- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

October 18, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

29th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist
2 Timothy 4: 10-17b; Luke 10: 1-9

The preaching of the faith depends on the accurate recounting of the story of salvation. This recounting demands a faithful transcription of the Divine Revelation. In order to grow in faith, we need to be still and ponder the Inspired Word. Only by pondering the Inspired Word can we come to know what God wishes to tell us and open us to letting His Word transform us. The Gospel is not a dead word. It is a way of life. Remember what the author of the Letter to the Hebrews said: “The Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:123).

Saint Paul identifies Luke as his beloved physician and faithful co-worker. The doctor helped Paul live with his various maladies. The physician of souls helped his companion find salvation and also understand clearly the story he would eventually write down. Saint Luke was single-minded in his devotion to God’s work. He pondered the Word he heard and the Word he pondered took root in his soul. In submission to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, he wrote down all he had pondered. As disciples of the Loving Word, we are transformed by the Word we read and ponder. The light that enveloped Paul on the road to Damascus now enlightens us as we journey to our heavenly homeland.

In light of the Word, we can look at our lives and cry out to the Lord for Mercy and forgiveness. Being healed of our spiritual paralysis, we can walk on the path of His commandments until our hearts are expanded with an outpouring of love. As children of God we are given the grace to know ourselves as we are known, sinners who have been called and forgiven. In penning the gospel, Saint Luke gave us a record of God’s loving mercy, revealed in the life, passion, death and resurrection of Christ. Pondering the Inspired Word, we allow the awesome mercy of God to transform our hearts.

Whenever God manifests His loving-kindness towards us, we are duty-bound to respond by making known the wonders of His love. Jesus doesn’t call the trained, he trains the called. As we conform ourselves to Christ, we empty ourselves in service to others. As we make the Heart of Christ our dwelling place and become the recipients of His mercy, we learn to feel mercy and compassion for sinners and those in need. Christ’s love for us moves us to love others. Evangelization is not an option but a divine mandate. We are called the help “gather people” for the Lord; to invite all we meet to open their hearts to the love we have come to know.

I shall conclude with a kontakion, written in honor of St Luke:

Let us praise Saint Luke, the herald of true piety,
the orator of ineffable mysteries, the star of the Church;
for the Word, Who alone knows the secrets of man’s heart,
has chosen him with the wise Paul to be a teacher of the nations
.