Ok, I know the title of this post is a song. I know it’s an earworm of a song. I am working tight on time this first day of the new year because I wanted to say hello, but keep my last day of vacation before work, snuggling on the couch with my main squeeze.
I do have a couple of announcements:
My saint for 2014? St. Luke the Evangelist! What? Oh yeah. Even though this is St. Matthew’s year, I think it’s great to keep St. Luke close to my heart. What’s close to my heart? Evangelization. Almost every post on this blog is tagged as such. In fact, it was evangelization that mustered up the courage to write my very first word in May of 2013.
When St. Luke appeared on the screen, I wondered how it would relate to the word I am using for 2014, to name it. Then, I read this:
Only in Luke’s gospel do we hear Mary ‘s Magnificat where she proclaims that God “has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:52-53).
Luke also has a special connection with the women in Jesus’ life, especially Mary. It is only in Luke’s gospel that we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary’s visit to Elizabeth including the Magnificat, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus’ disappearance in Jerusalem. It is Luke that we have to thank for the Scriptural parts of the Hail Mary: “Hail Mary full of grace” spoken at the Annunciation and “Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus” spoken by her cousin Elizabeth.
Forgiveness and God’s mercy to sinners is also of first importance to Luke. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the Prodigal Son welcomed back by the overjoyed father. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the forgiven woman disrupting the feast by washing Jesus’ feet with her tears. Throughout Luke’s gospel, Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God’s mercy.
Reading Luke’s gospel gives a good idea of his character as one who loved the poor, who wanted the door to God’s kingdom opened to all, who respected women, and who saw hope in God’s mercy for everyone.
- Mary? Check.
- Magnificat? Check.
- My favorite verse in the Magnificat? has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:52-53)? Check!
- The door to God’s kingdom opened to all? Check!
- Where the Hail Mary is from? Come on…total Check!
Second announcement, my word for this year, as you know is agape. This is a different love than other more common, romantical (love that made up word) love. I think this is one of the more deliberate types of love as it is the love for your fellow Christian.
I intend to read C.S. Lewis, “The Four Loves”, The Navarre Bible: St Luke’s Gospel and of course, Acts to familiarize me more with this Apostle, Saint and master evangelizer. I am sure that throughout the year, I will stumble upon other books and commentaries – these are just to start. In this morning’s homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God , our new priest emphasized Christmas taking place everyday, with us bearing Christ in every act of humility, kindness, forgiveness and love – or agape. Isn’t this a great way to keep the season of Christmas in my heart?
In the meantime, the Lord will help me learn about St. Luke through situations, surprises and …. well, it’s all still unwritten, isn’t it?
Happy New Year!
Head over to Plain Grace and link up with your name for the New Year (and if you don’t have one yet, let’s pray one shows up at your feet, you know, the Holy Spirit way!)