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FAITH > Gospel of St Luke - Yr C
St Luke's Gospel (Year C) Minimize
St Luke iconOn Sundays in Year C we listen to the Gospel of Luke. By tradition Luke was a doctor and an artist, born at Antioch, in Syria. He was a companion and fellow worker with Paul, going on to tell the story of the early years of faith in the Acts of the Apostles. But in his gospel, written shortly after 70AD, he isn’t repeating Paul’s ideas, rather setting forth the apostolic tradition itself, enriched by a generation of reflection and meditation. And although Luke is certainly a man of faith, he is writing as an historian, who has carefully interviewed the apostles and eyewitnesses.

The evidence is then ordered into a sequence which does follow in the footsteps of Pauline theology. Luke’s Messiah reaches out to all. Jesus is the saviour of all human beings, and not just the Jewish Messiah. Those who are not Jews are not seen as unworthy enemies. The Samaritans are models of gratitude. Other pagans show good conduct and steady faith.

Jesus is shown as the “friend of sinners”. His Good News is for the simple and the lowly and those to whom society gives little value. He is moved by compassion and sorrow for human suffering. Generally he is more open to the troubles of women: the widow of Nain, the woman of ill repute who anointed Jesus’ feet, (Mary Magdalene ?), and the domestic conflicts of Mary and Martha.

Luke’s gospel gives us the wonderful human stories; the story of Jesus. who dines at hard-bitten Zacchaeus’ house when the tax extortionist mends his ways and pays compensation to his victims. His is the parable of the prodigal father with two sons, one foolish and the other wise. Yet it is the foolish one who repents, and is more lovable; the wise one who resents his brother’s change of heart. And we even see the gratitude of Jesus, that the Father has shown him so much: “filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: I bless You, Father, Lord heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever, and revealing them to mere children.”

Luke, though not much interested in the Old Testament, doesn’t hesitate to use the classic Isaiah prediction of the Messiah to describe Jesus and his mission: "The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for He has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to cap¬tives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.”

May it be a year of favour to all who listen to the voice of Luke.
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