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Luke is the only one with me

by davesandel on October 18th, 2021

Monday, October 18, 2021                             (today’s lectionary)

Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist

Luke is the only one with me

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.

Luke was a busy man. Physician, author, son, evangelist, he accompanied Paul to Rome, where he might have spent many days with Paul, who was going blind, perhaps in a Roman prison, listening to the nearly endless stories about Paul’s adventures. Watch Paul, Apostle of Christ, and imagine yourself into the story.

Go on your way, like a lamb among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals. Wherever you are welcomed, cure the sick and preach to them, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”

Luke dedicated both his gospel and the Book of Acts to a man named Theophilus. In his book, Michael O’Brien imagines Luke is the son of Theophilus, a Greek physician, philosopher and agnostic. Theophilus is worried about his son. He is “gravely concerned about the deadly illusions Luke has succumbed to regarding the incredible stories surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, a man of contradictions who has caused so much controversy throughout the Roman Empire.”

When and how did Luke hear the stories of Jesus’ birth? He must have met Jesus’ mother Mary, and spent time with her. The story is so intimate; I can’t imagine he heard it from someone else. As for the rest of his gospel, filled with Jesus’ healing, Jesus’ preaching, and of course Jesus’ passion, he must have interviewed everyone, as well as relying on the first gospel, written by Mark, and other sources (Q and L).         

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed.

I just found, surfing with Saint Luke, that our special guest for today’s Feast wrote 27.5% of the New Testament. As for what we know of Paul’s travels and troubles, much more than 27.5% comes from Luke’s Book of Acts. Luke traveled with Paul on his second missionary journey, and his third. He went with Paul to Asia, to Jerusalem, to Caesarea and at last to Rome.

Only Luke is with me (2 Tim 4:11). Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. The Lord is near to all who call on him.

If he wrote his Acts of the Apostles while he was with Paul in Rome, then perhaps he was executed along with Paul, in the year 67. Or he might have preached elsewhere throughout the Mediterranean world and been martyred decades later. The books he wrote, officially included in the Word of God as defined by early church councils, have been instrumental in changing the lives of many of us, during all those two thousand years since.

I chose you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.

(2 Timothy 4, Psalm 145, John 15, Luke 10)

 

(posted at www.davesandel.net)

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