Tomorrow we have the joy of celebrating the feast of Saint Luke, one of the four evangelists who has so enriched the world by his beautiful gospel. Let us just think for a few minutes of the tremendous treasures for which we are indebted to this man who was the only Gentile among the New Testament writers, who was a physician, who was a disciple and secretary to Saint Paul, and who wrote the third gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. In less than two months, the Christian world will begin to blossom again as it does each year with crib scenes, depicting our dear Lord as a baby lying in a manger. It is to Saint Luke that we owe the knowledge that Our Blessed Mother laid her divine son in a manger because there was no room in the inn at Bethlehem. She and Saint Joseph probably regretted the fact that they could do no better for this divine child than to cradle him where animals ate, but in God’s providence, that manger has become one of the most charming, the most moving, the most inspiring indications of the humility, poverty, simplicity of the Incarnate God. Then, during his public life, Jesus gave to us a number of parables that form the heart of Christian theology and have entered world literature in a way that puts Virgil, Homer, Aristophanes, and Shakespeare to shame. These treasures of divine revelation include the parables of the good Samaritan, the lost sheep, the rich man and poor beggar, the publican and the pharisee, and possibly the most beautiful of them all, the prodigal son.
Where would we be—where would Christian spirituality be, without those incomparable gems of God’s word? Just to take one of these splendid examples of Saint Luke’s contribution to our holy religion, when the prodigal son comes home after squandering half the family fortune and reducing himself to poverty and shame, the older son is angry and unforgiving. He says to his father in sarcasm, “When YOUR SON returns . . . for him you slaughter the fattened calf.” And the loving father replies, “We must celebrate and rejoice, because YOUR BROTHER was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” Nothing in all of Scripture tells us more about God and His Divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, than those simple but profound words. So we rejoice today in celebrating the man who was inspired by God to write for posterity those words of Jesus. In doing so, he has conferred an incomparable gift to the world. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This Message was composed some years ago.