Discerning God’s Will: Preparation and Prayer

This week,  as we approach the Priesthood Ordinations, Bishop Loverde explains how we are called to make the momentous decisions in our lives: with preparation and prayer.

By: Bishop Paul S. Loverde

Think back on some of the most important decisions many of us have to make in our lives: which career path to choose and to pursue, whether to marry, enter seminary or religious life, when to start a family, where to purchase a home. Did any of those decisions require your drawing straws or throwing darts or some other act of chance? Of course not (as least I hope not!). However in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles just proclaimed in our hearing, we hear that in order to replace Judas, the Apostles drew lots to choose between the two candidates, Joseph and Matthias. The lot fell to Matthias, who “was counted with the Eleven Apostles,” thus becoming the twelfth.

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So, this decision was not left up to chance. Instead, the Apostles were leaving it up to the Holy Spirit. Yet even before that, they were preparing to receive His decision. In doing this they were following the example that Jesus had given them when He chose His Twelve Apostles. We recall that Jesus had many disciples, and after being apart from them in prayer, He returned to name the twelve men that the Father had designated to be His Apostles. We learn that Apostles were not chosen by chance, but by the will of God the Father. So, they received the vocation, the call, to be Apostles. Turning back to the scene in the Upper Room, first the assembly chose Matthias and Joseph as the two best candidates from the group of disciples who had been with Jesus from the beginning. These were two men intimately familiar with Jesus and his teaching, and “a witness to his resurrection” and, therefore, uniquely qualified as to be the twelfth apostle.

This column first appeared in The Arlington Catholic Herald. View it here.

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