“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word...” (Luke 2:29)
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Luke (October 18, 2021): 2 TM 4:10-17,PS 145:10-11,12-13,17-18; LK 10:1-9
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In today’s Gospel we hear, “The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom He sent ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place He intended to visit.
Today we honor St. Luke the Evangelist, the only gentile among the authors of the Gospel. He is believed to have been born in Antioch and that he was a physician. He was an early convert to Christianity, possibly through the efforts of St. Paul, with whom Luke traveled on some of his missionary journeys. In addition to writing the Gospel, he wrote the Acts of the Apostles. In these companion books, he showed the life and ministry of Jesus Christ our Savior and the beginnings of His Church. Luke began with the announcement of the birth of St. John the Baptist and continued through the preaching and imprisonment of St. Paul in Rome, a period of approximately 65 years. In writing about the Nativity of Jesus, Luke’s Gospel includes three beautiful canticles, or songs of praise, still commonly used by the Church. The first was uttered by Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, then the Magnificat prayed by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and, finally, the words of Simeon, called the Nunc Dimittis.
In today’s Gospel we hear, “The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom He sent ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place He intended to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of his harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Luke 10:1-2). This was part of Christ’s instructions on how they should fulfill their mission to let people know that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Luke obviously took everything he learned about Jesus to heart and shared it with the people of his own time and with all the generations of Christ’s followers to come. We have Luke to thank for so much of our knowledge about the early years of the Church as it spread from Jerusalem, ultimately arriving in Rome. However, about St. Luke himself, we have virtually no knowledge after his time with Paul. According to tradition, Luke was also an artist and painter of icons, possibly even of the Blessed Mother. He is thought to have been martyred in Greece, and his tomb is in Thebes.