St. Luke presents the compassion of Jesus
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist (October 18, 2018): 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.
What do we know about the life of St. Luke the Evangelist?
He is believed to have been a Gentile from Antioch who was a physician and may also have been a painter. We do know that after becoming a Christian, he gave up his former life to share the Good News of salvation. He traveled with St. Paul during some of his second and third missionary journeys. Luke staunchly stood by Paul after he was arrested and held captive first in Caesarea and then in Rome. It was through the Gospel he wrote and its companion book, the Acts of the Apostles, that he contributed so much to the Church and Christians of every generation. Only Luke speaks of the Annunciation, Visitation and Presentation. Only Luke recounts the beautiful parables of the Good Samaritan and of the Prodigal Son. Again and again, Luke addresses Christ’s compassion for the marginalized people of his time as well as emphasizing the importance of the Holy Spirit.
While Luke was concerned with spreading the faith to his fellow Gentiles, he respected the Jewish people and might well have prayed today’s words from the Psalms: “All your works give you thanks, Lord, and Your faithful bless you. They speak of the glory of Your reign and tell of Your mighty works, making known to the sons of men Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:10-12). Despite St. Luke’s immeasurable addition to the New Testament, we do not know how he spent his final days.
Suggested missionary action: Let us resolve to read a chapter of the powerful Gospel according to St. Luke each day for the next few weeks. And let us emulate St. Luke's emphasis on the compassion of our Lord for the marginalized by our own prayers and outreach.
October is Mission Month.
World Mission Sunday is October 21.