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.
Lincoln A. Wood
P.S.  For more information a great resource is:

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