"The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength, so that through me the preaching task might be completed and all the nations might hear the gospel." —2 Timothy 4:17
St. Luke is the human author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Luke's purpose in writing his two-volume work was so we would know the good news of Jesus is "reliable" (Lk 1:4), which in the Greek means "rock-solid" like asphalt.
One of Luke's major themes is the extreme mercy of God. There are a number of passages on mercy that only appear in Luke and Acts. Only Luke relates the parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15:11ff). Luke wants us to know that the joy of the loving father in showering mercy on his prodigal son reflects how joyfully our heavenly Father will treat us when we repent (Lk 15:10).
Only Luke passes on the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). Jesus tells us to extend mercy to all just as the Samaritan did (Lk 10:37). Luke alone tells of Jesus forgiving the good thief as He hung on the cross (Lk 23:40ff). Only Luke records the parable of the righteous Pharisee and the sinful tax collector (Lk 18:9ff). When the tax collector repented and prayed: "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner" (Lk 18:13), God in His mercy justified him (Lk 18:14). Finally, Luke alone records one of the greatest accounts of God's indescribable mercy: the conversion of the worst sinner of all (1 Tm 1:15), Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1ff).
There's more on mercy in Luke's writings. Spend some time today immersed in God's mercy by reading parts of Luke and Acts. "His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him" (Lk 1:50).
Prayer: Father, may I imitate Luke in being a messenger of Your mercy to all I meet.
Promise: "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth." —Ps 145:18
Praise: St. Luke so desired us to know that the message of Jesus is "reliable" (Lk 1:4) that he painstakingly researched and recorded the events of salvation (Lk 1:1-3).
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004
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