Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
In light of the Workshop for planning our parish facilities on Saturday, August 25, 9:30-11:30 am, I thought that it might be good to take a look at St. Luke for a few moments.
It is thought that St. Luke was a physician and artist. He was an educated person. The Greek language he used in his Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles was very well developed and polished. He wrote his two works in about 75-85 AD. He addressed them to Theophilus who could have been historical or a name to represent the Gentiles of Antioch and Asia Minor.
St. Luke was a good historian. He used names of historical people like Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great and others with chronological references that other historians would have used. He used well accurate geography of the world of his day.
St. Luke had a unique emphasis on
- care for the poor, the outcast and the criminal,
- concern for the role of women.
His works addressed the Gentiles, primarily saying that salvation was not just for the Jews but for the entire world.
His gospels in particular are filled with salvation stories: the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, Jesus and Zacchaeus, Jesus praying for those who crucify him, Jesus welcoming the Good Thief into paradise.
In Luke’s gospel, we meet Mary, the mother of Jesus. At the Annunciation, she responds “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your will.” Mary is seen in the gospel and in Acts as the preeminent disciple of Jesus. In the same gospel, Elizabeth responds to Mary’s visit saying “Blessed are you among women…”so familiar as we pray the Hail Mary.
In St. Luke’s gospel, Jesus has a great concern for humanity. He is deeply concerned about a focus on the forgiveness of sins and a universal invitation to all to hear and believe the good news.
In the weeks between now and August 25, I invite you to read the gospel of Luke a time or two. Perhaps even read the Acts of the Apostles if you have time. Ask what kind of picture do you get of Jesus? What characteristics does Jesus have in Luke’s gospel?
With that sense in mind, now ask what characteristics of Jesus that St. Luke gives us, can become a focus for our parish community. How can this focus be used in the facilities that we will have on our building site?
Go out to the parish site and walk up the hill and look out over the 35 acres. Imagine what could be there that would say this is what St. Luke’s is about. We are all invited to dream - to see in our minds what could be. Pray that together we can find the same vision that God the Father and the Holy Spirit have for us.
Remember to sign up on line at the parish web site to come to the workshop or after masses by August 21. Remember as well to stop after masses on August 18-19 for our Second Annual Ministry Fair. It is a wonderful chance to learn about all the ministries, activities, committees and teams that are now in place at St. Luke’s.
May you be blessed as you study St. Luke. May you be inspired as you dream about our future.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann