“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
Saint Luke, known as “the beloved physician”, was believed to be born a Greek and a Gentile. He is the author of the third gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and reveals to us the many ways Jesus was merciful to all. Luke’s unique perspective on Jesus can be seen in the six miracles and eighteen parables he wrote. His gospel is called the “Gospel of Mercy”, and it tells the life of Jesus with mercy as its main theme.
Luke’s gospel is one that promotes the care of the poor and of social justice. The story of Lazarus and the Rich Man illustrates this well as well as Mary’s proclamation to Elizabeth that “God had brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.”
Forgiveness and God’s mercy to sinners is also highlighted in his writings. The story of the Prodigal Son welcomed back by the overjoyed father and the story of the forgiven women disrupting the feast by washing Jesus’ feet with her tears show us how Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God’s mercy.
Throughout Luke’s gospel we hear Jesus telling stories about mercy instead of trying to define it. Jesus mirrors real life in his parables causing all listeners to become part of the parables and making them rethink the relationships they participate in every day. They challenge us to exercise daily acts of mercy. Reading Luke’s gospel gives us a good idea of his character as one who loved the poor, who wanted the door to God’s kingdom opened to all, and who saw hope in God’s mercy for everyone.
· Patron Saint of Physicians and Surgeons
· Feast Day: October 18