October 18, 2011
1 Cor 1:10-17; Luke 18:1-8
Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Luke the Gospel Writer, the Evangelist, who was a companion of Saint Paul, and also a physician as we know from the Acts of the Apostles.
It is said that clergy see people at their best, lawyers see people at their worst, and physicians see people as they really are! St. Luke saw people as they really are, that is, in much need for mercy and love. Saint Luke also knew that people when they are loved are also able to respond with much mercy and love. His story of the good thief at the cross is a great example of someone who even in his last hour was shown mercy and love from the crucified Lord, and in turn responded with love.
Saint Luke’s Gospel, known as the Gospel of Mercy, also gives us the great parable of the Prodigal Son as a profound example of God’s great love for us. We need to hear of this mercy and love so that we can turn from our ways of sin and be embraced by a God who loves us.
In today’s parable Jesus uses a rather humorous story to tell us about God. He said that if we as human beings, as in the case of the unjust judge, give only when forced to give, how much more will God, who is by nature, “the Giver of Life”, give generously to us when we ask!
Saint Luke, like a good physician is a master at remembering. In particular, he remembered the great stories of Jesus that spoke over and over again about God’s great mercy and love for those who turn to Him, and ask His help.
Brothers and Sisters, do we ask for help with our families, with our church, and with our world? God gives to those who ask. Do we ask for Lebanon, for the Middle East, for Christians, Muslims and Jews to live together in peace? Do we ask for miracles, for the grace of “communion and love?” Do we ask for what we need? We ought to ask in prayer, for by means of our prayer more is accomplished in this world than we will ever know.
I have come from a far off land to confirm my brothers, as Peter was called to do, and to ask you to pray, work, and believe as our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, so often says, that peace is possible. We should never give up. Lebanon has come so far, and can go the rest of the way with God’s help. The Middle East is troubled, but with forgiveness, love and prayer, there is always hope.
“Communion and love” is not just a nice slogan. It is the only way forward for every family, church and country. This is how Saint Paul urged the Christians of Corith to live: “be of one heart and one mind.” Because when Christians are divided they tear apart the Body of Christ.
Our Lord said, “ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Lord, together tonight we ask, we seek and we hope to find. May your graces and mercies be always upon us.
Saint Anthony of the Desert, pray for us. Our Lady of Lebanon, pray for us. Amen
(Reprinted with permission.)