Sunday, 24 January 2010

St Luke, advocate of the poor

Outside the Basilica of St Paul in Rome, this giant statue of St Luke stands as a reminder that Luke is one of the most important sources we have about St Paul. Author of the Gospel account that bears his name and of the Acts of the Apostles, St Luke is responsible for over a quarter of the New Testament. The readings that we hear at Mass on Sundays are on a three-year cycle, and this year most of the Gospel readings are taken from St Luke's account. Today at Mass we hear the opening of the gospel, in which St Luke states that he has written his account with great care, "after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning". Among the special emphases of St Luke's account is the way in which Jesus showed particular care for the poor and marginalised, and thereby placed this duty upon His followers. As we consider the tragedy in Haiti, therefore, it is appropriate that Cathedral parishioners are making their contribution. A collection was taken last Sunday, and will be again this week, for the victims of the earthquake, who will also be remembered in our prayers. Among the many thousands who died in the disaster was the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, whose funeral took place yesterday next to the spot where the Cathedral used to stand. He, and all the victims of this tragedy, remain in the prayers of the Church across the world.