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St. Luke, Evangelist

Friday October 18, 2024

St. Luke is traditionally attributed as the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. It's believed he was a physician and likely a Greek Gentile. This perspective is considered important because his gospel addresses a Gentile audience, providing a different viewpoint than the other gospels. He is thought to be the Luke identified by St. Paul in the epistles.

His gospel is unique for its inclusion of stories that portray Gentiles and social outcasts in a positive light. The Gospel of Luke is the only gospel to tell the beloved story of the Good Samaritan and of the thankfulness of the Samaritan who is healed of leprosy. It suggests that Luke was interested in breaking down social and ethnic barriers, aligning with the inclusive message of Christianity.

Luke’s gospel also places emphasis on social justice, highlighting Jesus’ concern for the poor and marginalized. It’s one of the more comprehensive accounts, detailing the life of Jesus from birth to death and resurrection. Luke shines light on our Blessed Mother and contains many details about the birth of Jesus which the other gospels do not.

The symbol commonly associated with St. Luke is the ox, aligning with the themes of sacrifice and temple rituals present in his gospel. Oxen were commonly sacrificed in temple practices, so this symbolism seems fitting for a gospel that frequently discusses Jesus as a priest and the significance of the temple.

Luke was not just an author; he was also a close companion to St. Paul and was noted for his loyalty. Even when Paul was imprisoned, Luke stood by his side, displaying commitment and fidelity. This paints a picture of Luke as not just a recorder of events, but an active participant and supporter of early Christian communities.

Patron Saint of ...

St. Luke is the patron saint of physicians, surgeons, butchers, and artists (particularly painters).

Daily Mass Readings for the Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist

  • First Reading - 2 Timothy 4:10-17b: Many have left me; only Luke remains. Get Mark; he's useful. Bring my cloak and parchments. Watch out for Alexander. Despite initial abandonment, the Lord helped me to complete my proclamation to the Gentiles.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 145: All your works thank you, Lord, and your faithful bless you. Your Kingdom is eternal, your power known. You are just, holy, and near to those who truthfully call on you.
  • Gospel - Luke 10:1-9: Jesus sends 72 disciples to towns he plans to visit. They're told the harvest is plentiful, but laborers are few. They should carry minimal supplies and bring peace. In welcoming homes, they should cure the sick and announce God's Kingdom.

Homilies and Reflections

Word on Fire: Saint Luke, the Artist

The reflection from Word on Fire highlights St. Luke's role as an evangelist and possible iconographer, emphasizing how both his Gospel and traditional icons aim to facilitate a direct encounter with the divine. Luke's detailed account of the Annunciation and Incarnation suggests he was well-connected, perhaps even meeting Mary. Icons are not mere paintings, but participatory visual theology that lets the subject gaze back at the viewer. It suggests that this 'reversed horizon' in iconography can teach us how to better approach the Gospels: not as texts to analyze from our limited perspective, but as living words that engage us in a broader, divine context.

Quotes and Social Media Graphics

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The Magnificat: This beautiful prayer of the Virgin Mary is only found in the Gospel of Luke.
Gospel of Luke
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The Gospel of Luke

The Gospel of Luke is a key book in the New Testament. It gives a detailed account of Jesus' life, ministry, and resurrection. Known as the "Gospel of Mercy," it focuses on Jesus' compassion for all, including marginalized groups. The gospel is notable for its emphasis on social ethics, portraying Jesus' interactions with women and the poor. It provides a well-rounded narrative of Jesus' life and teachings, along with historical and cultural context. Luke's gospel underscores the universal reach of God's love, inviting everyone to find forgiveness and reconciliation through faith in Jesus.

The Acts of the Apostles
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The Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of the Apostles is a critical text for understanding the early Christian Church, acting as a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. It outlines the apostles' actions and teachings after Jesus' ascension, emphasizing their missionary work, the challenges they faced, and the role of the Holy Spirit. The book offers a historical framework for the development of Christian doctrine and the Church's structure. It's valuable for understanding early practices, evangelization efforts, and the importance of community and unity. The text serves as a guide for modern believers, reminding us of the Church's origins and the ongoing mission to spread the Gospel.

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