October 18, 2022 – Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/101822.cfm)
We, as Church today, owe a lot to the evangelist, St. Luke. The Gospel according to him and the Acts of the Apostles which is also believe to have come from the tradition of Luke were two great accounts that tell us more about Jesus, his ministry and the early life of the first Christians.
It is through St. Luke’s account that we have today a lively, heartwarming and inspiring characters of Jesus as described to us in the Gospel. Luke particularly emphasized the character of Jesus that showed compassion and mercy to the sinners, to those who suffer not just of physical and spiritual illness but also those who were subjected to public humiliation and indifference. This is how the poor, the oppressed and the less fortunate were given special attention by Luke.
Thus, as we celebrate the feast of St. Luke today, there are things in his holy life that we can learn today and that serve as the invitations for us to grow in our Christian faith.
Luke as healer. Luke is the patron of physicians and surgeons since Luke himself was a doctor or a healer. Though it was believed that Luke was actually a slave, but it was common at that time that even slaves were given the opportunity to learn medicine in order to serve the family of their masters. Luke learned well the art of healing that when he was graced with faith, he too continued his gift of healing to people. Indeed, Luke allowed the Lord to make him an instrument of healing. This is depicted in the many healing stories that Luke emphasized in the Gospel because Luke can relate well how healing help people to live life fully.
Luke as a faithful friend. Paul in his Second Letter to Timothy confessed that many of his friends had deserted him. Only Luke remained at his side to which Paul was very grateful. Luke, despite the many challenges he and Paul experienced remained at the side of the Apostle to assist him in the mission of preaching the Gospel and brining the presence of Christ to the Gentiles. Luke was a Gentile himself, a Greek from Antioch, Syria and was converted to Christ. Luke lived his life to the full and living it at the service of the Gospel with Paul. This was how Luke proved his faithfulness to Christ by being a faithful friend and companion of Paul.
Luke as a preacher. Luke was also well-educated in classical Greek. This was the reason why we have the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Luke communicated well the story of Jesus to his audiences with the intention to bring more people closer to Jesus by knowing him, his mission and his very life even though he did not meet Jesus personally. In fact, Luke saw the life and mission of our Lord Jesus as God’s visitation to us. This is evident at how the Gospel contains stories of visitations like that of Gabriel to Mary, the visit of Mary to Elizabeth, of Jesus to Zacchaeus’ house, etc. In today’s Gospel passage Jesus also sent 72 disciples to every town and place he intended to visit. In this way, Luke through his writings bring us closer to Jesus who comes to visit us as he too was being visited by the Lord.