St. Luke the Evangelist, authored beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ
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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Only in his Gospel do we hear two of the best known and widely loved parables, that of the Good Samaritan and of the Prodigal Son.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St. Luke has been called the Gospel of the poor and disenfranchised, of women, of prayer, and, as noted by Pope St. John Paul II, the Gospel of Mercy. Luke was not one of the original disciples of Christ, in fact, he was a Gentile and may have been converted by St. Paul. Luke was certainly a good friend and coworker of Paul’s as we hear in the first reading today when Paul writes to Timothy about his ordeal as he anticipates his impending martyrdom: “Luke is the only one with me. … At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. … But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and the Gentiles might hear it” (2 Timothy 4:11,16-17). Luke learned from Jesus’ first followers about His life, from infancy to His death, resurrection, and ascension. Only in his Gospel do we hear two of the best known and widely loved parables, that of the Good Samaritan and of the Prodigal Son. Luke also provided Christians with knowledge of the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles, the book that picks up where the Gospel leaves off. It includes some activities of St. Peter and St. Paul that is not available elsewhere.
Yet we do not know a great deal about St. Luke himself. He came from Antioch and was a physician. Later legends say he may have also been an artist and painted the earliest depiction of the Madonna and Child. While in his eighties, he is believed to have been martyred in Boeotia, Greece. He may have been hanged from an olive tree, and his tomb is located in Thebes. Today, St. Luke is patron of painters and artists as well as of physicians and surgeons.
Suggested missionary action: Let us both honor St. Luke and learn more about Christ and His Church by spending some time reading from his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. We might start at the beginning and read straight through, or we could browse and pick sections we already enjoy – or ones we have not really pondered before.