When Peter addressed the assembly of believers, as we heard in today’s first reading, he didn’t say that candidates for the position had to be highly educated, well spoken, or have good “people skills.” What he did say is that the one to be chosen had to have accompanied the band of apostles from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry until his ascension. In other words, to become an apostle, one had to have shown up and stuck with it- in good times and bad, in joy and in sorrow, come rain or sunshine.
Perhaps that’s a good reminder for us when we reflect on our own discipleship. Our journey with the Lord may include a lot of monotony. We may struggle with doubts; we might suffer for our faith; the institutional church or our brothers and sisters may let us down; and at times prayer, devotion, and celebration of the sacraments may seem like a waste of time or feel like a crashing bore.
That’s when we need to be disciplined- to stick with it- to continue to put one foot in front of the other- to keep on keeping on. In spite of our feelings; in spite of our frustrations; in spite of our fear. Such perseverance is the difference between a fair-weather friend of Jesus, and a friend to the end. And, it’s the raw material from which God could prepare Matthias to be an apostle, and fashion you and me into saints.