Friday, October 18, 2002

What we know about St. Luke, evangelist

1) He faithfully served St. Paul on his journeys. Today's reading from 2 Timothy lists lots of folk who went somewhere, got sent elsewhere, fell in love with the world and ran off yonder, and so on, concluding with "only Luke is with me still."

2) He was, by profession, a physician. St. Paul mentions "my beloved physician" in passing in another one of his letters.

3) There is a very strong pious tradition that he was a portrait painter for a hobby, and that he was the first iconographer.

4) He was a writer, and a good one. He was the author of both the Gospel that bears his name and the Acts of the Apostles. He especially prided himself on his complete and accurate research, read the first paragraphs of his Gospel! And he had an ear for poetry: all three gospel canticles are from his Gospel.

5) He listened to and paid attention to women. In both his books, there is information he would never have known to write unless he attended to the women who knew that information; especially Mary the mother of Jesus, but others as well (....Dorcas, Rhoda, Prisca, Lydia.....).

St. Luke, pray with us and for us in the words you recorded for us:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of His servant Israel
for He has remembered His promise of mercy,
the promise He made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

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