Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why were Mark and Luke so Lucky?

Thursday after Pentecost 11
August 20, 2009

The Lord be with you

I like the sermons of Saint Augustine. They tend to be short and always seem to have intriguing insights you don’t find in modern commentaries or sermons. For example, we all know that there are four canonical Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You probably also know that, while Matthew and John were two of the twelve Apostles, Mark and Luke were not. In fact Luke probably never even met Jesus in the flesh. Question: Why does the Holy Spirit give such a great honor to two men who were not Apostles? Augustine answers:
    The reason, you see, why the Holy Spirit wished also to choose two men who were not among the twelve to write down a gospel, was to prevent people imagining that the grace of evangelizing got as far as the apostles, and that the fountain of grace then dried up with them. The Lord, after all, says about his Spirit and about his word, that if anybody receives and keeps it worthily, it will become in him a fountain of water leaping up to eternal life (Jn 4:14) …
In other words, the Spirit used Mark and Luke so we would all know that we all are blessed with the joy of sharing the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.

This quote is from The Works of Saint Augustine, A Translation for the 21st Century, Sermons III/7, New City Press, New Rochelle, New York, page 59. This is a very readable translation of Augustine.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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