HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF SAINT LUKE THE EVANGELIST.
THEME: Saint Luke, the Author of the Gospel of Mercy.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA.
HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OCTOBER 18 2022.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
2 Timothy 4:10-17
Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Luke, the author of the third Gospel.
The name Luke means ‘bringer of light’ and he was one of the earliest converts. He was born to pagan Greek parents at Antioch in Syria and possibly a slave. He was a Greek by birth and a physician by profession studying in Antioch and Tarsus. He is best known to us as the author of both the Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Though not an eye-witness of Our Lord’s life, the meticulous Evangelist diligently gathered information from those who had followed or listened to Jesus of Nazareth and wrote all things in order. His command of Greek is much admired.
*THE AUTHOR OF THE GOSPEL OF MERCY?*
The Gospel of Luke is also called the gospel of mercy. This is because Luke portrays Jesus as the face of God’s mercy. Some of the most memorable passages of mercy are only to be found in Luke’s gospel, such as the story of the sinful woman anointing the feet of Jesus, the parable of the prodigal son, the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, the meeting of Jesus and Zacchaeus, the dialogue between the good thief and Jesus on the cross. It is above all in Luke that Jesus is portrayed as revealing the hospitable love of God to the broken in spirit or body.
*ABOUT THE FIRST READING*
In this morning’s first reading, Paul, at a time of great personal vulnerability laments the fact that all his companions have deserted him, with the exception of Luke. ‘Only Luke is with me’, Paul says. Luke is portrayed in that reading as the faithful companion to Paul. Towards the end of that reading Paul repeats that ‘everyone of them deserted me’, but then goes on to declare that ‘the Lord stood by me and gave me power’. ‘Only Luke is with me’; ‘the Lord stood by me’. Paul seems to be saying that the Lord stood by him in the person of Luke, that Luke revealed the Lord’s faithfulness to him.
*ABOUT THE GOSPEL READING*
It is only this gospel who gives us this passage of Jesus sending out seventy two as labourers in God’s harvest to proclaim in word and deed the message of the kingdom, the message of God’s merciful and hospitable love. We all belong among that large group of seventy two. If Jesus is the face of God’s merciful love, he sends us all out to reveal something of that same face of God’s mercy to all those we encounter in life.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore strive to follow in the footsteps of St. Luke the Evangelist, and do whatever we can, at every opportunities presented to us, to be the role models for one another and to help each other in our respective journeys of faith in life.
May God Bless Us All and may St Luke always pray for us.
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