Saint of the Day – St. Luke
“In my first account, Theophilus…” (Acts 1:1) St. Luke begins his second volume with an introduction only slightly less formal than the elegant opening lines of his gospel. These introductions to the two volume work of the deeds of Christ and the Holy Spirit reveal a sophisticated Greek far removed from the marketplace and dockside everyday, or Koine, Greek that characterizes so much of the New Testament.
Without St. Luke we wouldn’t really the know the depths of Jesus the storyteller. We wouldn’t know much about His relationships with women. Without the Acts of the Apostles we wouldn’t have any idea about the formation and expansion of the church after the Resurrection. In fact, we wouldn’t have a window on the controversy between St. Peter and St. Paul over whether Christians needed to observe the Mosaic Law. The creation of the Church and her institutions are shown to be the work of the Holy Spirit in the early Christian community and not necessarily the direct creation of Christ during his earthly ministry. (In fact, is interesting to note the Pope Benedict XVI, as the young theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, raised several eyebrows by affirming this view of the centrality of the Holy Spirit in the creation and development of the assembly of the baptized faithful.)
In Luke and Acts, we see the movement of salvation history, beginning in Jerusalem and ending in Rome. The saving message given to Jews now becomes the property of the Gentile world. The result today is a worldwide community of faith, incarnated in countless cultures and languages.
St. Luke, along with St. Paul, gave us a freedom from the Law of Moses to live in the freedom of Christ and to be guided by the Holy Spirit.