This past Thursday, we celebrated the feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. One of the things I appreciate about this feast is that it is a great reminder that Jesus did not call the elite and popular to be his friends; he chose the unlovely; the despised; the outcast. Matthew was a tax-collector — the kind of person you might cross the street to avoid. He was no one’s friend… until Jesus came along, and changed his whole world.

Quite aside from the delightful reminder that we are not called to be disciples of Christ because of our own virtues, I also find it refreshing to be reminded that — like St Matthew — in the presence of Jesus’ love and acceptance, we are all freed to become better versions of ourselves.

Have you ever met a person who believes they are a lost cause, but once they find themselves in a loving, welcoming community, they begin to blossom? That is the vision of church that Jesus is modelling for us in gathering the disciples. All of us are unlovely in some way or another, but gathered around Jesus in loving community, we begin to grow into the image of Christ together.

Yet, we are not gathered just for our own sakes. St Matthew is not just an apostle but an evangelist — a messenger of good news. The blessings he receives as Jesus’ friend are the inspiration for the Gospel that bears his name. So, too, the blessings we receive are meant to be shared with the world, so that others can come to know the transformative love of Christ as well. This is why we close the Mass with a ‘sending’ phrase: “Go forth in the name of Christ.”

As we go through our week, may our eyes be open for the opportunities God presents us with, to take the blessings we have received and pass them on to others.

Mother Amanda

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, September 24, 2023

For two weeks in a row, the Sunday Gospel readings have been centred around the theme of forgiveness — a topic which may seem straightforward, until we really begin to think of the breadth of sins that we humans inflict upon each other. For example, forgiving someone for cutting us off in traffic is a great deal different than forgiving someone who has abused or seriously harmed us.

Forgiveness can be complicated, and it is not synonymous with allowing ourselves to continue to be harmed by someone. God never wants us to suffer — whether due to harm from another person, or from carrying the burdens of resentment and anger, which can weigh so heavily upon our souls.

There is a saying, “Carrying a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person.”  Forgiveness can indeed go a long way towards mending an otherwise healthy relationship, but if the relationship needs to be severed for our well-being, then forgiveness can be an important step in our own healing, when we – with God’s help – are ready to take it.

Ultimately, it is always God who searches us and knows us; who invites us to draw near and learn how to forgive, even if it seems impossible right now.

May we walk gently with one another and with ourselves, knowing ourselves forgiven and beloved by God.

Mother Amanda

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, September 17, 2023