Luke: Meek Scribe of Christ

In 15 Audio on 2014/04/11 at 12:00 AM

Luke: Meek Scribe of Christ

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Introduction to the Gospel of Luke 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


Dante described Luke as the “Scribe of the Meekness of Christ.” In approaching the Scriptures, the Church guides the faithful, especially in encyclicals and Church Councils. Pope Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu describes the Scripture as being inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach and instruct in justice, and reveal the treasure of faith and morals. Jesus Himself taught as an exegete, helping His followers to understand the Word of God. God enters our lives, and communicates to us. This is a great grace, and we must listen to Him. Pope John Paul II specifically cites the Gospel of Luke in his preparations for the third millennium, and in light of the Church’s guidance, the faithful should pay careful attention to this Gospel.


Historical Background of Infancy Narratives 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


St. Luke focuses especially on God’s Mercy, as relayed in the example of the Prodigal Son. Also displayed is a great sensitivity to women: the Blessed Virgin, Anna, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, the ministering women, the widow of Naim. The Holy Spirit is described most in the Gospel of Luke. The basic structure of the Gospel is Jesus’ life in Galilee, the move from Galilee towards Jerusalem, and the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Finally, we see that Luke writes his Gospel as the historian he is.


The Annunciation, Incarnation, and Visitation 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


The Blessed Mother wonders how the Incarnation will take place. Yet she trusts and believes in God’s power. Similarly in Elizabeth’s case, her pregnancy is a sign to show that nothing is impossible with God, which is affirmed in Mary’s “Magnificat” prayer. Next we follow the birth of St. John the Baptist, circumcision, and the famous “Nunc Dimittis” prayer of Zechariah.


The Birth of Jesus, Presentation, and His Messianic Identity 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


Jesus’ Birth and Presentation in the Temple—Jesus is brought for fulfillment of the rituals of the law, and Mary to complete her purification. Simeon, after recognizing Jesus as the Savior of Israel, prophecies that Mary’s heart will be pierced by a sword of sorrow. The finding in the Temple reveals that Jesus clearly understood His Messianic Identity. St. John the Baptist appears in the wilderness, preaching repentance and conversion to God. Our Lord is baptized by John, and the Holy Spirit descends upon Him, confirming His Sonship and Messianic role.


Christ’s Genealogy, Tempting in the Desert, and Initial Public Ministry 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


Luke explains Christ’s genealogy and its significance, and then details the Tempting in the Desert, the precursor to Our Lord’s Public Ministry, and the lessons taught by our Lord’s response to Satan’s tempting. Jesus fasts for 40 days, in preparation for the Ministry He has to do. Satan manipulates Scripture to tempt Jesus to doubt God’s Providence, but our Lord reveals His wisdom in refuting Satan’s ploys. Once He returns to Galilee, His Public Ministry begins, as He proclaims His role in the Synagogue. The people marvel, but then rise up to drive Him from the town. He casts out demons, and begins His work of prayer and teaching. Simon Peter is called, and Jesus heals the leper.


The Public Ministry and the Call of the Apostles 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


The Public Ministry begins following the Tempting in the Desert. Healing of the paralytic. Jesus questions which is greater: forgiveness of sins, or healing? Our Lord calls Levi, and then gives the parables concerning Fasting and the Bridegroom, new wine in old wineskins, and that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, and heals the man’s withered hand. After praying, He then chose twelve Apostles from among His disciples, and then gives the Beatitudes, also focusing teachings on love, judgment, removing the speck in a brother’s eye. Finally, He warns that a tree is judged by its fruits, and that is how disciples are judged concerning their repentance.


The Mercy of God: Jesus’ Healing Power and Miracles 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


Luke writes about the healing of the Centurion’s slave, and the raising from the dead of the son of the Widow of Nain. Jesus then confirms His ministry to John the Baptist’s disciples, and preaches about the great ministry and role of John. Then our Lord dines with Pharisees and is anointed by the woman of ill repute, He continues ministering to the people, casting out demons and healing illness, and shares the parable of the sewer. Finally, Dr. O’Donnell discusses the exorcism of the Gerasene Demoniac and the calming of the storm.


The Public Ministry Continues: Feeding the Crowds and the Transfiguration 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


In this section of the Gospel, Luke writes of Jesus’ power and miracles in His work with the multitudes. The healing of the woman’s hemorrhage, the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead, commissioning of the 12 Apostles, and miraculous multiplication of the loaves and the fishes are all public miracles which Jesus taught the crowds with. The lessons He taught in parables and preaching emphasized the carrying of the Cross and dying to self. Next our Lord witnesses to His Divinity in the transfiguration, the exorcism of a possessed boy, and His teaching on spiritual childhood.


Repentance, Discipleship, Parables, and Prayer 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


As Jesus continues His Public Ministry, Luke gives a strong account of discipleship for those who follow the Lord. The Son of Man has no where to lay His head, and when you follow God, you cannot look back. The Lord sent out 70 disciples, 2 by 2, to preach the Gospel and heal, but first by teaching them how carry out their mission. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few, and disciples are like lambs in the midst of wolves, to minister in His name, with His authority. Disciples should rejoice not in the power Christ has given them, but that their names are written in heaven. Next, our Lord gives the parable of the good Samaritan and teaches Martha and Mary about the difference between active vs. contemplative. As the disciples ask about prayer, He teaches them the Our Father, and that one should knock and if it is God’s Will, it shall be given. Finally, Jesus refutes the claim that He works by the power of bealzebub—a house divided cannot stand.


Learning Discipleship, the Pharisees, and Listening to God’s Message 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


In this passage of Luke’s Gospel, he records our Lord warning and judging those who are willing to listen to Him. Blessed are those hear the Word of God, and keep it; the Blessed Mother, Mary, is a woman of faith. The Lord condemned His evil and faithless generation, which will be judged by the Ninevites. When you are committed to the Lord, don’t hide your light under a bushel. Despite His warning to the Pharisees and lawyers, the Pharisees plot against Jesus. Truth ultimately will come out, and whatever is hidden will be revealed, so man should fear God, not other men. And the greatest warning is, of all sins, do not blaspheme the Holy Spirit, as He will guide you in all things. Do not be covetous, life is more than possessions.


Riches vs Stewardship, Trusting in God, and True Wisdom 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


Here Luke records our Lord’s warnings about the danger of too much wealth and riches. He gives the parable of the rich man who was concerned with wealth, and not his duty to God. The problem is of preoccupation—don’t worry, or be anxious. We need not concern ourselves about what we eat, wear, etc. God provides for our needs, as the lilies of the field. Do not be of little faith—seek the kingdom of God, because where your treasure is, there your heart will be. Be attentive to when the Master will return, because God will demand our souls: we do not know when we will die. By keeping focused on God, men will be aware of their responsibilities: to whom much is give, much will be expected. Our Lord warned His followers to be aware of the signs of the times, and that He came for division, not peace. We must change for the better—unless one repents, he will perish. Jesus wants the fire of charity to burn.


Fig Trees, Mustard Trees, and the Lord’s Banquet 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


Jesus’ parables challenge people to live the Faith. The fig tree teaches how God expects good fruit from our lives, giving us many opportunities to change. The healing of the infirm woman on the Sabbath leads to a clash with the Pharisees over “work.” The Pharisees do not communicate or teach the Faith—they are legalists. To help His followers understand the Kingdom of God, our Lord teaches that it is like a mustard tree which grows from a grain of a seed, or as leaven a woman uses in baking. Focus on charity for the Kingdom of God’s sake, not gain. Disciples must strive to enter by the narrow way, or the Lord may say He never knew us. Examples are given of living the Faith: the healing of the man with dropsy on the Sabbath, and the parable of the marriage banquet seat—whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Give to those who cannot repay, for your reward is eternal. The Banquet to which no one came, is analogous to the Lord’s invitation—to all, though many reject Him. Love the Lord more than anything in your life, before your family and dear ones. Renounce all and follow the Lord, don’t lose your purpose.


Jesus teaches about the Law, God’s Mercy and Forgiveness 

Host – Dr. Timothy O’Donnell


In this final episode, Dr. O’Donnell begins as he examines Luke’s treatment of four powerful “mercy parables:” the parable of the lost sheep; parable of women’s lost coin; parable of Prodigal Son; and the parable of the rich man’s steward. Each of these demonstrate how much God loves each one of us, and the extent to which He never gives up seeking us out, and our love. He came for every last soul, and these parables illustrate this fundamental teaching. In regards to our love for God and others, our Lord then goes on to teach us that those who are faithful in little, are faithful in much. God has to be number one in our life, or else something else will—we cannot serve two masters. In response to questions, Jesus clarifies that He came for the fulfillment of the Law, teaches against divorce, and then warns individuals to respond to God’s invitation now, before it is too late, giving the example in the parable of the poor beggar Lazarus.

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