“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” ~ Luke 10:2/Feast Day of St. Luke
After reading today’s Gospel (Luke 10:1-9) one can see why so many were reluctant to assume the role of laborer in our Lord’s Vineyard. “I am sending you like lambs among wolves” Jesus warns them (and us), going on to instruct them to “carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals.” Presumably no Starbucks, Netflix or Amazon Prime either.
But on the day in which our church pauses to honor and venerate a man who wrote more than 25% of the New Testament (The Gospel of Luke & The Acts of the Apostles), we are reminded that we are indeed a Missionary Church, sent by the Lord to spread his word and to do his work, to “give away” the Gospel to all whom we encounter, through our thoughts, words, choices and actions. Saint Luke allowed himself to be a faithful instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit, and in doing so, the seed of his word still flourishes and yields good fruit, the fruit of eternal life in communion with his friend and our Savior Jesus.
Prudence and simplicity of life are prerequisites to the effective proclamation of the Gospel, this we know by virtue of the lessons taught to us by the Communion of Saints. In shedding themselves of worldliness, the Saints were given the vision to receive and act upon the gifts of wisdom, patience, discernment and fortitude, all necessary virtues for those who seek to proclaim the Gospel. In the case of Saint Luke, he was a prominent physician. He gave it all up to preach the word of God.
Psalm 145, chosen in conjunction with today’s Readings, proclaims “Your friends make known, Oh Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom” while the waning words in Luke’s Gospel (10:9) remind us that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus speaks those words many times throughout all four of the Gospels.
This can be no accident.
The time is now to pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit while eschewing the fleeting pleasures of the material world. Saint Luke’s life is a testimony to the heavenly and eternal splendor that awaits those who do.
“Lord God, who chose Saint Luke to reveal by his preaching and writings the mystery of your love of the poor, grant that those who already glory in your name may persevere as one heart and one soul and that all nations may merit to see your salvation. Good Saint Luke, please continue to pray with us and for us” ~ Amen