Luke the Evangelist

"The Kingdom of God is at hand" (Luke 10:9). 

It is appropriate for this feast of St. Luke that today's Gospel describes Jesus sending out evangelists.  The 72 disciples were sent to prepare the way for Jesus' own coming. They were to travel light, enter the homes of those who received them, share their food and hospitality, dispensing peace and preaching the good news. 

Luke certainly did all of this, composing his Gospel in a way that reached millions upon millions of people down through history. He extending the Good News beyond its original Jewish audience to the gentile world, where it was absorbed into the Greco-Roman world along with Paul's preaching and letters. Luke emphasized Jesus as healer, storyteller and preacher of mercy. Women receive special attention, as do the poor. Luke gave us the stories of Elizabeth and Zachariah, the birth account of Jesus and his childhood. 

Luke continues his Gospel in the Acts of the Apostles, describing how the ministry and mystery of Jesus were lived out by the church as it spread into the Mediterranean world.  

It has been suggested that each of us could write the gospel according to our own witness and experience. If this were your assignment, what would your gospel include and emphasize. What are your stories of Jesus? How have you spread the Good News of hope, the challenge of justice, the message of mercy within the narrative of your own life?