Go ahead and say it out loud,
all this lectionary year, every time:
“I am reading from the gospel of
Luke who was a Syrian.”
Luke from Syria,
this Syria, the one we read about in the papers.
Not just some Luke who floated in
from somewhere, maybe a physician,
with exquisite Greek.
Not just Luke who wrote to
some Lover-of-God, Theophilus
both the gospel and Acts …
remembering Jesus prayer-life,
tracing his genealogy back to Adam,
child of God,
alternating healings and parables
about men and women,
naming his radical preference for the poor,
insisting on forgiveness –
the kind from God,
and the kind when someone throws
a party for a runaway child.
This particular Luke
whose rendition of the beatitudes
is about the poor (not so much in spirit)
the hungry for … yes, food,
and so on, like this one –
Blessed are you who mourn, O Syria,
for you will be comforted.