I remember the relief of not being chosen last for kickball. It wasn’t that I loved kickball. I just didn’t want to feel forgotten. “Pick me! Choose me!” The desire to belong might be a feeling you experienced in childhood, too—the yearning to be known, seen, and chosen.
Older now, that yearning remains. I’m made for belonging, for love, just as you are, sister. Jesus calls us to belong because He yearns for us, too. “Remain in my love . . . so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete” (John 15:9,11). Remaining looks like staying near to Jesus and trusting in His promise.
Saint Matthias was a man who remained near to Christ and found his belonging there. We know little about him, but what we read today speaks to his friendship with the Lord. He remained. He stayed near and believed when Jesus spoke of love and action. Matthias “accompanied [them] the whole time” (Acts 1:21), the Lord knew his heart (Acts 1:24), he was chosen (Acts 1:24, John 15:16) to bear fruit. Matthias’ life exemplified remaining with Jesus, day in and day out, keeping His commandment to love others.
I'd like to imitate Matthias in my daily living. I imagine his quiet daily living reflected his relationship with the Lord, as he loved like Jesus.
But it’s not easy to remain.
I don’t always hear my name or experience the joy Jesus promises. Yes, even now as a grown woman I sometimes I wonder how and where I belong. Still, I'm trying to trust that if I remain (through heartache, through rejection, through loss, through stress), there will be joy.
Matthias didn't need to be appointed by Peter to be chosen. He had already been invited by Christ from the beginning, just as you and I have. Each day He’s calling us to remain in His love, because each day He wants us to know joy. I'm starting to believe it, the more I stay near to hear Him say, I also love you.
These excerpts from the Diary of Saint Faustina show Jesus' incredible love for us.
Gina Fensterer is a Colorado native at heart, but the West Coast beach life suits her just fine. She currently lives in small coastal area of California with her husband and six children. She loves the Jesus prayer, coffee at any time of day, homemade salsa, photography, and sleepy toddler snuggles. You can find out more about her here.