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Archive for October 18th, 2018

Almighty God, our Father, Your blessed Son called Luke the physician to be an evangelist and physician of the soul. Grant that the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments may put to flight the diseases of our souls that with willing hearts we may ever love and serve You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Lessons for the Day:

Psalm 147:1-7
Isaiah 35:5-8
2 Timothy 4:5-15
Luke 10:1-9

St. Luke, the beloved physician referred to by St. Paul (Colossians4:14), presents us with Jesus, whose blood provides the medicine of immortality. As his traveling companion, Paul claimed Luke’s Gospel as his own for its healing of souls (Eusebius). Luke traveled with Paul during the second missionary journey, joining him after Paul received his Macedonian call to bring the Gospel to Europe (Acts16:10-17).  Luke most likely stayed behind in Philippi for seven years, rejoining Paul at the end of the third missionary journey inMacedonia. He traveled with Paul to Troas, Jerusalem, and Caesarea, where Paul was imprisoned for two years (Acts 20:5-21:18). While in Caesarea, Luke may have researched material that he used in his Gospel. Afterward, Luke accompanied Paul on his journey to Rome (Acts 27:1-28:16). Especially beloved in Luke’s Gospel are:

  • the stories of the Good Samaritan ( Luke 16:29-37),

  • the prodigal son (Luke15:11-32),

  • the rich man and Lazarus  (Luke16:19-31),

  • and the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14).

  • Only Luke provides a detailed account of Christ’s birth (Luke 2:1-20)

  • and the canticles of Mary (Luke1:46-55),

  • of Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79),

  • and, Simeon (Luke2:29-32).

To show how Christ continued His work in the Early Church through the apostles, Luke also penned the Acts of the Apostles. More than one-third of the New Testament comes from the hand of the evangelist Luke.  (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

It was Marshal McLuhan, a professor and one of the first to study the impact of television and media on human society and our minds, who said, The medium is the massage.  Media, television, radio, print, and now social media, are massaging educating us and forming us in ways that are opposite of the Lord’s instruction, but now in cyber-speed. The “powers and principalities” rule in the media and we are taught atheism, materialism, “the dictatorship of relativism”, all  under the lure of hedonism and narcissism, that the old Adam craves.  We live in a selfie age.  St. Luke wrote the Gospel to one “most excellent Theophilus”.  He no doubt was taught well in the ways of the Roman empire and society which is so like ours,  but now, out of the Lord’s Word and Work in and through Israel in the Old Testament the flower and fruit of Israel had been born of the Virgin Mary:  Jesus Christ.

In his introduction to the Gospel, St. Luke uses the word “catechized”.  The Gospels are history and as the history of our lives, there is meaning.  Theophilus was catechized, taught in the Way, as a “follower of the Way”, the meaning of the Word and Work of Jesus Christ.  Theophilus was taught God’s Word and  many were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word.  The fruit of faith is shown in works of love.  “Theophilus” means “love of God”.  Many have asked, Who was Theophilus?  One answer:  all of us, the love of God.  We are all Theophilus. Luke writes, most excellent Theophilus.  “Excellent” was term of respect for a high, noble official.  God’s Word is for the poorest of the poor and the most elite of the elite!  God’s love in Christ had taught Theophilus and now Luke connects the dots for him and us. This history of Jesus is the good news, the Gospel which not only informs but forms us in His Word, sinners who are simultaneously saints by faith, given through grace.

“Paul says that in the Christian assembly, he prefers rational words, “five words of knowledge” than a thousand in tongues, so that he may “catechize” those present (1 Cor 14:19)…” (Dr. Just)

This faith comes through the gospel’s  catechesis  that assures of certainty of the facts narrated regarding Jesus. “Catecheo”  (“to catechize, instruct, inform”) occurs four times in Luke-Acts (Lk 1:4; Acts 18:25; 21:21, 24) and three times in Paul (Rom 2:18; 1 Cor 14:19; Gal 6:6). Acts 18:25 has the same meaning as here: Apollos “had been catechized in the way of the Lord.” We can know the facts of the way a bike works, which is important, but the way we learn a bike is to learn to ride it, catechized in the way of the Lord and His heart towards us, for us, with us. St. Luke followed Jesus Christ Who called him to follow him.  St. Luke not only followed the Lord but also, 

“…followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (St. Luke 1)

In his commentary on Luke’s Gospel, Dr. Art Just makes the strong case that Luke’s Gospel is a catechism, as the Word of God and of His Christ, forms us as we are taught and are baptized followers of Jesus.  The Lord’s way is different from the world and it’s media. The way of the world is death.  The way of Christ Jesus is everlasting life.  As Luke joined Paul in his missionary journeys, we are part of that journey as well.   

The Gospel of Luke and Acts is most notably  in the literary structure of a travelogue. He bids us join Him everyday.  If lost, He will find you and the Church will welcome you.  Jesus caught up with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, so does the Lord for you in the paths of life through this world. And the Lord taught the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we learn after the risen Lord revealed Himself to them, Luke reports:

32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (St. Luke 24)

May the Lord open to us the Scriptures to ever point out our sin and point us to our Lord who bore our sin to be our Savior as we journey through this wilderness, inviting others to the Way that leads us ever onward to the Lord.

Guide me ever, great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but you are mighty;
Hold me with your pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore:
Feed me now and evermore.

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