St. Luke

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Luke, Gospel writer and author of the Acts of the Apostles. I love Luke’s Gospel both for its beginning and its end. Only Luke’s Gospel contains the episodes of the Annunciation and the Visitation, both of which have been powerful passages in my prayer experience. And only Luke has the resurrected Jesus meeting the two disiples on the road to Emmaus, a passage that has always been close to my heart. (The middle of the Gospel is not shabby either; it is in Luke that we find the story of the prodigal son.)

The other reason I love Luke so much is his emphasis on the poor and the marginalized. More so than the other evangelists, Luke portrays Jesus’ openness toward everyone that needed his attention, regardless of who they were, regardless of how they were despised by others. He emphasizes Jesus concern for the poor, for widows, for lepers, for victims of prejudice. His Gospel carries a twofold message. First, that all are welcomed by Jesus, regardless of who they are and how little they have. Second, that we have an obligation to be sensitive to the needs of the poor and marginalized, to act toward them as Jesus did – to love them and to be generous in providing for their needs. Good lessons in the world in which we live today.

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