Reflection for Monday, October 18, 1999: St. Luke, Evangelist.

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Whitney, Tamora
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Today is the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist. The readings today, by or about Luke, all deal with the theme of devotion. In the first reading Paul writes to Timothy that Luke is his only companion. All his other companions deserted him during his trial and imprisonment. Some even spoke out against him, but Luke is his good friend and stays by him despite the danger. Everyone else abandoned him, except the Lord who gave him strength. In fact, Luke's friendship and devotion to Paul can be compared to the Lord's. Luke does not abandon or betray him, is a help to him and gives him strength. Luke stayed with Paul during much of his second and third missionary journey and on the voyage to Italy. He was with Paul during Paul's first and second imprisonments. He later accompanied Paul to Jerusalem and remained his constant companion. Until Paul's martyrdom, Luke never left his ( ||The Psalm for today reiterates this theme of friendship and devotion in its antiphon, "Your friends tell the glory of your kingship, Lord." Those whose devotion is to the Lord will sing his praises and tell all of his goodness and his wonders. This devotion is a two way street. Those who love the Lord and praise him will besides get his rewards: "The Lord is near to all who call upon him."|The gospel reading from Luke also talks of devotion to the Lord. Jesus sent out disciples, like the friends from the psalms who sing his praises. This is dangerous work and takes serious devotion. Those who undertake this journey could be walking into their deaths. Jesus says, "remember: I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves." In the first reading Paul has been imprisoned several times and is eventually martyred. That same fate could easily befall these disciples. This is not an easy task Jesus is asking, but he is asking his friends to lay down their lives for him. This takes the utmost devotion. It would be easier to walk away. It would be easier to deny Christ. What devotion it takes for these friends to risk life and limb to sing the praises of the Lord. Not many people have the devotion it takes. "The harvest is rich but the workers are few;" There is much work to be done, and enough work for many people, but few will make that commitment, few have that devotion.|An interesting side note: This is the third time in four months this phrase or idea has turned up in the readings for my own reflections. I can't imagine that is coincidence. Three times since July I have read and written about this idea. "The harvest is plenty but laborers are few." When I read those lines again this month, I became very well aware that I must consider my own level of devotion to the Lord. The Lord has told me personally three times now that he is in need of laborers, so I think I'd better get to work.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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