Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Remembering St. Luke

Today (Oct. 18) is the commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Luke the Evangelist. It is supposed the 84-year-old Evangelist was crucified on an olive tree in the ancient city of Boeotia, which was located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Corinth in modern day Greece. The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, both written near the place of his death, are attributed to this Gentile whom the Apostle Paul calls the “beloved Physician.” Luke has the unique distinction of being a co-prisoner with Paul as mentioned in Second Timothy.

Luke is revered as a great Evangelist who makes clear in his Gospel that salvation is for all, regardless of gender, social position or nationality. Throughout the centuries, he is honored by the Church Fathers as one who embodies the evangelistic nature desired by every Christian. Gregory the Great, in a sermon delivered in the 6th century about Luke’s model of evangelism, concludes his remarks with these words:

“But now listen to what our Lord has to say after sending out those who are to preach: ‘The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’ There are only a few laborers for so huge a harvest, something we cannot mention without sadness, because, although there are many who crave to hear the good news, there are few to preach it…But as for you, my dear brothers and sisters, ponder well the Lord’s command. Pray indeed the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. And pray for us that we may be able to serve you as you deserve, that our tongue may never grow tired of exhorting you, lest having undertaken this office of preaching, our silence condemn us in the sight of our just judge.”
For many churches, October is a month to celebrate ministry. We celebrate the ministry of our clergy. We celebrate the ministry of our laity and in so doing, ask the question, is God calling you to the vocation of Ordained Ministry? What better week to answer the call then this one, as your way of honoring the evangelistic ministry of St. Luke.

1 comment:

AnJaka said...

Hey , Happy merry christmas.
see you soon,