Tag Archives: daily readings

Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist

Today’s readings

On this feast day of Saint Luke the Evangelist, we can imagine that the First Reading was chosen for its brief mention of the saint. The Gospel passage is taken from Luke’s account of the Gospel, but he is not mentioned there as he never met Jesus during His earthly life. Nonetheless, today’s Gospel passage is about being appointed and sent by Jesus. As such, each of us can directly relate it to his life as a disciple.

“To be sent” is the literal meaning of an “apostle”. Today’s Gospel passage, however, is not about the sending of the Twelve, but about the sending of the 72 whom Jesus sent ahead of Him as “advance men”. The 72 are to prepare people to receive Jesus. This is how we can relate this Gospel passage to our own lives as disciples. Very few members of the Church serve as successors of the apostles in the role of bishop, but every Christian is sent by Jesus to prepare others to receive Him. This fact is often overlooked today. There is a confusion still, fifty years after the start of the Second Vatican Council, between the roles of the clergy and laity.

The role of the laity in the Church is largely “outside” the Church, in that the laity carries the fruits of the Church into the wider, secular world. The word “apostolate” is all but obsolete today in referring to the work of the laity, but it needs to be reclaimed to describe the right and responsibility of the laity to engage the “world” with the Good News of Christ.

Diocese of Wichita

Tuesday of the 17th week in ordinary time

Click here to see today’s readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus offers a point-by-point explanation of the parable that He preached in the passage proclaimed in the cycle of Ordinary Time weekdays two days earlier. The evangelists rarely offer us examples of Jesus explaining one of His parables, so today’s passage is insightful not only in terms of the content of this specific parable, but also in terms of Jesus’ method of using parables.

We might wonder, to start with, what the significance is of the evangelist telling us that it’s after “Jesus dismissed the crowds” that “His disciples approached Him” to ask for an explanation of the parable. This is an important distinction that the evangelist didn’t have to note for Jesus’ explanation to make sense. Perhaps the evangelist is highlighting the importance of petitioning God for deeper insight into His revealed Word.

Jesus explains the meanings of seven persons or things from the parable. This allegorical explanation of the parable is important because it’s in accord with the method of interpreting Jesus’ parables commonly found in the writings of the saints in the patristic and medieval periods of Church history. This method is often rejected today by scholars who offer their own theories about the interpretation of parables. It’s important to note that among those whom modern scholars criticize are not only canonized saints whose holiness is proven, but also—as we hear today—Our Lord Himself!