Characteristics of Luke’s Gospel

Lincoln’s Log 2-3-13
“Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigting everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received.”
Lk. 1:1-4
Since the beginning of Advent we have been in Year C of the liturgical year’s three year cycle.  Thisyear we focus on the Gospel of Luke.  Here are some characteristics of Luke’s Gospel for you to have in mind as you listen to the Gospel each Sunday.
  • Luke’s Gospel begins with an extensive prologue, much of which we heard during Advent.
  • Luke’s Gospel is dedicated to “Theophilus”:  perhaps a patron of Luke’s or a symbolic name refering to all those who love God (Theophilus means lover of God)
  • Luke’s Gospel has a sequel… The Acts of the Apostles
  • Luke ties his events closely to their historical context.  Luke outlines God’s plan unfolding in history.
  • Jerusalem is given great emphasis in Luke.
  • Luke has a liturgical focus.  He provides many of the texts we use in the liturgy (e.g. Magnificat, Benedictus, Gloria, Nunc Dimittis)
  • Luke highlights Jesus’ prayer and the importance of prayer.
  • Luke’s Gospel emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit
  • Luke sets much of his Gospel in the context of meals
  • Luke’s Gospel has a special concern for the excluded (e.g. Samaritans, Gentiles, Tax Collectors, Women, the poor).
Luke’s Gospel has its own distinct portrait of Jesus.  I encourage you to listen closely to this important Gospel throughout the year.
Peace,
Lincoln A. Wood
P.S.  For more information a great resource is:  http://www.introducingnt.com/
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Catholic Schools Week

Lincoln’s Log 1-27-13
This week we celebrate Catholic Schools week.  As parishes with a Catholic elementary school we are familiar with the value that a school brings.  Our parishes would not be the same and our future would not be as bright without our school.  We know that learning about the faith can be done in many ways (e.g. online, in small groups, through religious education classes, etc… ) but a Catholic school provided day-to-day situations where students are guided and encouraged to live their faith.
But the value of Catholic education goes beyond the walls of St. Rose St. Mary’s school!  Here are some facts from the University of Notre Dame that reveal the value of Catholic education to our entire nation and the worldwide Catholic community:
  1. The Catholic Church has over 68 million members. (National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) 2011 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches) 
  2. 1 in 10 Catholic teens attends a Catholic school. (USCatholic.org) 
  3. In 2010, 55.8 million children attended public schools; 5.8 million children attended private schools, with 2.1 million in Catholic schools.  (NCEA) 
  4. The student/teacher ratio in Catholic schools is 14:1.(NCEA) 
  5. 99% of students who attend Catholic high school graduate. Of those, 88% attend 4-year colleges. (NCEA) 
  6. Currently, 6 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices went to Catholic school. (Boston.com) 
  7. The minority population accounts for 30% of the Catholic school population (13% Latino; 8% Black/African American; 6% Asian American; 4% Multiracial). (NCEA) 
  8. 15% of Catholic school students are not Catholic. (NCEA) 
  9. 45% of Catholic schools in the United States participate in Federal Nutrition Programs, which provide over 262,000 free meals to children daily. 
  10. The mean cost per pupil at Catholic schools is $5,436; the national per pupil average is $10,792). (NCEA; National Center for Education Statistics) 
  11. Catholic schools provide over 20.5 billion dollars a year in savings for the nation. (NCEA) 
  12. Catholic school tuition seldom covers the mean cost per pupil.
Catholic schools make a difference.  They are, indeed,the Good News in education.
Peace,
Lincoln A. Wood

Longing for the Holy

Lincoln’s Log 1-13-13
Our parish is beginning a wonderful process called Longing for the Holy.  This process is about discovering and channeling the deep longing each of us has for God.  It is a way to move into the future as a Church of hope.
The heart of the process will be the gathering of small groups of people in homes to read, pray, and reflect on the Scriptures and faith-sharing reflections.  These small communities within our parishes:
  • Meet once a week for the season of lent at a convenient time you select
  • Are centered around Scripture
  • Use professionally developed materials that have proven to help individuals grow in faith
  • Are guided by trained leaders
  • Are usually held in an informal setting, i.e. parishioner’s homes

These small communities help to make our faith real.  A more intimate setting allows us to grow.  A small community can change the way we see the world and allow us to experience different prayer styles.  We all know that faith without action is dead.  A small faith community can help us identify ways to respond to the needs of others and support our outreach.  Community also impacts the way we relate to others.  It can help us become more understanding, tolerant, patient and loving.
There are so many good reasons to be a part of a Longing for the Holy small faith community!  We are hoping as many people as possible will see this as a moment of grace and will participate.
Peace,
Lincoln A. Wood

Epiphany

Lincoln’s Log 1-6-13
“Father, you revealed your Son to the nations by the guidance of a star.  Lead us to your glory in heaven by the light of faith.”
Opening Prayer, Epiphany
Epiphany, with its proximity to the beginning of the New Year, is a wonderful time to evaluate what has been guiding our life.  As you look back on 2012 here are some questions, suggested by Joyce Rupp, to help discern the direction the light of faith is guiding you as we begin 2012.
As you look back on 2012:
1. What name would you give to your journey the past year? How would you describe it to one of your friends? What image or metaphor would you use to talk about it?
2. What were some of your “epiphanies” of the past year (your discoveries of the Holy One in your midst)? How did you grow because of them?
3. Who were your wise persons? What did they reveal to you? How did this influence your life?
4. Did any of your hopes and dreams become a reality?
5. What was most satisfying about the year? What was least satisfying?
6. How did your experience of the past year affect the world in which you live?
As you look to the year before you:
1. What name would you like your new year’s journey to have? What gifts do you bring with you into the year before you?
2. Do you find resistance within you? Of what are you most afraid as you enter a new year?
3. What is your greatest need for the coming year?
4. Who do you bring with you for your support and strength as you begin to journey through the year?
5. How is your relationship with the Holy One as you pause on the threshold of the new year’s vast landscape? What is at the heart of your new year’s prayer?
6. What do you hope to contribute to society in this coming year?
May God continue to bless you as we begin 2013.
Peace,
Lincoln A. Wood

The Power of Words

Words create and destroy.  They create worlds to enter and dwell in.  They give us visions of things never before seen and restore memories long forgotten.  They have the capacity to reveal the human heart of one person to another and to bind together thousands of people into a community of common purpose.  Words also can destroy, strike at the core of long accepted truths and subvert them. They can penetrate and in a few strokes obliterate what we thought was secure and lasting.  Words can betray and seduce, defile and deny.

Jim Wallace, Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart