By Augustine Sokolovski, Doctor of Theology, priest
Today is the commemoration of the Apostle and Evangelist Luke. In the Creed we call our Church Apostolic. This means that we should pay special attention to the memory of those who have passed on our faith to us. The Four Evangelists – Matthew, Marc, Luke, and John - are recorded in the history and memory of the Church because of the Gospels they left behind.
The Church believes that the Gospels are inspired by God. The Inspiration means historicity. It is based on what our Lord Jesus said and what He really did. While adhering to historicity, each of the Evangelists added their own unique and personal touch. In the apostolic letters, Luke is referred to as "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14).
The tradition of the Church has also preserved the memory of Luke as an iconographer. Something profoundly iconographic and healing to our souls is preserved in his Gospel.
First, it is the explanation of why the Lord, being, according to the prophecies about him, from Bethlehem, is called Jesus of Nazareth. In virtue of the census that took place at that time. And the words about the census that took place "under Caesar Augustus" (Luke 2:1) also indicate that from now on the Church and the universe will confront each other as equals, in cooperation and in contradiction for all time.
Secondly, this strange and ambiguous account of how Pilate, unwilling to condemn the Lord Jesus himself, handed Him over to Herod. Herod, doing the same thing, then handed Him back to Pilate. Pilate and Herod became friend after that (Luke 23:7-11). The «Human, All Too Human» of the silence of political power... It will always accompany the Church in history. When at decisive moments the word of truth will not be spoken, the Lord will reconcile the enemies without blessing them.
And finally, these are the unforgettable words of the Thief on the cross, who, seeing the Crucified One beside him, uttered: "Remember me, Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom!" (Luke 23:42).
It turns out that only Luke noticed, remembered, and marked these words, which would eventually become the epitome of the entire journey of a Christian. We hope that these very words will also become the proclamation of our Christian life.
The Church is grateful to the Evangelist Luke for preserving this invaluable legacy for us.