Feast of Saint Luke

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Luke was one of the 72 sent out by Christ to deliver the good news. He was born in Antioch of Greek heritage and a pagan, or possibly a lax Jew strongly influenced by Hellenic culture. He was a physician and well educated. His gifted writing style chronicled the mood and development of the early Church. Ironically he was the companion of Paul on many of his missionary journeys. Ironic in that Luke was the pagan convert and Paul a Pharisee convert. I wonder how that companionship would have gone if not for Jesus Christ.Would a Pharisee associate with a pagan if not for Christ? His Acts of the Apostles particularly chronicles the development of the early church and his audience likely was those gentile converts he ministered to.The skill of his writing style captures the nuances that helped shape the early church, and guide that same church today.His Acts is a post Resurrection, post Ascension gospel; it is the chronicling of an Easter Christ at work in his disciples.Acts has a particular relevance to us as participants in that Easter Christ. His gospel gives us the story of the Good Samaritan. Luke’s gospel emphasizes the importance of the women who accompanied Jesus such as Mary Magdalene, Martha and Mary. He chronicles the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Presentation, and Jesus remaining in Jerusalem (or the finding of Jesus at the temple): these are the joyous mysteries of the rosary. His gospel includes the basis of the Hail Mary : “Hail Mary, full of grace” at the Annunciation and “Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.” from the Visitation. Luke in his gospel emphasizes God’s forgiveness and mercy through stories such as the Prodigal Son. He tells the story of the woman washing Jesus feet with her tears. Luke’s is a gospel of salvation for all, Jews and gentiles like him. Luke’s is a gospel of mercy, a gospel for the poor and marginalized, for the lost and the sinners. His truly is a joyous gospel of the universal Church.

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