Today, October 18, we celebrate the feast day of St. Luke, evangelist and author of the Acts of the Apostles. Luke’s two works comprise almost a quarter of the New Testament.
A physician from Antioch, Luke encountered Jesus’ disciples while caring for the physical needs of the community. The Good News so astounded Luke that he became their frequent companion. St. Paul later referred to him as a “fellow worker.” While the chosen twelve were of Jewish heritage, Luke was probably a Gentile, as indicated from his familiarity with the Greek language. Christians have insight into the first 30 years of the church because St. Luke was a faithful recorder of that critical time.
When I was a child, I always loved to hear about the early life of Jesus, especially about His birth. I didn’t realize that what I was learning could only be found in Luke’s Gospel. Since then, I have continued to be drawn to his Gospel. Some of the other passages found only in Luke have been essential to my personal and faith development, including the stories of The Good Samaritan, The Ten Lepers, The Prodigal Son, and the Parable of the Persistent Widow. From these passages, I have learned about compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, and trust, all of which are so necessary if you intend to be a disciple of Jesus.
St. Luke gathered vital information for his works. This information came from written sources, from talking with the disciples, from eyewitnesses, and from his own experiences of the times. Saints Peter, Paul, and Philip were major sources for him. It is evident that St. Luke allowed the Holy Spirit to be his inspiration as he composed the texts that would one day be accepted into the canon of the Bible.
I doubt that St. Luke realized the impact that his written contributions would have on all of Christianity. Two thousand years later, I am grateful for this man of faith. I hope that I will allow the Holy Spirit to guide me so that I, too, may inspire others to discipleship. Is the Holy Spirit calling you to share your faith?
Written by Sister Susan Pugh, D.C.