Monday, October 18, 2010

Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, Physician, Historian, Artist, Author, and Revealer of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

When I volunteered to create today's post on the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, it was because I have always liked Luke's account of the Gospels.  For me, it is the most enlightening of the four.  

It is believed that Luke was a companion of the Apostle Paul.  However, unlike Paul, he was most likely a Gentile and not a Jew.  St. Paul refers to Luke as his beloved physician and fellow laborer.  

Most scholars believe that Luke wrote the Gospel sometime before 63 AD drawing from the stories he received from Jesus' friends and family.  It was originally written in Greek, and addressed to Theophilus, believed to be a Roman official in some rank of authority who was a convert to Christianity.  The book of Acts is also attributed to Luke and addressed to Theophilus as well.  By the time Acts was written, Luke could write from his own first-hand knowledge.  In Acts chapter 16, Luke begins writing in the first person vs third person account.

Of all the Gospels, Luke is considered to be the most historical.  I believe there is no doubt that Luke was intent in making sure the historical information from people who knew and followed Jesus while he was here on earth were not lost.  In fact, Luke's Gospel includes six miracles and eighteen parables that are not found in the other Gospels.

Luke is also the only Gospel author to record the stories of the Annunciation, Mary's visit with Elizabeth (The Visitation), the Magnificat, the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, and Jesus being found in the Temple after he was considered lost by his parents.  So, it is actually Luke who gives us the Scriptural basis for the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.  "Hail Mary full of grace" and "blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus" are also from Luke's recording of the Gospel.

Some have attributed early Icons as Luke's artistic work, but whether or not this is true, St. Luke was an artist.  You can see this gift come through in his writing.

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