In about 85 A.D., Luke, a Greek physician and disciple of Paul the Apostle, wrote his Gospel.

He addresses the second generation of Christians made up of Gentiles and Jews, including those who married outside the Jewish faith. Luke proclaims that salvation is not only for the Jews but for everyone who accepts the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Luke’s knowledge of Palestine is very limited and sometimes imprecise. He never met Jesus in person but through Paul’s preaching. The community for whom he writes is dealing with the delay of the second coming of the Lord, and they are beginning to trust in their wealth and to forget about the marginalised.

Living in a society dominated by Greek thought and Roman power, Luke is mindful of the gap between rich and poor. Through more than 20 parables, Luke reminds the rich of the demands of their Christian vocation. His Gospel is all about mercy, the mercy that goes hand in hand with social justice and compassionate care for the poor and vulnerable. To the wealthy, Luke preaches a Gospel of conversion and mindfulness about the poor because the salvation of the wealthy is in the care for the poor.

In Jesus’ message, there is space not only for justice but for mercy and fraternity—think of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Once Jesus begins his ministry, sharing meals with public sinners and performing miracles for the marginalised, people begin to ask themselves “Who is this man?” Luke’s answer is given to us at Jesus’ baptism and again at the Transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son.”

If you would like to explore the Gospel of Luke further the following resouces may be helpful:

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