On the Road, St Luke

   LUKE’S GOSPEL and its sequel The Acts of the Apostles are books of the road. They are about stepping out to take the message and teachings of Christ to those who have ears to hear them and the heart to absorb and live by them. These writings are no pious workings of an idealist sitting at his desk in some library far removed from the action he describes. Luke travelled with Paul and, though famous as the physician and healer evangelist, he is clearly a man of the road. It is Luke to whom the liberation theologians and activists look. In his Gospel is seen God’s “preferential option for the poor” (South American liberationists Gutiérrez, Boff, Segundo etc) and the subverting of worldly hierarchical schemata to “turn the world back the right way up” (eg Magnificat, Beatitudes, Nunc Dimitis).

   Luke was writing around the 80s AD from and into a community displaced from the synagogues and outcast from both Jewish and Gentile societies. Life for his community was raw and dangerous. Jesus sends out disciples to evangelise and heal, announcing the imminence of the kingdom of God for all who will receive it. “Go on your way”, he says, just get out there and don’t take anything you don’t need. Travel light. You are like lambs among wolves so don’t get side-tracked or sucked into any negative debates, just go in faith. If they won’t listen, kick off the dust and move on. Of course our Celtic ancestors in the faith were inspired by this and that is how they did their ministry. We are called to be just as brave in bringing the Gospel in our time.

  I am not saying that, however young, old, fit or unfit we might be, we should all leave everything and start walking and hitch-hiking into the distance! I am saying, however, that we must be bold in sharing our faith in Christ and our belief that his Way is the only way to live authentically and peacefully where we are and/or where we go. Shed the irrelevant bits and so be God’s “labourer” clearly and simply. God bless you always. Tim

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on October 17, 2020.

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