Thursday, October 19, 2006

St. Luke, Evangelist -- Oct. 18

Why am I a day behind? Doh!

St. Luke is the one credited for writing the third gospel and its companion the book of Acts. And while his (or her for that matter) identity is largely unkown, Luke's gospel contains some of the most beloved parables, and most-used liturgical songs. If one makes it a habit of praying the Daily Offices, these canticles are heard often. One of the central pieces of Vespers is the Magnificat, Mary's Song which she sings when she visits her cousin Elizabeth.
Luke 1:46-55(NRSV) My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
Then there are the songs of Zechariah, and of Simeon. We receive the beginning of the Gloria from the song of the angels at Jesus' birth.

Much of Luke's emphasis is on the reversal of the world with the coming of God's Reign. The poor and outcast are exalted, the rich and powerful are cast down. Luke's beatitudes are much earthier than Matthew's. There Luke writes "Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (6:20)"

And one of the most beloved resurrection stories of Jesus happens in Luke. On the road to Emmaus, the two disciples see Jesus revealed to them in the breaking of the bread. St. Luke portrays Jesus, and later the Church, as active in the world, forgiving sin, helping the poor and outcast, healing the sick and proclaiming liberty to the captive.

May we continue to be that kind of Church.

Peace.

1 comment:

Editor said...

Excellent posting. I have been reading a lot of the Old Testament. I can't wait to get into the New. You post has some interesting topics I would like to explore!

Al