Friday, October 18, 2019
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:2-3
Today we honor Saint Luke the Evangelist. Saint Luke wrote one of the four Gospels, was a companion of Saint Paul to whom he was very dear, traveled far and wide preaching the Gospel, and ultimately gave his life as a martyr. He was first imprisoned for two years and after his release was said to have been crucified near Achaia while he continued his missionary activities.
Saint Luke was originally from Antioch, a city known for its high culture and learning. He was a physician, was well educated and was of high social standing. The fact of his social standing and education reveals that he went through a martyrdom of another form prior to being physically martyred. The martyrdom he went through came in the form of choosing Christ over social notoriety and prestige.
When faced with the Gospel, Saint Luke could have easily seen the mission given to him by Christ as one which interfered with his comfortable life in Antioch. He would have quickly understood that choosing to follow our Lord and accepting the invitation of being sent to preach the Gospel required much sacrifice. However, he made the decision to give up everything so as to fulfill the mission given to him by our Lord. God used Saint Luke in many ways and especially used his education as an instrument through which the Holy Spirit inspired him to write the Word of God.
Like Saint Luke, we are all called by God to follow Him unreservedly and to be sent on a unique mission of the proclamation of the Gospel. Each calling is different but each calling must be absolute and undeterred. We must offer our talents, preferences, future and our very lives to Christ so that He may use us as He wills. Following Jesus will always require some form of martyrdom, but whatever form of martyrdom we are called to embrace will produce much good fruit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Reflect, today, upon this intelligent and gifted disciple of our Lord. Rejoice in the gift that Saint Luke gave us in the Gospel, but also commit to follow our Lord to the same degree as this disciple. You, like Saint Luke, are being called to abandon all to the mission of the Gospel. Do not hesitate to say “Yes.”
Lord, as we honor this great evangelist, Saint Luke, help me to imitate his wholehearted commitment to the Gospel. Use me, dear Lord, as an instrument of Your Holy Word and give me the courage to lay my life down without reserve. Jesus, I trust in You.