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Richard's Daily Meditations

Jonah and the Whale. Illustration by Louis Rhead (1857-1926).  


Luke’s Gospel is the most broad-minded and the most forgiving. Every chance he gets, Luke has Jesus forgiving people, right up to the good thief on the cross. Luke is quite ready to see God as generous, gratuitous, and merciful. Mercy and inclusivity—Jesus’ ministry to outcasts, to Gentiles, to the poor—are emphasized a great deal in Luke. Luke’s Gospel is also called the gospel of women. Far more than any other evangelist, Luke brings women into Jesus’ life and shows Jesus’ very positive way of relating to women, especially for his time and culture.

Luke’s has also been called the gospel of absolute renunciation. For Luke, to be a disciple one has to let go of everything—not just money or other external idols, but inner idols and ego concerns as well. Luke advocates radically new social patterns of relationship. His is an upside-down gospel: “The first will be last and the last will be first” (Luke 13:30). Luke uses every story he can to show that what impresses people does not impress God, that people who think they are at the top are often, in God’s eyes, at the bottom, and that people who think they are at the bottom are, in God’s eyes, often at the top.

Adapted from The Good News According to Luke:
Spiritual Reflections, pp. 38, 40

Teach me to be humble and live simply.