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Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
December 17, 2017
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Ordinary Time

For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.

Saint of the Week

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Luke, Evangelist, First Century

Luke is the author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles. He was the only Gentile Christian among the four Evangelists and his Gospel, written in Greek, was unquestionably written for Gentile Christians.

Tradition has him as a Greek-born, from Antioch. Saint Paul called Luke "our beloved physician" (Col 4:14) and Luke was known to have traveled with Paul on his second and third missionary expeditions in Greece and Rome. He also accompanied Paul on the dangerous journey to Rome, where Paul wrote, "only Luke is with me" (2 Tim 4:11).

During Paul's imprisonment in Caesarea around the years 61 to 63, Luke probably did his research on the life of Christ and had the opportunity to interview people who had known Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles, the story of the growth of the Church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was probably written during this period as well. Luke’s Gospel, sometimes called the “Gospel of the Poor” or the “Gospel of Mercy,” is thought to have been written sometime between 70 and 90 and may have been written in Greece.

One early legend has Luke as the artist of several paintings of Mary. While there is no hard evidence to support it, it is very likely that Luke did visit Mary in Jerusalem while seeking information about Jesus. Much of the infancy narrative and the finding of Jesus in the Temple could only have come from someone like Mary.

Luke is the patron saint of artists, brewers, butchers, glass workers, notaries, painters, and physicians. A feast honors this saint on October 18.

Luke's message today: Like the other Evangelists, Luke’s message is with us today as it has been throughout the history of the Church. They have given us the Gospels, which enable us to learn about Jesus’ life and ministry. Further, the Acts of the Apostles give us grounding in the work of the Holy Spirit in the early Church.

  • Are you familiar with Luke’s Infancy Narrative (1:5-2:38)? Read this beautiful story again and reflect on its relation to your life today.