Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist

Scripture Readings: 2 Tim 4:10-17b; Lk 10:1-9

St. Luke the evangelist, a martyr and companion of St. Paul, was also “the beloved physician.”  His life and feast are especially important today when doctors are on the front line in a struggle to defend human life against the culture of death.  

For over twenty-three hundred years physicians promised in the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, saying in part: “I will help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never to do harm. I will not administer poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I provide an abortion. I will keep my life and my art holy.”

But then in 1964 the oath was reworded, saying in part: “I will apply for the benefit of the sick all measures that are required.  If it is given me to save a life, be thankful. But it may also be within my power to take a life; I face this awesome responsibility with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.”  This oath no longer renounces the culture of abortion and euthanasia.

Through the intercession of St. Luke, the beloved physician, may we have the grace to stand up for the right to life, and even to be martyrs rather than renounce our beliefs.