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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Feast Day of St. Luke

Collect: Lord God, who chose Saint Luke to reveal by his preaching and writings the mystery of your love for the poor, grant that those who already glory in your name may persevere as one heart and one soul and that all nations may merit to see your salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Luke has always intrigued me as a person and a writer. He was a physician and, according to tradition, a personal friend of Our Lady, painting the first icon of her while she lived. So, he was also an artist. He may have painted the first icons of Peter and Paul as well.

It is well-known that Luke's Gospel is the Gospel of Women, He has more references to women when Christ was walking this earth than the other three gospel writers.

Perhaps his work as a doctor and his personal relationship with Mary indicate a sensitive man, a man who notices and likes women.

Luke is also the author of the Acts of the Apostles. Therefore, we can add to his many talents, traveling and evangelizing.

Now, no offense to doctors, and I have three friends who are doctors, so intense are their jobs, that they do not have the inclination to do anything but "doctor". This is because they are so busy and so overworked that, unless they go on vacation, they rarely have time to read, travel, much less paint. They must keep up with their fields or specializations, which takes time--a lot of time.

Luke's life is not one of sameness. He presents a complicated personality. Was he married? Did he have children? Or like so many doctors today by necessity, was he married to his work? Was his friendship with Mary an outlet for his need for feminine conversation? Did he meet Mary when John took her to Ephesus? It is said he was not married and became a Catholic through St. Paul. How he met Mary, then, would be a mystery.

We do not know much about Luke, but his writing style is that of a Greek, not a Hebrew, and so is his name. It is said he came from Antioch in Syria, a highly "Hellenistic" city of that time.

Luke is the patron saint of artistsphysicianssurgeonsstudents,glass-workers, brewers, and butchers--a very odd group of people. 

Think of Luke today and pray for our doctors. They are under such stress at this time for many reasons.

I think as a doctor Luke must find it amusing that his relics are in three places: Prague, Thebes, and Padua, all pieces of a human from the time of  Luke's death and a man of Syrian descent. 

Even his relics are intriguing.