Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist
(II Timothy 4:10-17b; Luke 10:1-9)
Of all the evangelists only Luke shows Jesus sending out seventy-two disciples to preach the good news. His purpose may well be to anticipate the great exodus of disciples in the Acts of the Apostles. They will be chased out of Jerusalem and will reach the ends of the earth. The Book of Genesis reports that there are seventy-two nations in the world. Luke has a disciple for each.
The message that Jesus dictates for his preachers has a curious twist. After telling them to preach the coming of the kingdom of God, he adds “for you.” He means for the people themselves. Throughout the gospel and into Acts Luke shows Jesus’ concern for the poor. Here he quotes Jesus as wanting to remind the people that the good news is for them, the poor of the world.
We cannot help but cherish Luke’s gospel. Not only does it give us the most complete picture of the Virgin Mary, it also tells the most beloved parables. But more important than seizing these aspects, we have to allow it to move us to comfort the poor. It is the best way to honor St. Luke. Indeed, it is the best way to honor the Lord Jesus.