Christ calls us to do something far more difficult than minding our own business and watching our own backs. It is to love, forgive, heal, and be merciful in the way that God is already with us, even if we are so preoccupied with ourselves that we cannot recognize it.
† ""Faith and love are like the blind man's guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden." — St. John of the Cross
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "Therefore, when God gives spiritual comfort, receive it with thanksgiving, but know that it is the bounty of God, not thy merit. Be not puffed up, be not overjoyed, nor vainly presume, but rather be the more humble for this gift and the more cautious and fearful in all thine actions; for this hour will pass away and temptation will follow. When comfort shall be taken away from thee, do not presently despair; but wait with humility and patience for the heavenly visit, for God is able to restore thee a greater consolation. This is no new thing, nor strange to those who have experienced the ways of God: for the great saints and ancient prophets have often felt this kind of variety." — Thomas à Kempis, p. 64 AN EXCERPT FROM Imitation of Christ
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Saint of the Day for October 18 (d. c. 84)
Saint Luke's Story
Luke wrote one of the major portions of the New Testament, a two-volume work comprising the third Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. In the two books he shows the parallel between the life of Christ and that of the Church. He is the only Gentile Christian among the Gospel writers. Tradition holds him to be a native of Antioch, and Paul calls him "our beloved physician." His Gospel was probably written between 70 and 85 A.D.
Luke appears in Acts during Paul's second journey, remains at Philippi for several years until Paul returns from his third journey, accompanies Paul to Jerusalem, and remains near him when he is imprisoned in Caesarea. During these two years, Luke had time to seek information and interview persons who had known Jesus. He accompanied Paul on the dangerous journey to Rome where he was a faithful companion.
Luke's unique character may best be seen by the emphases of his Gospel, which has been given a number of subtitles: 1) The Gospel of Mercy 2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation 3) The Gospel of the Poor 4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation 5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit 6) The Gospel of Joy
Luke wrote as a Gentile for Gentile Christians. His Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles reveal his expertise in classic Greek style as well as his knowledge of Jewish sources. There is a warmth to Luke's writing that sets it apart from that of the other synoptic Gospels, and yet it beautifully complements those works. The treasure of the Scriptures is a true gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.
Beloved: Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.
Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching.
At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18 R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Alleluia See Jn 15:16 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ I pray in deep gratitude for the person of Saint Luke, and the other evangelists. It is through them that I, and millions of others, can get to know Jesus and choose to follow him.
▪ I ask for the grace to be ready and willing to spread the joy of the Gospel wherever I am, relying above all on the power of my mission from Jesus. I ask to be one of the labourers sent out to the abundant harvest.
Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
There are so many things that could be said about St. Luke. He was a loyal companion and fellow worker with St. Paul to the end of his life. Between his Gospel and the Book of Acts, he contributed more to the New Testament than any other writer. He was an educated man and a dedicated evangelist who traveled hundreds of miles to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. There are so many good things to say about Luke, but let's focus on one of his most endearing—and least mentioned—characteristics today: his love for God's complete and unconditional mercy.
Luke's parables and stories, especially the ones that don't appear in other Gospels, paint vivid portraits of God's patience with sinners. Some of them startle us as we see God reaching out to marginalized people and welcoming them into his kingdom. Here are a few examples:
The parable of the Good Samaritan shows us an enemy of the Jews demonstrating mercy (Luke 10:30-37). Then in Luke 17, ten lepers are healed, but it's the Samaritan who returns to thank Jesus. God isn't concerned with labels; he just loves to see an open heart.
The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector presents another surprise—someone as obnoxious as a tax collector can be justified (Luke 18:9-14). And then there's Zacchaeus, the repentant tax collector, who receives a dinner invitation with Jesus in chapter 19.
The parable of the prodigal son again provokes us with our heavenly Father's forgiveness of even those most "unworthy" (Luke 15:11-32). And in chapter 7, a sinful woman anoints Jesus' feet while a Pharisee looks on in judgment and disbelief.
God is eager to extend his mercy to anyone. Luke wanted to get this point across to every person he reached. So when you pray today, let that truth sink into your heart. Let Luke convince you of the mercy God has showered on you and on everyone else. Let him assure you that there's no sin God won't forgive. And let that assurance help you when it comes time to show compassion to the people around you.
"Lord, I believe that your mercy is for everyone. St. Luke, pray that I can be an instrument of God's mercy, just as you were."
Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18 Luke 10:1-9
audio-2cents my2cents: Today the word of the Lord said through Saint Paul "...When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments." Why does this call out for attention? Because, what you have here is a man, that has been deserted by would-be friends, abandoned and incarcerated, and the only faithful takes the message out, and what does Saint Paul call for? He needs his cloak, and he needs some paper to write on...the GOSPEL, THE GOOD NEWS MUST GO ON. Even while locked up, even when abandoned, even when all odds are against one...the GOOD NEWS MUST PREVAIL! We prayed today "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might." Let it be known, that God wants also to be our friend, and if allowed, the best of friends, and if friends that care, then they will push for you, and praise you always. This friend in Heaven does not turn His back...it is impossible. In comes the Lord of our lives "...Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves." Notice the Lord gives a command. It is like the end of the Holy Mass, the sending forth, the final blessing of the priest, this is why we should never leave until the priest (in the person of Christ) says "GO". In this world there are wolves, and there are lambs. The Lamb of God commands the lambs to go. Go into everyone's place and attempt to bring peace, His peace, if they accept, bless them, heal them and PROCLAIM, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND. This is awe-inspiring, and why? Because, once you've been revealed and received of a healing, the response is of faithfulness and gratitude, FOREVER. At the family festival I was directing, the people that told me they would show up in the morning to set up did not show up. Time was ticking away and I found myself alone..well, not completely alone, I was with God. And so I prayed "Lord, please I need some people to help me set up all of this". As I walked doing many things alone, one brother shows up, and then another, and then I call on another couple that were sitting there working on another stand but waiting around, "I need help with this" and suddenly, the place was set up, tables and chairs and signs and so forth. The laborers were few, but the few faithful did the work of 20 that did not show up. This should be a sign of faith for you. Do not despair when you find yourself alone. Do not give up, because you are never alone, so long as you have a breath, which a breath is a prayer. And are lambs afraid of wolves? Some. But lambs in the flock are safe. When you veer off on your own, fear overcomes. Fear means you do not trust and love....GOD. Sin makes you fear the wrong things...like fearing to love God. If you fear sin, you are afraid to sin, then this means you love God. This is the correct fear of the Lord...afraid to offend Him. The wonderful lamb that was in jail, Saint Paul, had a heart pumping for God. And they believe now, that the heart begins to pump when a baby is in the womb as of 16 days instead of 21 days. So...the question is...how long has YOUR heart been pumping................FOR THE LORD!!!!??