Scripture: Lectionary 661. St. Luke, Oct. 18th: II Timothy 4:9-17. Psalm
145:10-1.12-13.17-18. Luke 10:1-9
Luke offers us two great works: his Gospel and then the Acts of the
Apostles which is the story of the beginnings of the early church through
the apostles. He almost writes one fourth of the New Testament through his
cooperation with the Holys Spirit. His writings consist of 24 chapters in
his Gospel and 28 chapters in the Acts of the Apostles. It is Saint Luke
whom we honor in our liturgical celebration on this 18th of October.
Compassion, joy, and peace are just a few of the themes we find in Luke. He
is the most gifted writer among the four and is able to use his Greek
language to imitate both the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament as
we see in chapters one and two and then the most erudite sentence in the
whole of the New Testament in Luke 1:1-4 where he tells us why he writes.
We are assured that we are receiving the authentic news about Jesus and
that we are being confirmed in our faith when we read this Gospel. Jesus
is the compassionate Savior whom we see in the unique parables that Luke
gives us, for example, the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son or
In our first reading from II Timothy we learn that Luke is with Paul. There
is a possibility he accompanied Paul on the missionary journey mentioned in
the “we” sections of the Acts of the Apostles. Luke thus is with the great
apostle who preached to everyone. Luke as Evangelist and historian has a
universalism that is similar to that of St. Paul.
Through Luke we have the longest Travel Narrative given in a Gospel (Luke
9:51-18:14 and perhaps to 19:27). This is the section where we have the
most about discipleship in a Gospel. We easily see how Jesus is teaching
his followers the conditions of discipleship and the cost of following him
Luke is guided by the Holy Spirit throughout his writings and it is he who
tells us the most about how to pray often. It is he who is the portrait
painter of Mary through his literary images and stories about her. He is
the Evangelist upon whom the rosary is based having almost all of the
mysteries including the luminous ones. Only Cana, the Assumption, and the
Coronation are not reflected in Luke!
We may wish to take out time to discover a few of the above characteristics
of Luke or frame them within his writings as Evangelist, theologian,
historian, and artist. No matter where we read Luke we will have a sense
of his joy and his outreach to all of us. Amen.