Wednesday, 18 October 2017 : Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of one of the four writers of the Holy Gospels, or the Evangelists, namely St. Luke the Evangelist. The Gospel he wrote, the Gospel according to St. Luke, was known for its rich attention to details, showing in great detail especially the early life of Jesus, from the time when He was still in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His mother.

St. Luke was told to be a renowned physician and doctor who became a follower of Jesus. He then accompanied St. Paul in his travels across the Eastern Mediterranean region, and visited many places, during which he recorded many of his experiences. It was possible that the Acts of the Apostles itself was written and recorded by St. Luke on top of his involvement in the writing of the Gospel of St. Luke.

St. Luke was dedicated to serve the Lord through his eloquence with language and the literary works. That was how he helped to record the works and life of the Lord Jesus and His Apostles, that in the end, a comprehensive collection of the Word of God could be compiled, in the form of the Gospels, the Epistles of the Apostles, and also the Holy Bible as a whole with the accounts of the Old Testament.

Through the Scriptures and particularly the Holy Gospels, many people have been touched by the Word of God, and therefore, were converted to the Lord’s cause. The Gospels contain within them the Word of God Himself, for they contain the words directly spoken by the Lord, as well as accounting the life of the Divine Word made flesh, Our Lord Jesus.

The examples of St. Luke, his dedication and hard work, together with that of the other Holy Apostles and disciples of the Lord should become sources of inspiration for each and every one of us Christians, as in the Gospel passage today, we are reminded of our obligation as those who believe in God and as those who follow Him and obey His laws. In that Gospel passage, we heard how the Lord Jesus commissioned and sent His disciples ahead of Him to do His works.

He sent His seventy-two disciples ahead of Him in order to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord to those places He were to visit. The disciples were told to preach the Good News to the people living in those places, and if they were receptive to the message of God, they were to continue dwelling there and bless the people. But if the disciples were rejected and the people refused to listen to them, they were to leave that place.

This passage serves as a reminder to all of us Christians, that in our world today, there is still indeed a great need for us to do what the Lord Jesus had sent His disciples to do at that time. Why is that so? That is because just as there were many who had not yet heard about the Lord Jesus and His truth at that time, there are also still many people living in our time who are still ignorant or purposely shutting themselves from God’s truth.

And this should bring our attention to the other words that the Lord Jesus spoke, the well-known phrase of ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.’ This is the reality of our world today, as Christians living in the world still filled with darkness and sin, and yet with tremendous potential for conversion and change. And each and every one of us Christians are these labourers of Christ, the workers of the field of the Lord, that is this world and the multitudes of mankind.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, there are many ways in which we are able to serve the Lord, as St. Luke the Evangelist has shown us. St. Luke proclaims the Word of God through his writings and literary works, documenting the important moments of the history of our salvation, providing a safe anchor for all the faithful to adhere on, the Books of the Gospels through which many people had been saved because they listened and repented from their sins.

And others still went about, preaching the truth by words and by actions, as we see our holy predecessors, the holy saints and martyrs, who had devoted their lives to the Lord, caring for the people of God, and showing tender love for them, by calling them to the Lord’s salvation and forgiveness. We can do much to emulate their examples, and follow in their footsteps.

The reason why there are so few labourers for the plentiful harvests of the Lord, is because of our reluctance and refusal to obey the call of the Lord, either because of our fears and uncertainties, or because of our lack of faith in God and the distractions which prevented us from being able to commit ourselves completely to the Lord’s cause. This is what we must overcome, brothers and sisters in Christ, by actively engaging ourselves in our faith life, and committing ourselves to God.

Let us all devote ourselves, our time, effort and attention to serve the Lord with all of our hearts. Let us be faithful and dedicated servants of the Lord, that through our every actions, no matter how small they are, we may bring many more people and souls closer to the salvation in God. Let us be active in our faith, and live according to what the Lord had commanded us to do. May the Lord be with us all, and through the intercession of St. Luke the Evangelist, may He always inflame our hearts with the love for the Word of God. Amen.

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