Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Happy feast day to you, St. Luke!

St. Luke is the patron saint of those in the healing ministries. He was thought to be Greek, possibly trained in medicine as a slave in his youth. He was a traveling companion to Paul.

James Keifer said:

"In Luke's account of the Gospel, we find an emphasis on the human love of Christ, on His compassion for sinners and for suffering and unhappy persons, for outcasts such as the Samaritans, tax collectors, lepers, shepherds (not a respected profession), and for the poor. The role of women in Christ's ministry is more emphasized in Luke than in the other Gospel writings."

Today's reading from the Gospel of Luke confirms Jesus' compassionate nature, and describes one of the miracles Jesus performed.

If you have any "natural" explanations to explain away the miracles, keep them to yourself. Jesus certainly performed them, and still does -- from a different place.

Luke 9:1-17:
He called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and do not have a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leavelet your departure be from there. As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as evidence against them."
So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere. Meanwhile Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was going on; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, "John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?" And he was anxious to see him.
On their return the apostles gave him an account of all they had done. Then he took them with him and withdrew towards
a town called Bethsaida where they could be by themselves. But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them welcome and talked to them about the kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing. It was late afternoon when the Twelve came up to him and said, "Send the people away, and they can go to the villages and farms roundabout to find lodging and food; for we are in a lonely place here." He replied, "Give them something
to eat yourselves." But they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we are to go ourselves and buy food
for all these people." For there were about five thousand men. But he said to his disciples, "Get them to sit down in parties of
about fifty." They did so and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, and said the blessing over them; then he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the crowd. They all ate as much as they wanted, and when the scraps left over were collected they filled twelve baskets.

Thank you St. Luke, for your gifts as a physician/healer and as a writer and chronicler of Jesus' ministry on Earth. Thank you for these glimpses of a gracious and compassionate human and God, who esteemed women, who helped sinners and healed the sick, and who brought hope into the world. We honor your work and ministry, St. Luke.

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