Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist. Luke was born to pagan parents in Antioch. He was trained as physician. As a young man he heard the Gospel proclaimed, most likely by St. Paul, and became a convert to the Faith. He was a companion to St. Paul during his second missionary journey, and was shipwrecked with St. Paul, when Paul was being taken to Rome where he would be martyred.
St. Luke wrote not only a gospel (the gospel preached by St. Paul), but also the first history of the early Church, namely the Acts of the Apostles. He begins his gospel with, “I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you…” (Lk 1:3). He also says that he based his writings on the testimony of eyewitnesses. All this indicates that St. Luke did his very best in composing his works, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He strove for excellence. His gospel gives us the most detailed account of the Birth of Christ, and he is called the painter of the Blessed Mother, because of the details of her experience with her Son, suggesting that St. Luke had interviewed Mary herself. He emphasizes the mercy of Jesus through his accounts of Jesus’ encounters with sinners. His gospel relates stories of Jesus which are not recorded in any of the other gospels: the parable of the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, the encounter on the road to Emmaus.
St. Luke gives us an example of how we should always strive for excellence in our work and perfection in our spiritual life. All our tasks well-done for God are of lasting value. But how often do we approach the tasks given to us without interest and little attention to detail? When we accomplish our tasks in this manner, our efforts are not pleasing to God nor of service to others.
We may not be called to a great task like writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, like St. Luke was, but we are all called to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to us — no matter how large or small — with great care for the greater glory of God.