Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saint Luke the Evangelist - Sunday 18 October 2015

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ, 

Luke wrote one of the major portions of the New Testament, a two-volume work comprising the third Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. In the two books he shows the parallel between the life of Christ and that of the Church. He is the only Gentile Christian among the Gospel writers. Tradition holds him to be a native of Antioch, and Paul calls him "our beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). His Gospel was probably written between A.D. 70 and 85. 
Luke appears in Acts during Paul’s second journey, remains at Philippi for several years until Paul returns from his third journey, accompanies Paul to Jerusalem and remains near him when he is imprisoned in Caesarea. During these two years, Luke had time to seek information and interview persons who had known Jesus. He accompanied Paul on the dangerous journey to Rome where he was a faithful companion. "Only Luke is with me," Paul writes (2 Timothy 4:11).

Luke wrote as a Gentile for Gentile Christians. This Gospel reveals Luke's expertise in classic Greek style as well as his knowledge of Jewish sources. 
The character of Luke may best be seen by the emphases of his Gospel, which has been given a number of subtitles: 1) The Gospel of Mercy: Luke emphasizes Jesus' compassion and patience with the sinners and the suffering. He has a broadminded openness to all, showing concern for Samaritans, lepers, publicans, soldiers, public sinners, unlettered shepherds, the poor. Luke alone records the stories of the sinful woman, the lost sheep and coin, the prodigal son, the good thief. 2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation: Jesus died for all. He is the son of Adam, not just of David, and Gentiles are his friends too. 3) The Gospel of the Poor: "Little people" are prominent—Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, shepherds, Simeon, and the elderly widow Anna. He is also concerned with what we now call "evangelical poverty." 4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation: He stresses the need for total dedication to Christ. 5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit: He shows Jesus at prayer before every important step of his ministry. The Spirit is bringing the Church to its final perfection. 6) The Gospel of Joy: Luke succeeds in portraying the joy of salvation that permeated the primitive Church.

I would like us to pay particular attention to The Gospel of Mercy - Saint Luke emphasizes Jesus'compassion and patience with the sinners and the suffering. 
Even prior to being an ordained Priest I have been aware of the sick and suffering of these world. I remember visiting a Dutch Aunt in 1980 in a hospital in Leiden , Holland for a period of recovery. Here for the first time I got an insight to how much sickness and suffering there is about. Now in the course of my Ministry, as I minister to the sick in hospitals and nursing homes  and also in people's private homes I understand the true meaning of Jesus's command to His Apostles and those in the Apostolic Ministry , they need to heal the sick.Saint Luke, patron Saint of Doctors sets a wonderful example to us , and many orders of Saint Luke have been set up around the world, focussing on the healing of the sick. Matthew 10:8 -The Ministry of the Twelve 7"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9"Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,…

So may we on this Saints Day , especially pray for all those who are sick and suffering, all those who minister to the sick, apart from us Clergy, all the doctors and nurses , who have received a calling to this work. 

Saint Luke pray for us all!

Father Ed Bakker 
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province 
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne 

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