2019 – The Year of Luke

The liturgical year begins with the first Sunday of Advent. This liturgical year began on the 2nd December, 2018. In this liturgical year, which is cycle C, the Church reflects on the Gospel of Luke. In this liturgical year, most Sunday readings are drawn from Luke’s Gospel.

Luke is one of the four evangelists, or authors, of the Gospels of Jesus Christ. Luke was most likely a Gentile from Antioch, in Syria. Early Church fathers have attributed both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts to his authorship. Although in scholarly circles, discussions have been held as to the evidence of Luke as the real author of the works.

Luke is mentioned a few times in the New Testament and is referred to as a doctor in the Pauline Epistle to the Colossians. Therefore, Luke was believed to be both a physician and a disciple to Paul. It is likely that Luke accompanied Paul on several of his missionary journeys. It is believed that Luke died a martyr, although accounts of his death vary. Luke is buried in Constantinople.

Luke’s style in his gospel differs in that he writes in the first person. The three other gospels all write in the third person. He writes the stories from the perspective of first hand witnesses – those who knew Jesus personally, heard his teachings, saw his miracles and were present for his death, resurrection and ascension. Luke’s gospel is also one of only two gospels which mentions the infancy narrative (the other being Matthew).

Luke presents Jesus as a compassionate saviour of the world who shows love and compassion for all people. He shows Jesus as someone who reached out to the poor and marginalised, women and those who were outcast from society.

Luke gives special emphasis to prayer and the power of intercession. He shows that Jesus prayed on many occasions and told parables about prayer. Luke’s gospel also emphasises the role and work of the Holy Spirit.

18 October is the Feast Day of Luke the Evangelist.