Tuesday, 18 October 2016 : Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we mark the commemoration of the great feast day in honour of St. Luke, one of the writers of the Four Holy Gospels, the Gospel according to St. Luke, which was known as one of the most detailed among the four Gospels, filled with rich details about the life of Jesus our Lord, His works, His family and His disciples, and all other testimonies of faith that helped us to know what our Lord had taught us through His Church.

In today’s readings, we heard about the works of the Apostles and the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, from the works of St. Paul the Apostle, who went about to many places, cities, towns and villages throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, crossing back and forth between Greece and the Roman province of Asia, Syria and Judea, he had proclaimed the word of God in many occasions, testifying to the communities in the places he had visited about the Lord and Saviour of the world.

In the Gospel we also heard how Jesus sent His chosen seventy-two disciples who had been appointed to assist the twelve Apostles in the deliverance of the Good News to the people, and these helped the work of the Lord by preparing those people and communities for the coming of the Lord Jesus, that when He came, He would be able to relate better to them and many more of them would listen to Him and be saved.

And as Jesus had foretold, their works and missions were not to be easy, but instead many obstacles and challenges exist on their path. There would be those who welcomed them into their places, and many more would listen to them and be changed in accordance to what the Lord intended for these, but there were also to be many more who would refuse to listen to God’s call, rejecting the call to repentance and mercy.

There would be those who were obstinate and stubborn in following the path of the world, worshipping pagan idols and being devoted to worldly pursuits such as money, power, fame and all other things, and these would come to oppose the Lord and His disciples, and in time, would come to persecute them, to chase them away from their lands, and to torture them, imprison them, and even to make them meet their end in martyrdom.

But without those courageous disciples and Apostles of our Lord, who have given their all to bring the Good News to the people who were still living in ignorance and in the darkness, there would have been no Church, and no salvation and grace for the countless souls who had been saved because of their works. Their blood, the spilling of their blood and the destruction of their mortal bodies served to be the foundation of the Church, as the saying goes, that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.

How is this relevant for us all, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because we all are the current day’s Apostles and disciples, whom the Lord had continued to entrust the same mission which He had given to His Apostles and disciples as mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. We may be thinking that their works had been completed and the mission was over, but in reality, the mission God had entrusted to us is still very much real and ongoing.

We may not have to lay down our lives in the manner of the Apostles and the disciples of our Lord at that time in the early days of the Church, but we have to realise that there are places in this world where being a Christian, and believing in our God may equate to suffering and being persecuted even unto death, when even the enemies of the Lord will not show mercy to the faithful.

And there are also still so many of our brethren who still live in the darkness, lacking knowledge and understanding of our Lord and His salvation. And we can devote ourselves in the many ways available to us in accordance with our talents and abilities, and in terms of what we are willing and what we are able to give to our brethren who are in need of guidance and help.

We can start little from ourselves, be good and faithful disciples of our Lord, who shun all forms of fornications and sins, be it of the flesh, or of the mind and the heart. We can be charitable and be generous with all those whom we meet along the way, who need help with sustenance, with care, love and attention, and also most importantly, those who have not received the message and truth about God’s salvation.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, may the examples of St. Luke and the other saints, Apostles, disciples and holy martyrs be inspirations for all of us to follow in their footsteps, so that by doing what they have done, and by staying devoted and being faithful in all things, and beginning from whatever little and simple things that we can do in our own surroundings, may we all work together to bring the enlightenment to many others and that many more souls may be saved through our work and dedication. May God bless us all and our endeavours. Amen.

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