Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Feast of St. Luke

Today we celebrate the life of St. Luke, who most scholars agree wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts; Scholars do not agree on who the man named Luke actually was.  Luke is the patron saint of artists, doctors, surgeons, students, and butchers.   Take a moment to think about those connections.

I could argue that all those groups engage in the art of deconstruction.  Some of those groups engage in the art of putting elements back together again.  When I wrote that last sentence, I thought of butchers as the only ones who don't reconstruct, but in a way, they do as they prepare cuts of meat for the best cooking and presentation.

Traditionally, we've thought of Luke as a physician and a writer.  Some have wanted to give him credit as a historian, but he likely wasn't thinking of himself as the person who needed to record early church history.  As a Composition teacher would point out, he was writing for a different discourse community.  He had different goals in mind for the audience that would read his writings.  Historians and evangelists have very different goals, goals which do intersect, but which are not the same.

Luke as an iconographer is not as well known.  In popular imagination, Luke gets credit for creating the first icon of the Virgin Mary.  I am not brave enough to write about icons in this post, but I'm grateful to Luke and to the early Church for recognizing how the Arts can enrich our spiritual lives.

Here are the readings for today:

First Reading: Isaiah 43:8-13

First Reading (Alt.): Isaiah 35:5-8

Psalm: Psalm 124

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4:5-11

Gospel: Luke 1:1-4; 24:44-53

Here's a prayer that I've written for today:

Creator God,  thank you for the inspiration that you gave us in the life of Luke.  Help us to discern our gifts for deconstruction and reconstruction.  Help us to heal what needs to be stitched together.  Help us always to have the mind of a student:  curious and quick to make connections.  Guide us as we follow our creative instincts.  In all things, be our muse.

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