Credited with writing the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, Luke was not one of the original Twelve disciples of Jesus. He was probably a Gentile, well-versed in Greek culture and the Greek language, and may have been born in the vicinity of Troas in what is now western Turkey. It was here that Luke encountered Paul the missionary and began to accompany him on his travels. How he became a Christian we do not know, but it may have been through Paul’s ministry.
Paul calls him “dear friend” and says he was a doctor. It may be that Luke was serving Paul in this capacity, and that is why he remained with him in imprisonment in Rome even after all the others had left. Luke’s concerns in both the books he wrote are to make the gospel understandable to Gentiles and to promote the cause of women, and he reveals a heart for the poor and broken of society. It is often said that he had the ear of Mary (see August 15th), the mother of Jesus, when compiling the material for the Gospel.
In many rural communities in northern Britain, St. Luke’s tide coincided with harvesting the potato crop and the half term school holidays were fixed so that children could help with ‘potato picking’. Often a fair would visit a nearby town to provide some relaxation and amusement. The weather always seemed to be good, and people looked forward to what was known as ‘St. Luke’s little summer’.
Lord God, you chose Luke to reveal your wonderful love for the poor, the sick and the broken. Grant that all of us who acknowledge your name may join together to work for the healing and equality of all human beings and the reconciliation of all the nations. Shed the light and warmth of your love in our world through us all; in the name of Christ. Amen.