18 October [St Luke, evangelist]
Lk 10:1-9

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

“The gospel according to St Luke has been called the loveliest book in the world,” writes a commentator.  “There is a legend that Luke was a skilled painter.... Certainly he had an eye for vivid things.  It would not be far wrong to say that the third gospel is the best life of Christ ever written.” 

Luke was a Gentile, in fact the only non-Jewish writer in the New Testament.  It is also clear that he wrote mainly for Gentiles.  Examples of this: he seldom quotes the Old Testament, and he is not concerned to show that Jesus is the fulfilment of Jewish prophecy; he never uses the Jewish title Rabbi of Jesus (he uses a Greek word that means ‘Master’); he traced the descent of Jesus not to Abraham, the founder of the Jewish race, as Matthew does, but to Adam, the ‘founder’ of the human race. 

Other features: Luke’s gospel is especially the gospel of prayer: he shows Jesus very often at prayer.  He gives a very special place to women.  It is above all a gospel of praise: he uses the expression “praising God” more often than all the others put together.  It was he who gave us those three great canticles: the Benedictus, the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis.  




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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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