Beginning with the familiar narratives of the birth and infancy of Jesus, continuing with His baptism in the Jordan and His public ministry beginning in Capernaum, this study includes the birth of the Church and the spread of the Gospel throughout the ancient world. Saint Luke has masterfully recorded for all generations the Good News of God’s Kingdom. The third Gospel is profoundly moving in its revelation of the mercy of God and the mysteries of the Kingdom.
This study will help you to delve into the narratives of the synoptic tradition and give serious reflection to the “hard sayings” of Jesus about the way of discipleship and the vocation of every Christian to evangelize through their own lives of faithful witness. The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles also place great emphasis on the gift of the Holy Spirit who is given to all who are willing to become like little children. The Holy Spirit guarantees spiritual growth for all who take this study seriously!
In many respects, this first series is the foundation for the other four years. The first two lessons provide a solid introduction to the Bible and to the Gospels. The Gospel of Luke is similar in many respects to Matthew and Mark, but also uniquely different. Saint Luke, who is the traveling companion of Saint Paul and a Greek physician (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philemon 24), emphasizes not only the infancy of Jesus, but also the universality of our Savior's mission. He is the Savior of all people and through Him, "all mankind shall see the salvation of our God." While Matthew's Gospel was originally written for Jewish believers, in which Jesus imparts the new Law of the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, Saint Luke is writing primarily for Gentile Christians who are from outside of Palestine. Thus, there is a universal quality and a profound awareness of history found in this Gospel that makes it unique!
The short prologue that appears at the beginning of both the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles suggests that they are really two parts of one larger work. Luke himself tells his readers that he is not an eyewitness of the events about which he writes, but that he has compiled an orderly account of these events "after examining everything anew" (Luke 1:1). Luke is writing about these things for a certain Theophilus ("Lover of God"), so that he can be assured of the certainty of the teachings he has received. As the Gospel shows, these teachings originate with Jesus who is the Son of the Most High (1:32); they are spread abroad by the Apostles (Luke 10:1-12) and have been entrusted to the Church, which is guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:6 - 2:13). It is for each one of us to make them our own through careful study and reflection.
Sr. Marie Therese Wright has written seventeen excellent commentaries on the twenty-four chapters of Saint Luke's Gospel, not including the two introductory lessons. She has written another nine lessons on the Acts of the Apostles in which we gain much insight into the nature of the Church from the early Christians in Jerusalem to the missionary activity of the Apostles, especially the Apostle Paul. Sister's commentaries shed new insight into the challenging and compassionate words of Jesus, the obedience and sacrifice of our Savior, the power of the Holy Spirit working in the Church and the courage and selflessness of the Apostles who came to share in Christ's own suffering and death. Through the commentary and the daily questions we too are purified and transformed for the service of Christ's body the Church and made ready for building up of God's Kingdom in our lives, our families and in our communities.
Series I: Luke and Acts contains 28 complete lessons.