Posted by: fvbcdm | October 18, 2011

Feast of Saint Luke (18 Oct 2011)

On October 18, 1950—sixty-one years ago today—I enlisted in the Navy because the Korean conflict had begun and I was in imminent danger of being drafted into the Army. I hated the thought of signing up for FOUR YEARS in the military since I had a very low opinion of military life. But, in the goodness of God, those years turned out to be wonderfully exciting, educational, and interesting, and led me to the priesthood and religious life with which I have been blessed for fifty-five years. So this date and the fact that it is the annual feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist have meant a great deal to me ever since that day when I, in the Navy recruiting office of New Orleans, put pen to paper and took a very important step in my life.
 
Now, let us talk about this man whom the Church celebrates today. We are very fortunate that four men composed gospel stories, that is, accounts of the actions and words of Our Lord during his years on earth. Each of the four reveals himself to be a different sort of writer with a different perspective and thus we get a wonderful combination of data which paint a beautiful picture of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. What do we know about Saint Luke?
 
Among other elements in the Gospel of Saint Luke are these: Saint Luke was a Gentile, not a Jew. He was a doctor and indicates his medical outlook from time to time in his writings, which include not only the third Gospel but also the Acts of the Apostles. He wanted us to know something about the origins of Our Lord’s life, and so he gives us the so-called Infancy Gospel telling us of the conception and birth of Saint John the Baptist, the conception and birth of Jesus, the presentation of the forty-day-old Savior in the temple and the things that happened there on that occasion; and the loss and finding of the twelve-year-old Savior in the temple.
 
We find more mention of women in the gospel of Saint Luke than in the others; more mention of prayer and of the Holy Spirit. There are six miracles and eighteen parables of Our Lord found only in the Gospel of Luke. And there is a marked contrast between the seemingly rough personality of Jesus in Saint Mark’s gospel and the kind, urbane character of Jesus in Saint Luke’s. For this reason, the poet Dante calls Saint Luke “the writer of the gentleness of Christ.”
 
We should all read all four gospels frequently so as to get to know better the unique characteristics of each one, and by putting them all together, to get to know Jesus as he is revealed to us in Sacred Scripture. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

 

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