Feast of St Luke the Evangelist Reflection:
St Luke was a master storyteller. Some people who study these things say that the parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the best short stories ever written and his gospel focuses on Jerusalem as the city to which Jesus is heading and from which salvation comes.
Luke did not know Jesus during his lifetime. He was a medical doctor and he gathered up all the information he could about Jesus and wrote both his gospel and the Books of Acts. It is believed he traveled extensively with St Paul.
The plan of salvation which Luke adheres to is one in which Jesus must go to Jerusalem, the city chosen by God, and die there as the rejected prophet. Luke uses Jerusalem and the phrase “Going up to” as an allegory for the cross: Jesus goes up to Jerusalem to go up on the cross.
The good news then goes forth from Jerusalem after the resurrection. Luke tells us the story of the dejected disciples on the road to Emmaus, leaving Jerusalem in defeat and dejection. Jesus meets them and the next time they leave Jerusalem it is with triumphant good news of the Risen Lord.
Luke converted to Christianity and took to it with all his heart. He was a missionary who walked the roads of the Roman empire til he eventually finished in Rome and stayed there with Paul during the latter’s captivity.
We owe a lot of the understanding of the history and formation of the early church to the writings of St Luke.