This week the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Luke, the Evangelist and physician. It’s interesting to reflect on how our lives — and the life of the universal Church — would be different if Luke had not responded to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and written his gospel.
There are so many things we would not know if Luke had remained silent. We wouldn’t know the circumstances surrounding the birth of John the Baptist. We wouldn’t know about the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Presentation or the finding of Jesus in the Temple. We wouldn’t have the Hail Mary, since the first half of that prayer consists of verses found only in the Gospel of Luke.
We would know nothing about the shepherds who visited the infant Christ in Bethlehem — or the Good Thief and his last minute conversion on the cross. We would never have heard the story of the prodigal son, or the details surrounding the appearance of Jesus on Easter Sunday to the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Nor would we know the history of the early Church as given in the Acts of the Apostles, since St. Luke was also the author of that biblical book.
St. Luke’s “yes” to God — his willingness to do the Lord’s will and to serve him faithfully as an Evangelist — has affected people in a positive way for more than two thousand years. His obedience has helped to bring the grace of salvation to many souls. Our obedience, praise God, can have a similar impact on others.