By Denise Trull
Blessed feast of St Luke. The listener. The watcher. The writer and artist.
Luke was the one entrusted with the most intimate and treasured stories deep in the hearts of St. Peter, Our Lady, and others who were there and saw the wonder of Jesus at work in the world.
Luke never saw or heard Jesus. He only heard of him second hand, all in stories from others’ memories. Did he ever feel on the outside of this little band of friends who had known Jesus so intimately? Not quite one of their tight knit company? Not understanding the looks they suddenly shared or the quiet tears they shed at odd moments. Maybe sometimes he felt wistful and alone among them; those who shared a bond not his.
Did our Lady notice this and sometimes sit near him at these moments and tell him the best of her heart? Make Jesus come vividly alive so Luke could feel as though he HAD been there? She must have been a masterful storyteller.
Luke heard, from the very mouth of Our Lady herself, the most beautiful birth story ever. He heard all about the beautiful women Our Lady had noticed and knew and loved for their faith and goodness during Jesus's travels through the towns and on the roads: Simon's mother-in-law, a mourning widow, a prostitute, Jairus's daughter, Martha and Mary, the woman with the hemmorrhages, a crippled woman, and Mary Magdalene. Our Lady had seen first hand how much Jesus loved these faithful women. Luke eagerly wrote down that perspective. Some of the very words he wrote down might have been her own words. Think of that! She entrusted this man with the carefully stored ponderings of her heart.
It is said by tradition that Luke painted Our Lady a few times. I like to think he wanted to remember her face as she recounted her stories to him. Her face, that he had seen with his own eyes, was his intimate connection to knowing the Lord. For Jesus must have looked very much like her.
What a gentle and courteous man he must have been for Our Lady to love him so. I am glad one of the Gospels was entrusted to someone who knew so well how to listen and watch: to record it all carefully, quietly, waiting on the Holy Spirit's grace and power.
Makes me think what amazing things we might hear if we just listen and stop wanting to be heard so much - like St. Luke did.