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Thursday, 10/18/2018, Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist

Reach Out and Touch

First Reading Commentary: 2 Timothy 4:10-17b

Paul, who was alone with Luke, summoned Timothy to bring Mark. Paul did not get along with Mark at first but now that Demas and others had deserted Paul and because so many of the Gentiles were being converted, Paul needed help. This made Mark a valuable resource.

Have you ever set out to complete a task only to find yourself overwhelmed? When this happens, we need to be humble enough to seek help and sometimes the people who will help us the most are not our favorite allies. Sometimes, they are the people who we would least expect to help us. They may not even be people that we want to be with.

Think about all of the people that the Father and the Son used in the bible. In spite of their brokenness, God had a plan for them. God has a plan for all of us in spite of our brokenness. If we are not a part of carrying out God’s plan, it is because we refuse to do what God asks of us and not because God refuses to reach out to us.

In Paul’s situation, we see him acting like Jesus. Paul overlooked the past and reached out to Mark because he knew how much of a help Mark would be. God is the same way. He overlooks everything and reaches out to us because He knows what we can do.

Paul told Timothy that Alexander, the coppersmith, had done him great harm; and that the Lord would repay him according to his deeds and Paul advised Timothy to be on guard. Notice that Paul did not pass judgment on Alexander or seek any kind of personal revenge against him. He left that up to God.

When we are offended or wronged by someone, we normally want to judge and condemn that person. But this is not what God wants us to do and Jesus told us more than once that it is not our place. Remember the wooden beam in Matthew 7:1-11 and Luke 6:41-42? Remember the Pharisees wanting to stone the woman who committed adultery in John 8:7 when Jesus said, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her?” 

Paul told Timothy that no one had appeared at his first defense and that everyone had deserted him. Not only had Paul’s actions become like Christ, he also experienced the same desertion that Christ did when He was arrested. They were both left alone.

But Paul also said, “May it not be held against them!” Paul forgave and interceded for those who deserted him and asked God to forgive them in the same way that Jesus, speaking from the cross, asked the Father to forgive His persecutors when He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Paul admitted to the fact that God had stood by him and given him strength so that he could proclaim God’s message to the Gentiles. This is another opportunity to stop and think about the life of Paul, who before his conversion; was one of the biggest persecutors of those who believed in Christ. Jesus took Paul’s determined zeal and used it so that Paul would become one of the greatest Apostles to proclaim God’s Word.

We all have a talent, however large or small and however noticeable or concealed. If we allow Him to, God will use our talents for our own salvation, for the salvation of others and for His glory. Our message here is that sometimes we have to reach out and touch others in order for our best talents to reach their maximum exposure.

Evangelize and Welcome Everyone to God’s Hospitality

Gospel Commentary: Luke 10:1-9

The Seventy-two were appointed by Jesus to go ahead of Him to towns that He planned to visit. Jesus said that the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few so ask the master to send out laborers. These disciples were being sent out as missionaries and evangelists (laborers) to proclaim Jesus to the people (the harvest) whom He was going to visit.

Jesus said, “I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” He was telling the disciples that their mission would not be easy and that there would be those who would persecute them just as John the Baptist was being persecuted and Jesus would also be persecuted. Jesus was also warning them about false prophets who, by preaching untruths like some of the Pharisees, would try to stop the disciples by declaring that the disciples were proclaiming lies.

Facing resistance from non-believers and those who simply do not wish to believe is an ongoing problem for anyone who proclaims the Word. They will use any and all means available to stop the Word from being heard. They use politics and every form of media and entertainment to fill our minds with unholy thoughts which lead us to commit sins of lust and greed. And when they ask questions, it is not out of a thirst for knowledge, but an opportunity to argue.

Jesus instructed the disciples to carry nothing with them and to greet no one along the way. This is still a common practice for evangelists. The idea being that they not be distracted by any material possessions or by those who may delay them. Instead, they should remain focused on their mission.

The disciples were instructed to offer peace to whatever household they entered. Jesus said, “If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.” Simply put, the disciples were told that they will be welcomed or they will not be welcomed. Also, some people would listen to them but some people would reject them.

Jesus told the disciples to accept the hospitality of anyone who welcomed them so as not to offend them. He said, “Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another.” In other words, the disciples were told to be polite, exercise good manners and stay loyal to those who welcomed them. In effect, Jesus was telling His evangelists to be just like Him and the Father. God is always loyal to us.

But there is a deeper message here. Think about it. Does God extend His peace and hospitality to us as He welcomes us? Yes, He does. Do we offend God and return His peace to Him when we stray away from Him with our sins? Yes, we do.

Jesus wanted the Seventy-two to understand that if they expected people to listen to them and accept God’s welcome, they could not deny the people who welcomed them just as God never denies us.

The disciples were also told to cure the sick in any town that welcomed them and to tell the people that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Jesus wanted the disciples to deliver His promise of the Kingdom of Heaven to the people. Jesus wanted those people who wanted to be in heaven to know that God promised heaven to them because God wanted them to be in heaven.

This gospel is all about evangelization and today we celebrate the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, who was one of the Twelve Apostles, accompanied St. Paul, wrote one of the four Gospels and also wrote Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke not only proclaimed the Gospel but he also documented the works of the Apostles as they built the early Church. Much of what we know about Jesus, the early Church and St. Paul is because of St. Luke’s work.

The Gospel of St. Luke has several subtitles. One of them is the Gospel of Absolute Renunciation because in it, Luke stresses the need for total dedication to Christ renouncing all other things. Luke was an evangelist, who was totally dedicated to Christ and in his gospel, Luke proclaims to us, that we should also be totally dedicated to Christ.

Reading 1          2 Timothy 4:10-17b

Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

Responsorial Psalm          Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18

R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Gospel          Luke 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”

Wear the mask!
Wash your hands!
Maintain social distancing!
Pray for our leadership!

Get the vaccine!

The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paragraph 767 "When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church."174 Then "the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun."175 As the "convocation" of all men for salvation, the Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them.176

The Holy Spirit came to Mary and the Apostles as tongues of fire.

Saint of the Day

St. Luke the Evangelist
(died 74)
Patron saint of:
artists, bachelors, bookbinders, brewers, butchers, doctors, glass makers, glassworkers, glaziers, gold workers, goldsmiths, lacemakers, lace workers, notaries, painters, sculptors, Capena, Italy & Hermersdorf, Germany

Born of a Gentile family in Antioch, Luke was a cultured man, a medical doctor and a convert to Christ.

“Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if you can.” Remember those lyrics? That is Paul’s message for us today.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jesus sent the 72 in groups of 2 with the mission of evangelizing the people by offering their peace to everyone and telling them that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Jesus told the 72 that He was sending them like lambs among wolves because He knew that there would be those who would reject and persecute them in an effort to stop them from completing their mission.

Other Saints This Week

Pope St. Callistus I
(d. 223)

Saint Teresa of Avila
(3/28/1515 – 10/4/1582)
Patron Saint of: headaches

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
(7/22/1647 – 10/17/1690)

Saint Ignatius of Antioch
(d. c. 107)

Saints Isaac Jogues,
Jean de Brébeuf and Companions

(d. 1642 – 1649)
Patron Saints of:
North America & Norway

Saint Paul of the Cross
(1/3/1694 – 10/18/1775)
Patron Saint of: Hungary

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