January 27, 2019
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
NEH 8:2-4A, 5-6, 8-10 PS 19:8, 9, 10, 15 1 COR 12:12-30 LK 1:1-4; 4:14-21
As the priest proclaimed the Gospel at Mass this morning, something about St. Luke’s introduction struck me as incredibly relevant. He begins his account with a disclaimer of sorts:
“Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received.”
St. Luke assures his reader that what he is about to read has been thoroughly researched. He has investigated everything accurately anew, written it down in an orderly sequence, so that those who read it – his contemporaries, chiefly, but now it’s you and I – may realize the certainty of the teachings.
What a difference from the clickbait headlines, rush-to-judgment reporting, and biased articles we are subjected to on a daily, if not hourly, basis. If more journalists and editors followed St Luke’s example, imagine the difference in our news, interactions, and discourse. We would be treated to the truth more often, rather than subjected to spin, narrative, and ideology. The media would be more trustworthy rather than accused of pushing a certain prejudice.
St. Luke’s subject was Truth itself, the incarnate Word of God, and I’m sure he recognized his account needed to be even more accurate, beyond reproach, absent of any and all bias. His mission was to present the events of Jesus’ life, so that readers might come to believe. That they might be convinced Jesus is the Son of God, sent to save us from our sin.
Those of us who write in the Catholic sphere have a great responsibility to be slaves to the truth, and not the masters of it. While we most likely aren’t divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit in the same way as St. Luke was, we still have a sacred duty to proclaim Truth. To investigate everything accurately, so that the readers may have certainty in what they’re reading. To present the narrative rather than to control it. To write according to God’s standards, and not the world’s.
As the recent Covington student fiasco showed, St. Luke’s method is the exception rather than the norm, which is why the Gospels have been trusted and endured for nearly two thousand years. Truth wins.
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