In our January Generations of Faith festival, we focused on the Gospel of Luke, which is the Gospel we will be reading/hearing on Sundays during this liturgical year cycle (Year C). Luke’s gift for writing and his emphasis on universality and forgiveness make this Gospel a favorite for many. We are welcomed into the journey as disciples and given the tools to begin to understand how that path unfolds. In fact, Luke’s work in the Gospel is “continued” in the Acts of the Apostles, also attributed to him and sometimes called “Part II” of the his Gospel. Not only will we spend some quality time with Luke’s Gospel in this liturgical year but we will also walk through the Acts of the Apostles as we always do between Easter Sunday and Pentecost. So, who was Luke and what can we learn from him?
Where was Luke from? Did he know Jesus? What sources did he use while writing the Gospel? Who was he writing for? Click here to learn more about this evangelist and his Gospel.
If you checked out the link above, you already know that there are some very well known stories that appear only in the Gospel of Luke. This is partly due to his sources but it is also because Luke carefully chose the stories he retells as a means of emphasizing certain themes that will run throughout his Gospel. Let's look at a couple examples.
The story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus captures the disillusioned and disoriented feeling among Jesus’ followers after his death. Sometimes we are on that same road—our faith life is a journey and we are not always certain where it will lead. But in the end we discover that Jesus is indeed walking with us. The story of the prodigal son is another that appears only in Luke. It is a powerful story of the power of love and forgiveness, even in the face of foolishness and selfish actions. We are reminded in this story and others like it that no matter how we might stray, we are always welcomed home by a loving and merciful God.
These are just two short examples. To learn more about the themes in Luke, click here to read the Introduction to the Gospel, or here for an overview of the major themes.
There are a few different ways to pray with Scripture. One such way is Lectio Divina (sacred reading). Watch this video clip in which Fr. Jim Martin does a short overview of how to do lectio, offering a 4 question approach that is easy to follow, remember, and use. Also, if you have never noticed, there is always a “Question of the Week” section in the bulletin, which provides prompts to reflect on one of the Sunday readings (almost always the Gospel). If you forgot to pick up a copy of the bulletin at Mass, you can always find it on our parish website.