How do I feel when I am not chosen?
Then, as now, life may feel competitive. Sometimes only one person wins the race or is chosen for a promotion; only one person gets to lead. I do not think God necessarily views life as a competition. Competition is a human feeling not a spiritual feeling. In our Lord’s view we are all chosen. We all may serve our Lord. How we do so is up to us. It is also up to us to serve with humility, as Pope Francis shows us by his humble leadership.
—Bob Thomas is Executive Director and CEO of Rainbows for All God’s Children, Evanston IL