The Life of St Luke
November 25, 2017
This will be a very round about way of learning about who St Luke was, and his continued contribution toward lifting the human family to higher, and then to the highest, realms.
I would hope that rather than writing something that will be found "interesting," and then "shelved", that to the contrary, this way of looking at St Luke might make his life and times seem very familiar to ours, so that his life and writings are helpful guides for us.
Here is something we have in common with St Luke. He never met Jesus in the flesh.
But unlike us, he was alive in the same era as Jesus.
His faith, like ours, was a light of inner experience and knowledge, which is a gift.
Luke did befriend many people who DID know Jesus in the flesh (after Jesus died and had risen). He learned everything from them. These include illustrious people, like Jesus mother, Mary, and the great apostle, St Paul. Luke studies their persons, relived their histories in the telling, absorbed their wisdom.
People of faith still learn everything from these same luminaries, from their writings, writings about them, and prayers to them.
Luke was not a Jew. He was an outsider to the Judeo-Christian pathway. He would not have naturally or culturally been on the lookout for a Messiah. And his gradual embrace of the Christian pathway in his life would have generated resistance within his circle of family and friends, and also within the circle of believers. It cost him a lot to follow Jesus.
Today, too, there is a tremendous cost for many people to follow the Christian Way - even persecution and death, and this even in the very lands where Jesus lived, where Luke lived.
The persecutions for religious beliefs, persecution of all religions, is an ongoing shameful scourge in human history. Yesterday, November 24, is now infamous for the massacre of 305 muslims at prayer in Egypt, 27 of whom were children.
Only weeks ago, scores were killed in a country Christian church in Texas. And too many similar recent memories are painful to recall.
A blogger wrote with good intention, "let's pray for them." A cynic answered rapid fire, "praying is what got them killed."
For those who live rather safely in well developed nations, even though this safety is fast vanishing, the resistance to belief is becoming institutional. Expressions of faith are becoming illegal. A passionate faith is looked upon with suspicion, and any idea of a code of behavior that God obliges us to, a blueprint for ethics, is roundly and vehemently negated.
Let's go back to St Luke.
First things first.
Of course, his name was not St Luke. His mother never would have said, "How was school today, St Luke?" She would not even have said "Luke."
The family was Syrian. Luke was born in Antioch. Syria was under Roman occupation. All of these details we will go into. They are essential to this story.
The language of the region was Aramaic (the same language of Jesus). Luke's mom named him "Luqa." In Aramaic this name means "Gift of God."
If you don't mind, from here on in I will call Luke "Luqa". It is healthier for us to try to go into his reality, his mindset, rather than to drag him into ours.
To be continued.............