Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Saint Luke, Evangelist

Tomorrow is the solemn Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist. He is the author of the third Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles.

One of the most striking features of the Gospel of Luke is that it most expressly shows Jesus' own love of preference for the poor, which extends to all the marginalized and discriminated of society. Even if Saint Luke was reputed to be a physician-obviously not poor-his deep sympathy for the downtrodden, which echoes Jesus own compassion is very evident in his writings.

To the Gospel of Luke, we owe the most beautiful hymns that now adorn the sacred liturgy: the Gloria, and the three Gospel canticles: Benedictus, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, which are all praise for God's action on behalf of the lowly: the poor shepherds, barren Zechariah, the humble maid of Nazareth, old priest Simeon-all realized in the person of Christ who gives hope to all who are hopeless, comfort to all who are sorrowing and strength to all who are weak.

Saint Luke is also the foremost historian of the early Church, whole early struggles and growth he recorded and compiled in his Acts of the Apostles which actually forms part of his Gospel. Through him we see how the saving ministry of Christ truly continues through the missionary activity of his Body, the Church.

And so we pray today, on the feast of Saint Luke, for a deeper love of the poor that will hopefully show in the way we think, speak, write and most importantly, the way we live our lives. Let us also pray that we may participate in Christ's redeeming work as members of his Body-writing succeeding chapters to his Gospel by our proclaiming the Good News with our own lives.

Saint Luke, pray for us!