Every Sunday at Mass we read a portion of one of the four Gospels. This year we are working through St Luke’s Gospel.
Each Gospel writer emphasises aspects of Jesus’ life depending on their own backgrounds and also what might be important to those who will hear that Gospel.
St Luke might be considered an outsider; he was not one of the twelve apostles closest to Jesus, he did not come originally from Palestine and was not originally Jewish.
He is the only writer in the New Testament who was originally a Gentile so he gives a different perspective on the life and work of Jesus, aimed at his Gentile hearers.
In fact St Luke came from Antioch in Syria. He is referred to as ‘the beloved physician’ so we see he was an educated man who practised medicine.
He spent his time as a Christian travelling with St Paul on many missionary journeys around the Mediterranean.
With such a background it is interesting to see what he emphasises in his Gospel.
Overall he shows that although Jesus offers his message firstly to the Jews it is meant for everyone.
He even uses examples, such as the parable of the Good Samaritan, to show that charity can be seen in those who are not of their religion.
As an outsider himself he shows how Jesus gives a particular invitation to the outcasts of that society; he heals the sick and exorcizes the possessed, he talks to and even eats with sinners.
In many examples he contrasts the authorities with those on the margins of society, he emphasises the need for compassion.
St Luke’s Gospel is well worth reading and reflecting on, it has much to teach us today.
He shows us Jesus who comes to bring the Compassion and healing of God to all people, to bind up their wounds, to bring them to safety and to provide for their needs, as the Good Samaritan did.
He call us receive forgiveness and to give it too, he invites us to trust God more, he urges us to pray with sincerity and humility. In very practical examples St Luke shows us how to be better Christians in every way.