the gospel of forgiveness
"I have no one with me but Luke." —2 Timothy 4:11
Luke's Gospel should also be known as the gospel of forgiveness. Only in Luke's Gospel do we meet the penitent woman whose many sins were forgiven because of her great love (Lk 7:47). In contrast with James and John, who wanted to destroy a Samaritan town by fire (Lk 9:54), Luke shows Jesus exalting the virtues of the "good Samaritan" (see Lk 10:33). Jesus also exalted another unforgiven group when He ate with the hated tax collector Zacchaeus and gave him salvation (Lk 19:7ff).
Only in Luke's Gospel do we also meet the prodigal son, his forgiving father, and unforgiving older brother (Lk 15:11ff). This parable is probably the greatest revelation of God's way of forgiving. God forgives affectionately, graciously, and mercifully. He honors sinners by giving them exceptional gifts and a special celebration.
Only in Luke's Gospel do we meet the "good thief." While suffering on the cross, Jesus said: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34). Then Jesus forgave the "good thief" and promised him paradise that very day (see Lk 23:43).
Today, read part of the Gospel of Luke and forgive all who have hurt you in any way.
Prayer: Father, help me to choose to forgive all as You forgive — immediately and completely (Col 3:13).
Promise: "On entering any house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' " —Lk 10:5
Praise: St. Luke was a physician, disciple, missionary, evangelist, and saint.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Fourteen Questions on Forgiveness, or our audio on Forgiveness, AV 106A-1, AV 106A-3, AV 106B-1 or our video V-106A, V-106B.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013
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