The Gospel According to Luke Book Summary

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Title: The Gospel According to Luke: Analysis-Comment-Meditation
Author: Rev. Dolindo Ruotolo

TLDR: This commentary on Luke’s Gospel, written during the Fascist era, delves into the merciful nature of Christ’s kingdom, contrasting it with worldly power. It emphasizes humility, service, and the power of faith, while urging vigilance and trust in God’s providence.

Chapter 1: The Dawn of Redemption

This chapter sets the stage for the arrival of the Messiah, focusing on the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

  • The Precursor’s Promise: The story begins with the elderly priest Zechariah and his barren wife Elizabeth, living righteously but burdened by their childlessness. The angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah during his Temple service, announcing that Elizabeth will bear a son, John, who will be filled with the Holy Spirit and prepare the way for the Lord. Zechariah, doubting the angel’s words due to their old age, is struck mute. This event emphasizes the importance of faith and humility in accepting God’s will, even when it seems impossible.
  • Mary’s Fiat: The narrative then shifts to the young Virgin Mary in Nazareth, betrothed to Joseph. Gabriel appears to her as well, announcing that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and bear a son, Jesus, who will be the Son of the Most High. Mary, in complete surrender to God’s will, humbly accepts: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” This event highlights Mary’s complete trust in God and her role as the vessel for the Incarnation.
  • Magnificat: A Song of Humility and Triumph: Mary visits Elizabeth, and the unborn John leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, recognizes Mary’s greatness and the divinity of her unborn child. Mary, overcome with gratitude, breaks into the Magnificat, a song of praise for God’s mercy and power. This canticle is analyzed in depth as a testament to God’s faithfulness to His promises, His overthrow of the proud, and His elevation of the humble.
  • John’s Birth and Zechariah’s Song: John is born, and Elizabeth insists on naming him John despite family objections. At that moment, Zechariah regains his speech and breaks into a song of praise, the Benedictus, foretelling John’s role as the Prophet of the Most High, preparing the way for the Lord. John’s birth and Zechariah’s restored speech highlight the power of faith and the importance of recognizing God’s hand in even seemingly insignificant events.
  • John’s Retreat: John, strengthened by grace, withdraws to the desert to prepare for his mission, signifying the importance of spiritual preparation and a life of penance in fulfilling God’s call.

This chapter concludes with a reminder that our lives should be a living Gospel, filled with knowledge, love, and service to God. It emphasizes the importance of actively seeking to understand and practice God’s word through prayer, meditation, and engaging with holy books.

Chapter 2: The Incarnation Unfolds

This chapter focuses on the birth of Jesus Christ and his early years, culminating in his finding in the Temple at age twelve.

  • A Divine Journey: The narrative begins with the Roman census ordered by Caesar Augustus, an event that forces Joseph and the heavily pregnant Mary to journey to Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah’s birthplace. This seemingly mundane event is highlighted as God’s masterful orchestration of human events to achieve His divine plan.
  • A Humble Birth: Arriving in Bethlehem, they find no room at the inn and seek shelter in a stable, where Jesus is born. The commentary vividly depicts the humble surroundings and the contrast between Jesus’s divine nature and his lowly birth, emphasizing the significance of humility in God’s plan.
  • Angelic Announcement: The angel Gabriel appears to shepherds tending their flocks nearby, announcing the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord. He directs them to the stable, where they find Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The shepherds’ joyful adoration, based on simple faith and the unusual sign of the manger, highlights the power of accepting God’s revelation, even when it seems unconventional.
  • Circumcision and Presentation: Jesus is circumcised on the eighth day, signifying his acceptance of the Jewish covenant and foreshadowing his sacrificial shedding of blood. He is then presented in the Temple, where Simeon, a righteous man guided by the Holy Spirit, recognizes Jesus as the salvation of God. This event underlines the continuity between the Old and New Covenants and the fulfillment of prophetic promises.
  • Simeon’s Prophecy: Simeon prophetically announces that Jesus will be a sign of contradiction, bringing both salvation and ruin, and that Mary will suffer deeply because of him. This prophecy foreshadows the challenging nature of Jesus’s mission and the sorrow that will accompany his journey.
  • Anna’s Testimony: Anna, a devout prophetess who served in the Temple, also recognizes Jesus and proclaims him to all who await redemption. Her testimony, together with Simeon’s, further reinforces the significance of Jesus’s arrival.
  • Lost and Found in the Temple: The holy family travels to Jerusalem for Passover each year. At age twelve, Jesus stays behind in the Temple, engaging with the doctors of the law. His worried parents search frantically for him for three days, finally finding him in the Temple, astonishing those present with his wisdom. Jesus’s explanation, “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” reveals his awareness of his divine mission and the importance of placing God’s will above all else, even familial concerns.

This chapter concludes with a reflection on the hidden life of Jesus in Nazareth, where he grew in wisdom and grace. It emphasizes the importance of a quiet, contemplative life dedicated to God, especially during youth. The commentary also highlights the example Jesus’s early life sets for the education of children, urging parents to foster a love for God, virtue, and simple faith from a young age.

Chapter 3: The Voice in the Wilderness

This chapter marks the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry, focusing on the mission and preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus’s baptism.

  • Setting the Stage: The chapter opens with a detailed outline of the political and religious landscape of Palestine at the time of Jesus’s public ministry: Tiberius Caesar as Emperor of Rome, Pontius Pilate as Governor of Judea, Herod Antipas as Tetrarch of Galilee, and the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas. This detailed background highlights the complex context of Roman rule and the compromised state of Jewish leadership.
  • The Baptist’s Call to Repentance: John the Baptist, filled with the Holy Spirit, emerges from the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He calls people to “produce fruits worthy of repentance” and warns against relying solely on their lineage to Abraham for salvation. This preaching emphasizes the need for a genuine change of heart and a life aligned with God’s will, regardless of one’s background.
  • Confronting the Pharisees: John boldly confronts the Pharisees and Sadducees, challenging their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. He calls them a “brood of vipers” and warns them that God can raise up children to Abraham from stones. This confrontation highlights John’s fearless condemnation of those who distort God’s truth and place themselves above others.
  • Practical Guidance: John offers practical guidance to those seeking to prepare for the coming Messiah, urging them to share their possessions with the poor and to act justly in their daily lives. This guidance emphasizes the connection between faith and action, and the importance of living out one’s beliefs through acts of charity and justice.
  • The One to Come: John clarifies that he is not the Messiah but rather the one preparing the way for the One who is to come, who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. This proclamation highlights John’s humility and his understanding of his role as a precursor, pointing towards the superior power and mission of Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus’s Baptism: Jesus Christ himself comes to be baptized by John. As Jesus prays, the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove, and the voice of God proclaims, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This event marks a pivotal moment, revealing Jesus as the Son of God and confirming John’s testimony.
  • Genealogy of Jesus: The chapter concludes with a genealogy of Jesus, tracing his lineage back to Adam and ultimately to God. This ascending genealogy emphasizes Jesus’s place as the culmination of human history and the link between humanity and divinity.

This chapter underscores the importance of recognizing the voice of God, even when it comes through unconventional messengers and challenges our preconceptions. It calls us to examine our hearts, repent of our sins, and embrace a life of humility and service, preparing ourselves for the arrival of the Kingdom of God.

Chapter 4: Temptation, Rejection, and Divine Power

This chapter delves into the temptations of Jesus in the desert, his rejection by the people of Nazareth, and his initial display of divine power in Capernaum.

  • Fasting and Temptation: Filled with the Holy Spirit after his baptism, Jesus is led into the wilderness where he fasts for forty days. Satan then tempts him: first, to turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger; second, to worship Satan in exchange for earthly power and glory; and finally, to throw himself from the pinnacle of the Temple to test God’s protection. Jesus rebukes each temptation, relying on Scripture and affirming his dedication to serving only God. This event highlights the nature of temptation, the importance of resisting it through God’s word, and the unshakeable commitment of Jesus to his divine mission.
  • Preaching in Galilee: Jesus returns to Galilee and begins teaching in the synagogues, where his fame spreads quickly due to the power of his words and his authority. This marks the beginning of his public ministry, proclaiming the Kingdom of God and offering a new understanding of God’s Law.
  • Rejection in Nazareth: Jesus travels to Nazareth, his hometown, and teaches in the synagogue. Reading from Isaiah, he proclaims that the prophecy of the Messiah is being fulfilled in their midst. The people are initially amazed, but then, doubting his authority and questioning his lineage, they reject him, ultimately attempting to throw him off a cliff. This event highlights the human tendency to reject those who challenge our preconceptions, even when they bring truth and light.
  • Power in Capernaum: Jesus travels to Capernaum, where he teaches in the synagogue and heals a man possessed by a demon. The people are astonished by his power and authority, recognizing that even demons are subject to him. This event showcases Jesus’s divine power over evil and his ability to bring healing and liberation to those oppressed by Satan.
  • Healing and Ministry: Jesus continues his ministry in Capernaum, healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law from a high fever and curing numerous other sick people. He demonstrates his compassion and willingness to alleviate suffering, drawing crowds who seek his healing touch.

This chapter concludes with Jesus withdrawing to a deserted place to pray, emphasizing the importance of prayer in sustaining one’s spiritual life and mission, even amidst demanding ministry. The contrast between Jesus’s rejection in Nazareth and his enthusiastic reception in Capernaum highlights the diverse responses to God’s grace. It urges us to be open to receiving Jesus, regardless of our background or preconceptions, and to embrace the power and mercy that he offers.

Chapter 5: The Call to Discipleship and the Power of Faith

This chapter focuses on the miraculous catch of fish, the healing of a leper, the healing of a paralytic, and the calling of Levi, highlighting the power of faith and the nature of discipleship.

  • Miraculous Catch: Jesus is teaching by the lake of Gennesaret when he sees Simon Peter and other fishermen washing their nets after a fruitless night of fishing. He instructs Peter to cast his nets again, resulting in a miraculous catch so large that their boats are nearly sinking. This event renews Peter’s faith and leads him, together with James and John, to leave everything and follow Jesus. The miraculous catch symbolizes the abundant harvest of souls that will be gathered by the Church under Peter’s leadership, particularly during difficult times.
  • The Leprosy of Sin: A leper, recognizing Jesus’s power, humbly asks to be cleansed. Jesus, filled with compassion, touches him, saying, “I will it; be cleansed.” The leprosy immediately disappears. This event, beyond showcasing physical healing, symbolizes the cleansing power of Jesus’s mercy in forgiving sins.
  • A Desperate Plea: Men bring a paralyzed man to Jesus, unable to enter the crowded house, they lower him through the roof. Seeing their faith, Jesus declares, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” This statement sparks outrage among the scribes and Pharisees, who accuse Jesus of blasphemy. Jesus, proving his authority to forgive sins, commands the man to rise and walk, which he does, glorifying God. This event confirms Jesus’s divine power and emphasizes the importance of faith in receiving God’s forgiveness.
  • A New Beginning: Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector, to follow him. Levi leaves everything behind and follows Jesus, then holds a great feast in his honor, inviting other tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees are scandalized by Jesus’s association with sinners. Jesus explains that he has come to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous who see themselves as needing no healing. This event emphasizes Jesus’s merciful outreach to those considered outcasts and his mission to bring forgiveness and new life.
  • New Wine in New Wineskins: The Pharisees criticize Jesus’s disciples for not fasting like the disciples of John the Baptist. Jesus responds with an analogy, explaining that it is not appropriate to force new practices on those not yet ready for them, just as it is unwise to put new wine in old wineskins. He emphasizes the need for gradual spiritual growth and transformation, recognizing that the time for fasting and more rigorous practices will come later.

This chapter concludes with a reminder of the importance of persistent and humble prayer in obtaining God’s grace, comparing the soul’s relationship with God to a friend who persistently asks for help at midnight, eventually receiving what he needs due to his insistence.

This chapter showcases the transformative power of faith in overcoming obstacles, attracting God’s grace, and bringing healing and new life. It also emphasizes the need for a humble and open heart in receiving Jesus’s message, recognizing our need for his mercy and forgiveness.

Chapter 6: The Call to Love and Service

This chapter focuses on Jesus’s teachings on the Sabbath, his selection of the Twelve Apostles, the Sermon on the Plain, and the call to love our enemies.

  • Lord of the Sabbath: Jesus’s disciples are criticized by the Pharisees for picking and eating grain on the Sabbath. Jesus defends his disciples, reminding them of David’s actions in eating the consecrated bread and proclaiming, “The Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” This event emphasizes Jesus’s authority over the Law and his reinterpretation of the Sabbath as a time for mercy and compassion.
  • Healing on the Sabbath: A man with a withered hand is brought to Jesus on the Sabbath. Knowing the Pharisees are watching for an opportunity to accuse him, Jesus asks them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” He then heals the man, demonstrating his commitment to healing and challenging the Pharisees’s legalistic interpretations of the Sabbath.
  • Choosing the Twelve: Jesus withdraws to a mountain to pray, spending the entire night in prayer to God. At daybreak, he calls his disciples and chooses twelve from among them, whom he names Apostles. This event emphasizes the importance of prayer in discerning God’s will and the careful selection of those who will carry on his mission.
  • The Sermon on the Plain: Jesus descends with his disciples and a large crowd gathered from various regions. He delivers a sermon, beginning with the Beatitudes: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God… Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied… Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” He contrasts these blessings with woes directed at those who find their fulfillment in worldly wealth and comfort. This sermon highlights the values of the Kingdom of God, emphasizing humility, service, and detachment from material possessions.
  • Love Your Enemies: Jesus teaches his followers to love their enemies, to do good to those who hate them, to bless those who curse them, and to pray for those who mistreat them. He explains that true love extends beyond those who love us and requires a selfless, generous spirit. This teaching challenges conventional notions of justice and sets a high standard for Christian behavior, demanding a radical commitment to love and forgiveness.

This chapter concludes with Jesus’s teachings on judging others and the importance of generosity and mercy. He warns against hypocrisy and encourages his followers to live authentically, building their lives on the solid foundation of God’s word and practicing true charity.

This chapter outlines the principles of Christian living, highlighting the importance of placing God’s will above human laws and traditions, embracing humility and service, and extending love and forgiveness to all, even our enemies. It calls us to live out our faith through concrete actions, building a life characterized by genuine love and generosity.

Chapter 7: Encounters with Mercy and Grace

This chapter showcases the power of faith and the depths of Jesus’s compassion through various encounters: the healing of the centurion’s servant, the raising of the widow’s son, and the forgiveness of a sinful woman.

  • Faith of the Centurion: A Roman centurion, whose servant is dying, sends Jewish elders to Jesus, pleading for his servant’s healing. The centurion, recognizing his unworthiness and believing in Jesus’s authority, sends word, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof… But say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” Amazed by the centurion’s faith, Jesus heals the servant from afar. This event highlights the power of humble faith in attracting God’s grace and emphasizes Jesus’s willingness to extend his mercy to those outside the Jewish community.
  • Hope Restored: Jesus encounters a funeral procession in Naim, a widow weeping over the death of her only son. Moved with compassion, he touches the coffin, saying, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” The young man immediately sits up and begins to speak. This event showcases Jesus’s power over death and his profound compassion for those who are grieving.
  • John’s Question: John the Baptist, imprisoned by Herod, sends his disciples to Jesus to ask, “Are you he who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus responds by healing the sick and driving out demons, demonstrating the fulfillment of messianic prophecy. This event reinforces John’s role as a forerunner and emphasizes the signs that confirm Jesus as the Messiah.
  • Praise for the Precursor: Jesus praises John the Baptist for his faithfulness and courage, proclaiming him to be more than a prophet. He rebukes those who criticized John’s austere lifestyle and then rejected Jesus for his association with sinners, highlighting their hypocrisy and inability to recognize true goodness.
  • A Sinner’s Tears: A sinful woman enters the house of a Pharisee where Jesus is dining. She kneels at his feet, washing them with her tears, drying them with her hair, and anointing them with ointment. The Pharisee is scandalized, judging Jesus for allowing a sinner to touch him. Jesus, using a parable, teaches the Pharisee about the nature of forgiveness and the depth of the woman’s love. This encounter highlights the transformative power of repentance, the depth of Jesus’s compassion for sinners, and the priority of love over legalistic rituals.

This chapter concludes with a powerful image of Jesus withdrawing to solitary places to pray, emphasizing the importance of prayer in sustaining a life of ministry and service. It also highlights the need for unwavering faith in God’s power and mercy, even when faced with hardship and opposition.

Chapter 8: Sowing Seeds and Calming Storms

This chapter focuses on Jesus’s teaching through parables, highlighting the parable of the sower, his interaction with his mother and brothers, the calming of the storm, and the healing of the Gerasene demoniac.

  • Women as Disciples: The chapter opens by introducing the group of women who followed Jesus and ministered to him from their own resources, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. This detail emphasizes the role of women as disciples and collaborators in Jesus’s ministry, challenging societal norms and foreshadowing their crucial role in the early Church.
  • The Divine Sower: Jesus speaks to a large crowd gathered from various cities, using a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed.” He describes how the seed falls on different types of ground: by the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, and on good soil. Only the seed that falls on good soil produces fruit. Jesus explains that the seed is the word of God, and the different types of ground represent the varying responses to his message. This parable highlights the importance of receiving God’s word with an open heart, allowing it to take root and produce fruit in our lives.
  • True Kinship: Jesus’s mother and brothers arrive, but are unable to reach him because of the crowd. When told that his family is seeking him, Jesus responds, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” This statement highlights that true kinship is found in spiritual connection and obedience to God’s will, transcending familial bonds.
  • Calming the Storm: Jesus and his disciples are crossing the lake in a boat when a violent storm arises, threatening to sink them. Jesus is asleep, but his disciples wake him, saying, “Teacher, we are perishing!” Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves, and the storm immediately subsides. This event showcases Jesus’s power over nature and challenges his disciples for their lack of faith, asking, “Where is your faith?”
  • The Gerasene Demoniac: Jesus and his disciples arrive in the region of the Gerasenes, where they encounter a man possessed by many demons, living naked among the tombs. The demons, recognizing Jesus’s authority, cry out, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” Jesus casts the demons out of the man and into a herd of swine, which then rush down a steep bank into the lake and drown. This event showcases Jesus’s power over evil and his willingness to confront and dispel the forces of darkness that oppress humanity.

This chapter concludes with the people of the Gerasenes, fearful after witnessing the destruction of the swine, asking Jesus to leave their region. This event highlights the varying responses to Jesus’s power and mercy, contrasting those who are attracted to him with those who are frightened by him. The commentary urges us to recognize the storms and tribulations in our lives as opportunities to deepen our faith and to rely on God’s power, just as Jesus calmed the storm on the lake. It also emphasizes the importance of remaining vigilant against the insidious influences of evil, represented by the Gerasene demoniac and his legion of demons.

Chapter 9: Authority, Service, and the Road to Jerusalem

This chapter focuses on Jesus sending out his disciples, their return and report, the multiplication of loaves, Peter’s confession, teachings on discipleship, the Transfiguration, and Jesus setting his face towards Jerusalem.

  • Mission of the Apostles: Jesus gives his twelve Apostles power and authority over demons and diseases, sending them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He instructs them to travel simply, relying on God’s providence, and to shake the dust from their feet as a testimony against those who do not receive them. This event marks a significant step in Jesus’s ministry, extending his reach through his disciples and preparing them for their future role in leading the Church.
  • Herod’s Inquiry: Herod Antipas hears reports of Jesus’s miracles and is troubled, wondering if he is John the Baptist resurrected. This event highlights the impact of Jesus’s ministry and the fear it instills in those in power.
  • First Multiplication of Loaves: A large crowd gathers around Jesus in a deserted place, seeking healing and teaching. As evening approaches, the disciples urge Jesus to send the crowd away to find food, but Jesus tells them, “You give them something to eat.” With only five loaves of bread and two fish, the disciples are perplexed, but Jesus blesses the food and miraculously multiplies it, feeding the entire crowd of five thousand men, with leftovers remaining. This event showcases Jesus’s compassion and power, providing for the physical needs of the crowd and foreshadowing the Eucharist, where he will become the Bread of Life.
  • Peter’s Confession: Jesus questions his disciples, asking, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They relate various opinions, but then Jesus asks, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter boldly responds, “You are the Christ of God.” Jesus, accepting Peter’s confession, warns his disciples not to reveal his identity publicly, explaining that he must suffer, be rejected, and rise again. This event marks a turning point in Jesus’s ministry, with Peter’s confession solidifying his role as the leader among the Apostles and foreshadowing the foundation of the Church.
  • Christian Self-Denial: Jesus teaches his followers that true discipleship requires self-denial, taking up one’s cross daily, and following him. He explains that those who try to save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives for his sake will find true life. This teaching emphasizes the counter-cultural nature of discipleship, demanding a radical commitment to God’s will over personal desires.
  • The Transfiguration: Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a mountain to pray. As he prays, his appearance is transformed, his clothes become dazzling white, and Moses and Elijah appear, conversing with him about his departure. A cloud overshadows them, and the voice of God proclaims, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” This event offers a glimpse of Jesus’s divine glory and confirms his mission, strengthening the faith of the three apostles.
  • The Epileptic Boy: A man brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing. The disciples are unable to cast out the demon, but Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit, heals the boy, and returns him to his father. Jesus rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith and reminds them that he will be delivered into the hands of men, foreshadowing his betrayal and arrest.
  • True Greatness: The disciples argue about who among them is the greatest. Jesus, taking a child by the hand, teaches them that true greatness lies in humility and service, saying, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me… For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”
  • A Divided Response: Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem, sending messengers ahead to prepare the way. They enter a Samaritan village, but the people refuse to receive Jesus because he is traveling to Jerusalem. James and John, outraged, want to call down fire from heaven to destroy the village, but Jesus rebukes them, saying, “You do not know what spirit you are of… The Son of Man came not to destroy souls, but to save them.”
  • Following Jesus: As Jesus continues his journey, several people express their willingness to follow him. Jesus, testing their commitment, explains the demands of discipleship, highlighting the need for radical detachment from worldly possessions and familial ties. He warns that those who look back after putting their hand to the plow are not fit for the kingdom of God.

This chapter concludes with Jesus and his disciples continuing their journey towards Jerusalem, knowing that opposition and suffering await them. The commentary emphasizes the importance of discerning God’s will and acting in accordance with his guidance, even when it requires difficult choices and sacrifices. It also highlights the need for humility and service in following Jesus, recognizing that true greatness lies in placing God’s kingdom above personal ambition.

Chapter 10: Extending the Harvest and Choosing the Better Part

This chapter focuses on the mission of the seventy-two disciples, the parable of the Good Samaritan, and Jesus’s visit to the home of Martha and Mary.

  • Extending the Harvest: Jesus appoints seventy-two disciples and sends them out in pairs to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick in every town and village where he will be going. He instructs them on how to conduct themselves, emphasizing humility, reliance on God’s providence, and the importance of sharing the message of peace and the kingdom. This event highlights Jesus’s desire to extend the reach of his ministry and to prepare people for his arrival.
  • A Perilous Mission: Jesus warns his disciples that they are being sent “like lambs among wolves,” acknowledging the challenges and dangers they will face in proclaiming his message. He encourages them to persevere, reminding them that he has given them authority over the power of the enemy and that their names are written in heaven.
  • Rejoicing in God’s Revelation: The seventy-two disciples return with joy, reporting that even demons are subject to them in Jesus’s name. Jesus, expressing his own joy, says, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from heaven… Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Jesus then praises God the Father for revealing his truth to the humble and childlike, not to the wise and learned.
  • The Great Commandment: A lawyer, testing Jesus, asks, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus directs him to the Law, asking, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” The lawyer responds, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus affirms his answer, saying, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
  • Who is My Neighbor?: The lawyer, seeking to justify himself, asks, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan: a man is robbed, beaten, and left for dead on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. A priest and a Levite pass by without helping, but a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, stops, cares for the wounded man, and takes him to an inn, paying for his care. Jesus then asks the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer responds, “The one who showed mercy to him.” Jesus concludes, “Go and do likewise.” This parable challenges prejudices and redefines the concept of neighborliness, emphasizing that true love extends beyond societal boundaries and requires compassionate action.
  • The One Thing Necessary: Jesus visits the home of Martha and Mary. Martha busies herself with serving, while Mary sits at Jesus’s feet, listening to his teaching. Martha complains that Mary is not helping her, but Jesus gently rebukes her, saying, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.” This event emphasizes the priority of spiritual nourishment and contemplation over worldly concerns, highlighting the importance of choosing what truly matters.

This chapter concludes with a reminder that only one thing is truly necessary: to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness above all else. It challenges us to live with simplicity and trust in God’s providence, generously sharing our possessions with the poor and extending mercy and compassion to those in need, regardless of their background or social standing.

Chapter 11: The Power of Prayer and the Darkness of Hypocrisy

This chapter focuses on Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray, highlighting the Lord’s Prayer, his confrontation with those who accuse him of working through the power of Beelzebub, and his rebuke of the Pharisees for their hypocrisy.

  • Teach Us to Pray: One of Jesus’s disciples, impressed by his prayer life, asks, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Jesus responds by teaching them the Lord’s Prayer, beginning with the invocation, “Father,” highlighting the intimate relationship between God and those who follow him. The prayer continues with petitions for God’s name to be hallowed, his kingdom to come, his will to be done, for daily bread, forgiveness of sins, and deliverance from temptation. This prayer offers a model for all prayer, emphasizing dependence on God, seeking his will, and recognizing our need for his grace and provision.
  • Persistent Prayer: Jesus emphasizes the importance of persistent prayer, using a parable of a friend who persistently asks for bread at midnight, eventually receiving it due to his insistent knocking. He assures his disciples, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” This teaching highlights the need for perseverance in prayer, trusting that God hears our requests and will respond in his time and way.
  • The Good Spirit: Jesus assures his disciples that God, as a loving Father, will give good gifts to those who ask him, comparing him to an earthly father who would not give a stone when his son asks for bread. He encourages them to ask for the “good spirit,” meaning the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live according to God’s will.
  • Accusations of Beelzebub: Jesus casts out a demon from a mute man, causing amazement among the crowd. Some, however, accuse him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Jesus refutes their accusation, arguing that Satan would not work against himself and pointing out that their own exorcists cast out demons in God’s name. This event highlights the opposition Jesus faces from those who refuse to acknowledge his divine power, attributing his actions to evil motives.
  • The Sign of Jonah: Others demand a sign from heaven to confirm Jesus’s authority. Jesus responds that no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah, referring to his own death and resurrection. He reminds them that Jonah’s preaching led the Ninevites to repentance, and yet those who witnessed Jesus’s miracles remain unmoved. This teaching emphasizes that true faith is not based on spectacular signs but on a willingness to hear and respond to God’s word.
  • The Light Within: Jesus uses the analogy of light to explain the importance of a pure heart in recognizing and accepting God’s truth. He warns, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your body will be in darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.” This teaching emphasizes the need for inner purity and a clear conscience in discerning God’s will.
  • Woe to the Pharisees: Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, focusing on their outward displays of piety while their hearts are filled with greed and iniquity. He condemns their legalistic focus on external rituals while neglecting justice and the love of God. This rebuke highlights the dangers of self-righteousness and the importance of aligning one’s outward actions with a genuine inward transformation.

This chapter concludes with the Pharisees and experts in the law seeking to trap Jesus in his words, plotting to accuse him. The commentary emphasizes the importance of persistent prayer, especially in times of persecution and opposition, and the need for humility in recognizing our own sinfulness and relying on God’s mercy.

Chapter 12: Treasure in Heaven and Vigilant Waiting

This chapter focuses on Jesus’s teachings on hypocrisy, the sin against the Holy Spirit, trust in God’s providence, detachment from material possessions, and vigilance in awaiting his return.

  • Beware of Hypocrisy: Addressing his disciples, Jesus warns them to “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” He explains that nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and that those who confess him before men will be confessed by him before the angels of God. This teaching emphasizes the importance of authenticity and integrity in following Jesus, urging his disciples to live openly according to his teachings, without fear of persecution.
  • Fear of God, Not Men: Jesus encourages his followers to fear God, not those who can only kill the body, but have no power over the soul. He reminds them that God cares for even the smallest creatures, like sparrows, and that he knows the number of hairs on their heads. This teaching emphasizes the power and sovereignty of God, urging his followers to place their trust in him, not in worldly powers or possessions.
  • The Sin Against the Holy Spirit: Jesus warns about the gravity of the sin against the Holy Spirit, explaining that it will not be forgiven. This sin involves a deliberate rejection of God’s truth and grace, attributing his actions to evil motives, and hardening one’s heart against his mercy.
  • The Parable of the Rich Fool: A man in the crowd asks Jesus to intervene in a dispute over an inheritance. Jesus refuses, saying, “Man, who appointed me judge or arbitrator over you?” He then warns against greed and tells a parable of a rich man who accumulates great wealth and plans to live a life of ease, but God tells him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” This parable highlights the folly of placing one’s trust in earthly wealth, emphasizing that true riches are found in a right relationship with God.
  • Trusting in God’s Providence: Jesus encourages his disciples to trust in God’s providence, reminding them that God cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, even though they do not toil or spin. He assures them, “Your Father knows that you need these things… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you as well.”
  • Selling Possessions and Giving Alms: Jesus encourages his followers to sell their possessions and give alms, making for themselves “purses that do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” This teaching emphasizes detachment from material possessions and the importance of investing in eternal treasures through acts of charity.
  • Vigilance and Preparation: Jesus uses various analogies to emphasize the importance of vigilance and preparation in awaiting his return. He compares his followers to servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast, ready to open the door immediately when he arrives. He also warns that the Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour, urging them to be prepared. This teaching highlights the urgency and certainty of Jesus’s return and the need to live in a state of constant readiness.
  • Faithful and Prudent Stewards: Peter asks if these teachings are directed only to the apostles or to everyone. Jesus responds with a parable of a faithful and prudent steward who manages his master’s household wisely, providing for the needs of the servants. He contrasts this with a wicked steward who abuses his authority and is found unprepared when his master returns. This parable emphasizes the responsibility of those entrusted with authority, particularly those in leadership roles in the Church, to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts and to care for the needs of those under their care.
  • Fire and Division: Jesus proclaims that he has “come to cast fire on the earth,” referring to the purifying and divisive nature of his message. He acknowledges that his teachings will bring division, even within families, as people choose to follow him or reject him.
  • Discerning the Times: Jesus rebukes the crowds for their ability to discern the weather but their inability to recognize the signs of the times, indicating the coming of God’s kingdom. He urges them to judge what is right and to be reconciled with God before it is too late.

This chapter concludes with Jesus emphasizing the importance of living in accordance with God’s will, recognizing the temporal nature of earthly possessions, and preparing ourselves for his return by living lives characterized by faith, trust, generosity, and vigilance. The commentary challenges us to examine our priorities, detaching ourselves from material wealth and seeking eternal treasures through a life of service and obedience to God’s will.

Chapter 13: The Call to Repentance and the Narrow Gate

This chapter centers on Jesus’s teachings on repentance, the urgency of responding to God’s grace, the nature of the Kingdom of God, the need to choose the narrow gate, and the rejection of those who refuse to recognize the time of their visitation.

  • The Need for Repentance: People report to Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices and about the eighteen who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them. Jesus, instead of focusing on the political implications of these tragedies, highlights the need for repentance, saying, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” This teaching emphasizes that calamities and suffering are a call to examine our hearts, turn away from sin, and seek God’s mercy.
  • The Barren Fig Tree: Jesus tells a parable of a fig tree that has produced no fruit for three years. The owner orders it to be cut down, but the gardener pleads for one more year to cultivate and fertilize it, hoping it will bear fruit. This parable highlights God’s patience and mercy towards those who have not yet responded to his grace, but it also warns that there is a limit to his forbearance. Those who persistently refuse to bear fruit will eventually be cut off.
  • Healing and Hypocrisy: Jesus heals a woman who has been crippled for eighteen years by a spirit of infirmity. The ruler of the synagogue is indignant that Jesus healed on the Sabbath, but Jesus rebukes him, pointing out the hypocrisy of caring for animals on the Sabbath but objecting to healing a human being. This event emphasizes Jesus’s compassion for those who are suffering and his willingness to challenge legalistic interpretations of the law that prioritize rituals over mercy.
  • The Mustard Seed and the Leaven: Jesus, describing the Kingdom of God, says, “It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” He also compares the kingdom to leaven that a woman hides in three measures of flour, until it leavens the whole batch. These parables highlight the seemingly insignificant beginnings of the Kingdom of God and its gradual but transformative power, expanding to encompass all of humanity.
  • The Narrow Gate: Someone asks Jesus, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” Jesus responds by urging them to “Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” He then describes a scenario where people who have enjoyed earthly comforts and ignored God’s calls will be locked out of the Kingdom of God, while those from all nations will be welcomed. This teaching emphasizes the urgency and seriousness of choosing the path of discipleship, warning that those who delay or refuse to follow Jesus will face eternal consequences.
  • Hostility of Herod: Pharisees warn Jesus that Herod wants to kill him. Jesus, undeterred, sends a message to Herod, calling him a “fox” and proclaiming, “Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course… Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.” This event highlights Jesus’s courage and resolve in facing opposition and his determination to complete his mission according to God’s will.
  • Lament over Jerusalem: Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, lamenting the city’s rejection of him and the impending destruction it will face. He cries out, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Behold, your house is forsaken.” This event expresses Jesus’s deep sorrow over the city’s refusal to recognize the time of its visitation and its choice to embrace destruction.

This chapter concludes with Jesus entering the Temple and casting out those who were buying and selling, proclaiming, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” This action symbolizes Jesus’s cleansing of the Temple, both literally and figuratively, challenging those who prioritize material gain over spiritual devotion and foreshadowing the destruction of the Temple due to the people’s rejection of God’s grace.

This chapter urges us to respond to God’s calls with urgency and sincerity, recognizing the consequences of delaying or refusing to repent and embrace the way of discipleship. It also emphasizes the need for perseverance in the face of opposition, trusting in God’s providence and relying on his strength to fulfill our mission.

Chapter 14: Humility, Charity, and Counting the Cost

This chapter focuses on Jesus’s teachings on humility, the practice of true charity, the importance of counting the cost of discipleship, and the parable of the great banquet.

  • Healing and Challenging Hypocrisy: Jesus is dining at the house of a Pharisee on the Sabbath when he heals a man suffering from dropsy. The Pharisees, silent in their disapproval, are challenged by Jesus who asks, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” This event highlights Jesus’s compassion and his willingness to confront hypocrisy, challenging legalistic interpretations of the law that prioritize ritual over mercy.
  • Seeking the Last Place: Jesus observes the guests vying for the best seats at the table and tells them a parable, advising them to choose the last place so that they may be honored by the host and given a better seat. He teaches, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” This parable emphasizes the importance of humility and the dangers of seeking recognition and honor from others.
  • True Charity: Jesus encourages his host to practice true charity by inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind to his feasts, those who cannot repay him. He explains that true generosity is selfless and seeks no reward, promising that such acts will be rewarded in the resurrection of the just.
  • The Great Banquet: One of the guests, impressed by Jesus’s teachings, exclaims, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Jesus responds with a parable: a man prepares a great banquet and invites many guests, but when the time comes, they all make excuses, preoccupied with their possessions and worldly affairs. The host, angered by their rejection, sends his servants out to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, filling his house with guests. This parable highlights the gracious invitation of God to enter his kingdom and the tragic consequences of refusing his offer due to attachment to worldly concerns.
  • The Cost of Discipleship: Addressing a large crowd following him, Jesus explains the cost of discipleship, stating, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” He emphasizes the need for radical detachment from all that we hold dear, even our own lives, if we are to truly follow him.
  • Counting the Cost: Jesus uses two analogies to emphasize the importance of counting the cost before committing to discipleship: first, a man who begins to build a tower but cannot finish it, becoming an object of ridicule; and second, a king who goes to war without assessing his strength, risking defeat. He concludes, “So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” This teaching highlights the need for a thoughtful and deliberate commitment to following Jesus, recognizing the sacrifices involved and the consequences of a half-hearted approach.
  • Salt Without Flavor: Jesus uses the analogy of salt that has lost its flavor to describe those who, after making a commitment to follow him, fail to live out their faith, becoming useless and ultimately rejected. He warns, “Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

This chapter concludes with Jesus emphasizing the importance of making a wholehearted commitment to following him, recognizing the cost involved and the need for ongoing perseverance. The commentary challenges us to examine our lives, detaching ourselves from worldly attachments and pursuing true humility, generosity, and love, the hallmarks of authentic discipleship.

Chapter 15: The Joy of Finding the Lost

This chapter focuses on the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, highlighting God’s relentless pursuit of those who have strayed from him and the boundless joy that accompanies their return.

  • Seeking the Lost: Tax collectors and sinners gather around Jesus to listen to his teachings. The Pharisees and scribes grumble, criticizing Jesus for associating with them. Jesus responds by telling three parables that highlight God’s merciful outreach to sinners.
  • The Lost Sheep: Jesus asks, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?” He describes the shepherd’s joy in finding the lost sheep, carrying it home on his shoulders and celebrating with his friends. This parable emphasizes God’s loving pursuit of each individual soul, no matter how far they have strayed, and the rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents.
  • The Lost Coin: Jesus tells another parable, this time about a woman who loses one of her ten silver coins. She diligently searches for it, lighting a lamp and sweeping her house until she finds it. She then rejoices with her friends and neighbors. This parable further emphasizes the value God places on each soul, his persistent search for those who are lost, and the joy that accompanies their recovery.
  • The Prodigal Son: Jesus tells the story of a father who has two sons. The younger son demands his inheritance and squanders it on a life of reckless living. When he is reduced to poverty and despair, he returns home, humbly asking his father to take him back as a servant. The father, filled with compassion, welcomes him back as a son, celebrating his return with a feast. The older son, resentful of his brother’s forgiveness, refuses to join the celebration. The father pleads with him, saying, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” This parable, rich in detail and emotion, highlights the boundless love and mercy of God the Father, his willingness to forgive those who repent and welcome them back into his family.

This chapter concludes with a powerful reminder that God rejoices over the repentance of one sinner more than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. The commentary emphasizes the importance of recognizing our own need for God’s mercy and rejoicing in his compassionate outreach to those who have strayed from him. It also challenges us to imitate God’s love and forgiveness, extending grace to those who have wronged us and celebrating their return to the path of righteousness.

Chapter 16: Wise Stewardship and Eternal Consequences

This chapter focuses on Jesus’s teachings on the wise use of wealth, the indissolubility of marriage, and the eternal consequences of choosing material comfort over a life dedicated to God, highlighted through the parable of the dishonest steward and the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

  • The Dishonest Steward: Jesus tells a parable of a steward who is accused of wasting his master’s goods. Knowing he will be dismissed, he shrewdly reduces the debts owed to his master by various debtors, securing their favor and ensuring a place for himself in their homes when he is dismissed. The master, though recognizing the steward’s dishonesty, commends him for his prudence. Jesus concludes the parable by saying, “The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light… And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” This parable highlights the need for shrewdness and foresight in using our earthly possessions for eternal purposes, investing in heavenly treasures through acts of generosity and compassion.
  • Serving God or Mammon: Jesus emphasizes the impossibility of serving two masters, God and wealth, stating, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” This teaching highlights the need for clear priorities and a decisive commitment to serving God above all else, recognizing the dangers of becoming entangled in material pursuits.
  • Hypocrisy Exposed: The Pharisees, greedy for wealth, scoff at Jesus’s teachings. Jesus rebukes them, saying, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” He reminds them that the Law and the Prophets pointed towards the coming Kingdom of God and that those who cling to earthly comforts and reject his message will face severe consequences.
  • The Indissolubility of Marriage: Jesus reaffirms the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage, stating, “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” This teaching emphasizes the permanence of the marital bond, challenging the prevalent societal norms and upholding God’s original design for marriage.
  • The Rich Man and Lazarus: Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who lives in luxury and a beggar named Lazarus who lies at his gate, covered with sores. When both die, Lazarus is carried by angels to Abraham’s side, while the rich man suffers torment in Hades. The rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool his tongue, but Abraham explains that an unbridgeable gulf separates them. The rich man then pleads for Lazarus to be sent to warn his five brothers, but Abraham responds, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them… If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” This parable starkly depicts the eternal consequences of choosing material comfort and self-indulgence over a life dedicated to God and caring for the poor.

This chapter concludes with a reminder that our earthly possessions are ultimately temporary and that we are responsible for using them wisely, investing in eternal treasures through acts of charity and generosity. It also highlights the importance of placing God at the center of our lives, recognizing that pursuing worldly wealth and pleasures will lead to eternal separation from him.

Chapter 17: Scandals, Faith, Gratitude, and the Coming Kingdom

This chapter focuses on Jesus’s teachings on avoiding scandal, strengthening faith, expressing gratitude, the nature of the Kingdom of God, and signs of his Second Coming.

  • Avoiding Scandal: Jesus warns his disciples about the inevitability of scandals, but pronouncements woe upon those who cause them, stating, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” This teaching highlights the seriousness of leading others astray, particularly those who are vulnerable, and emphasizes the responsibility we have to protect the faith of others.
  • Correcting and Forgiving: Jesus instructs his disciples to correct those who sin against them and to forgive them when they repent. He emphasizes the importance of seeking reconciliation and extending grace to those who have wronged us, even if they repeatedly offend us.
  • The Power of Faith: The disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus responds that even a small amount of faith, like a mustard seed, can accomplish great things, saying, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” This teaching emphasizes the extraordinary power of faith to overcome obstacles and accomplish what seems impossible.
  • Useless Servants: Jesus uses a parable of a servant who, after working all day in the fields, is expected to continue serving his master before he can eat and drink. Jesus emphasizes that even after doing everything we are commanded, we are still “useless servants,” meaning that we have only done our duty and do not deserve special recognition or reward. This teaching highlights the importance of humility and gratitude in serving God, recognizing that everything we have and everything we accomplish is a gift from him.
  • The Grateful Samaritan: Jesus encounters ten lepers who beg him for mercy. He tells them to go and show themselves to the priests. As they go, they are cleansed, but only one, a Samaritan, returns to thank Jesus and glorify God. Jesus laments the ingratitude of the others, asking, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” This event emphasizes the importance of expressing gratitude for God’s blessings and challenges prejudices, highlighting the faith of the Samaritan, an outsider, over the ingratitude of the Jews.
  • The Kingdom Within: Pharisees ask Jesus when the Kingdom of God will come. Jesus responds, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” This teaching emphasizes the present reality of the Kingdom of God, not as a future political entity, but as a spiritual reality that is already present within those who follow Jesus.
  • The Days of Noah and Lot: Jesus warns his disciples about the signs of his Second Coming, comparing the time leading up to his return to the days of Noah and Lot, when people were preoccupied with everyday concerns and ignored the warnings of impending judgment. He urges his followers to be vigilant and prepared, saying, “Remember Lot’s wife… Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”

This chapter concludes with Jesus emphasizing that his return will be sudden and unexpected, like lightning flashing across the sky, and that those who are found unprepared will face eternal consequences. The commentary urges us to live in a state of constant readiness, prioritizing spiritual nourishment and contemplation over worldly distractions and seeking to live lives characterized by faith, humility, gratitude, and a willingness to share God’s love and mercy with others.

Chapter 18: Persistence, Humility, Sacrifice, and the Blind Man’s Sight

This chapter centers on Jesus’s teachings on persistence in prayer, the importance of humility, the cost of discipleship for the wealthy, the rewards of following him, his prediction of his Passion, and the healing of a blind man.

  • Persistent Prayer: Jesus tells a parable of a persistent widow who continually pleads with an unjust judge to grant her justice. The judge, though fearing neither God nor man, eventually relents due to her constant badgering. Jesus concludes, “And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night?… I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.” This parable encourages believers to be persistent in prayer, trusting that God will hear their cries and answer in his time.
  • The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Jesus tells a parable of two men who go to the Temple to pray: a Pharisee, who boasts of his righteousness and despises others, and a tax collector, who humbly acknowledges his sinfulness, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” Jesus concludes, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” This parable emphasizes the importance of humility in approaching God, recognizing our need for his mercy and grace.
  • Children and the Kingdom: People bring children to Jesus that he might touch them. The disciples rebuke them, but Jesus says, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God… Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” This event highlights the importance of childlike faith and humility in entering God’s kingdom.
  • The Rich Young Ruler: A rich young ruler asks Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus, responding, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone,” directs him back to the Commandments. The young man affirms that he has kept them from his youth. Jesus, seeing his sincerity, says, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” The young man, saddened by this requirement, goes away sorrowful, for he was very rich. This encounter highlights the difficulty of those who are attached to wealth in entering the Kingdom of God and the need for radical detachment from material possessions in following Jesus.
  • The Camel and the Needle’s Eye: Jesus observes the young man’s sorrow and exclaims, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” This statement emphasizes the challenges that wealth poses to discipleship, highlighting the dangers of becoming entangled in material pursuits.
  • Reward for Following Jesus: The disciples, concerned by Jesus’s words, ask, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus responds, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Peter then points out that they have left everything to follow Jesus. Jesus assures them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” This exchange highlights the rewards of faithful discipleship, both in this life and in the age to come, and the power of God to overcome the obstacles that wealth poses to following Jesus.
  • Another Prediction of the Passion: Jesus takes his disciples aside and tells them plainly, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; and after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” The disciples, however, do not understand his words. This prediction underscores the certainty and necessity of Jesus’s suffering and death, highlighting the fulfillment of prophetic pronouncements and foreshadowing the events to come.
  • The Blind Man Receives Sight: As Jesus approaches Jericho, a blind man sits by the roadside begging. Hearing the crowd passing by, he asks what is happening and is told that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. He cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those in the crowd rebuke him and tell him to be silent, but he cries out all the more. Jesus, hearing his cries, stops and calls him. He asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man answers, “Lord, let me receive my sight.” Jesus says to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he receives his sight and follows Jesus, glorifying God. This event highlights the power of faith to attract God’s mercy and healing, emphasizing the importance of persistence in seeking Jesus, even when facing opposition.

This chapter concludes with a reminder that God is not deaf to our cries for help and that he honors those who humbly approach him, acknowledging their need for his mercy. It also emphasizes the challenging nature of discipleship, particularly for those who are wealthy, but assures us that the rewards of following Jesus far outweigh any sacrifice we may make.

Chapter 19: Salvation, Stewardship, and Triumphant Entry

This chapter focuses on Zacchaeus’s encounter with Jesus, the parable of the minas, Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and his cleansing of the Temple.

  • Zacchaeus’s Encounter: Jesus enters Jericho, and Zacchaeus, a wealthy chief tax collector, seeks to see Jesus, but is unable to because of the crowd and his short stature. He climbs a sycamore tree to get a better view. When Jesus reaches the spot, he looks up and says, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” Zacchaeus, overjoyed, receives Jesus joyfully. The crowd grumbles that Jesus is associating with a sinner, but Zacchaeus, standing before the Lord, declares, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” Jesus responds, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” This encounter showcases the transformative power of Jesus’s presence and the joy of finding salvation, highlighting the importance of repentance and making restitution for past wrongs.
  • The Parable of the Minas: Jesus tells a parable about a nobleman who goes to a distant country to receive a kingdom and then returns. Before leaving, he entrusts ten minas (a unit of money) to ten servants, instructing them to do business with the money until he returns. Upon his return, he rewards those who have been faithful stewards, increasing their responsibilities and authority, while he punishes the servant who hoarded the money out of fear, taking away even what he had. This parable emphasizes the importance of using the gifts and resources God has entrusted to us wisely, investing in his kingdom and seeking to multiply his blessings.
  • Triumphant Entry: As Jesus approaches Jerusalem, he sends two disciples ahead to find a colt on which no one has ever sat. They bring the colt to Jesus, and he rides it into Jerusalem. The crowds spread their cloaks on the road and shout, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” The Pharisees, indignant, tell Jesus to rebuke his disciples, but he responds, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would cry out.” This event fulfills prophecy and marks Jesus’s public presentation as the Messiah, the King who comes in God’s name to bring peace and salvation.
  • Cleansing the Temple: Jesus enters the Temple and drives out those who are buying and selling, overturning their tables and saying, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” This action symbolizes Jesus’s cleansing of the Temple from corruption and greed, restoring it to its proper purpose as a place of worship and prayer.

This chapter concludes with the religious authorities plotting to destroy Jesus, unable to find a way because the people are captivated by his teaching. The commentary emphasizes the importance of recognizing and welcoming Jesus as the King who comes to save, the need for wise stewardship of the gifts God has given us, and the cleansing power of his presence in our lives.

Chapter 20: Confrontations and Condemnation

This chapter focuses on the increasing hostility between Jesus and the religious authorities, culminating in their conspiracy to arrest him.

  • Questioning Jesus’s Authority: As Jesus teaches in the Temple, the chief priests, scribes, and elders confront him, demanding to know by what authority he does these things. Jesus, responding with a question of his own, asks, “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” They, caught in a dilemma, are unable to answer. Jesus then refuses to answer their question about his authority. This encounter highlights the opposition Jesus faces from those in power and their refusal to acknowledge the signs that confirm his divine mission.
  • The Parable of the Wicked Tenants: Jesus tells a parable of a landowner who leases his vineyard to tenants, sending servants to collect the fruit. The tenants mistreat and kill the servants, and finally, the landowner sends his son, hoping they will respect him. But the tenants kill the son as well, hoping to seize the inheritance for themselves. Jesus asks, “What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants?” The people respond, “He will put those wretches to death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants.” This parable highlights the infidelity and rejection of God’s chosen people, symbolized by the tenants, who have mistreated and killed the prophets and will ultimately reject and kill the Son.
  • The Tribute to Caesar: Seeking to trap Jesus, the Pharisees and Herodians ask him, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” Jesus, recognizing their hypocrisy, asks for a denarius and points out Caesar’s image and inscription on it. He then declares, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” This response skillfully navigates a politically charged question, upholding the need to fulfill civic obligations while affirming God’s ultimate authority.
  • The Resurrection Question: Sadducees, who deny the resurrection, approach Jesus, posing a question about a woman who had seven husbands successively. They ask, “In the resurrection, whose wife will she be, for the seven had her as wife?” Jesus responds, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection… Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” This response clarifies the nature of the resurrection, highlighting the transformation that awaits believers in the age to come and affirming the reality of life beyond death.
  • The Son of David: Jesus challenges the scribes’ understanding of the Messiah as the son of David, pointing out that David himself, in the Psalms, refers to the Messiah as “Lord.” This teaching emphasizes the divine nature of the Messiah, transcending his human lineage.
  • Hypocrisy of the Scribes: Jesus warns his disciples and the crowds about the hypocrisy of the scribes, who love outward displays of piety and authority but exploit the vulnerable and neglect justice and the love of God. He pronouncements woe upon them, saying, “They will receive the greater condemnation.”

This chapter concludes with the religious leaders determined to silence Jesus, seeking an opportunity to arrest him. The commentary highlights the growing tension between Jesus and those in power, their refusal to acknowledge his authority and the truth of his message, and their determination to eliminate him as a threat to their position.

Chapter 21: Warnings and the Promise of Redemption

This chapter focuses on the widow’s offering, Jesus’s prediction of the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, signs of the end times, and his exhortation to vigilance and prayer.

  • The Widow’s Offering: Jesus observes people putting their offerings into the treasury, including wealthy individuals who give large sums. He then sees a poor widow put in two small copper coins, her entire livelihood. Jesus declares, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” This event highlights the importance of giving sacrificially, not just from our surplus, but from a heart of love and devotion.
  • Destruction of the Temple: Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple, stating, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” His disciples, alarmed, ask when these things will happen and what the signs will be. This prediction foreshadows the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans, highlighting the consequences of rejecting God’s grace and the fulfillment of prophecy.
  • Signs of the End Times: Jesus describes the signs that will precede his Second Coming, including wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, and terrifying signs in the heavens. He warns against being deceived by false messiahs who will claim, “I am he,” and pronouncements pronouncements woe upon those who are pregnant and nursing mothers in those days because of the great distress that will come upon the earth.
  • Persecution of Believers: Jesus warns his disciples that they will be persecuted for his name, handed over to synagogues and prisons, and brought before kings and governors. He encourages them not to be afraid, promising, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” This prediction foreshadows the persecution that the early Church will face and the ongoing opposition that believers will encounter throughout history.
  • The Coming of the Son of Man: Jesus describes his Second Coming in vivid terms, stating, “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” This description emphasizes the certainty and glory of Jesus’s return, urging his followers to be hopeful and expectant.
  • The Need for Vigilance: Jesus urges his followers to be vigilant, comparing them to a fig tree that signals the approach of summer when its branches become tender and put out leaves. He warns, “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.”
  • The Call to Prayer: Jesus concludes by exhorting his followers to “Be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” This final exhortation emphasizes the importance of prayer in persevering through trials, discerning God’s will, and being prepared for his return.

This chapter concludes with Jesus teaching daily in the Temple while withdrawing to the Mount of Olives each evening to pray. This detail highlights Jesus’s commitment to both teaching and prayer, serving as a model for his followers. The commentary emphasizes the importance of recognizing the signs of the times, preparing ourselves for the challenges and trials that lie ahead, and maintaining a vigilant, prayerful posture in awaiting the glorious return of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 22: Betrayal, Agony, and Denial

This chapter focuses on the events leading up to Jesus’s arrest, including Judas’s betrayal, the Last Supper, Jesus’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Peter’s denial.

  • Judas’s Betrayal: As Passover approaches, the chief priests and scribes plot to kill Jesus, fearing the crowds. Satan enters Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve Apostles, and he conspires with the religious leaders to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This event marks the beginning of the Passion narrative, highlighting the vulnerability of Jesus and the depths of human betrayal.
  • The Last Supper: Jesus sends Peter and John to prepare the Passover meal in a secret location. At the meal, Jesus tells his disciples, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer… For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” He then takes a cup, gives thanks, and says, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Taking bread, he gives thanks, breaks it, and gives it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” This event institutes the Eucharist, the central sacrament of the Christian faith, where Jesus offers himself as the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation.
  • Announcement of Betrayal: Jesus announces that one of his disciples will betray him. The disciples are troubled, questioning among themselves who it could be. This announcement highlights the tension and uncertainty surrounding Jesus as his enemies close in.
  • Servant Leadership: The disciples argue about who among them is the greatest. Jesus teaches them about servant leadership, saying, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” This teaching emphasizes humility, service, and putting the needs of others above our own, offering a model for leadership in the Church.
  • Peter’s Denial Foretold: Jesus warns Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter declares, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” But Jesus responds, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” This exchange foreshadows Peter’s denial and emphasizes the importance of relying on God’s strength, not our own, when facing trials.
  • The Need for Strength: Jesus tells his disciples that they will now need to take provisions and even a sword, indicating the dangers they will face after his departure. This instruction marks a shift from their previous reliance on God’s providence alone to a recognition of the need for practical preparedness in a hostile world.
  • Gethsemane: Jesus leads his disciples to the Mount of Olives, to the Garden of Gethsemane, instructing them to pray. He withdraws from them and prays, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” An angel appears from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. This event reveals the depth of Jesus’s suffering as he anticipates his arrest and crucifixion, highlighting his humanity and his complete surrender to God’s will.
  • Betrayal and Arrest: Judas arrives with a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders. He identifies Jesus by giving him a kiss. Jesus says, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” The disciples ask if they should fight, and one of them strikes the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. But Jesus says, “No more of this,” and heals the servant’s ear. This event marks the moment of Jesus’s arrest, highlighting his willingness to submit to God’s plan, even in the face of violence and betrayal.
  • Peter’s Denial: As Jesus is led away to the high priest’s house, Peter follows at a distance. In the courtyard, he is recognized by a servant girl and others who accuse him of being a follower of Jesus. Three times Peter denies knowing Jesus. As he speaks, a rooster crows, and Jesus turns and looks at Peter. Peter, remembering Jesus’s words, goes out and weeps bitterly. This event reveals Peter’s weakness and fear, highlighting the human tendency to falter under pressure and the devastating consequences of denying Jesus.

This chapter concludes with Jesus being mocked, beaten, and questioned by the temple guard as they await daybreak. The commentary emphasizes the suffering and humiliation that Jesus endured for our sake, his unwavering commitment to God’s will, and the need for his followers to rely on his grace and strength, not their own, when facing trials and temptations.

Chapter 23: Condemnation, Crucifixion, and Burial

This chapter focuses on the trials of Jesus before Pilate and Herod, his sentencing and crucifixion, the events surrounding his death, and his burial.

  • Trial Before Pilate: The Jewish leaders bring Jesus before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, accusing him of inciting rebellion, forbidding the payment of taxes, and claiming to be a king. Pilate questions Jesus, who responds, “You have said so.” Pilate, finding no fault in Jesus, declares him innocent. The Jewish leaders persist in their accusations, claiming that Jesus has stirred up the people throughout Judea. This trial highlights the political nature of the charges against Jesus and the determination of the religious leaders to secure his condemnation, even if it means resorting to false accusations.
  • Trial Before Herod: Hearing that Jesus is from Galilee, Pilate sends him to Herod Antipas, who is also in Jerusalem for Passover. Herod is glad to see Jesus, having heard about him and hoping to see him perform a sign. Jesus, however, remains silent. Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, dress him in a white robe, and send him back to Pilate. This encounter reveals Herod’s curiosity and cruelty, highlighting his lack of understanding of Jesus’s true nature.
  • Barabbas Released: Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, appeals to the crowd, reminding them of the custom of releasing a prisoner during Passover. He offers them a choice: Jesus or Barabbas, a notorious rebel and murderer. The crowd, incited by the chief priests, shouts for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate, yielding to the pressure of the crowd, releases Barabbas and sentences Jesus to death. This event highlights the fickleness of the crowd, the manipulation of the religious leaders, and Pilate’s weakness in the face of political pressure.
  • The Way of the Cross: As Jesus is led away to be crucified, a man from Cyrene, Simon, is compelled to carry his cross. A large crowd follows, including women who are weeping and lamenting. Jesus says to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” This encounter foreshadows the destruction of Jerusalem, highlighting the consequences of rejecting God’s messenger and the greater judgment to come.
  • The Crucifixion: Jesus is crucified between two criminals on Golgotha, “the place of a skull.” As he is being crucified, he prays, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The soldiers divide his garments and cast lots for his seamless robe. The religious leaders mock him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mock him, offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” An inscription is placed above his head, “This is the King of the Jews.” This event marks the culmination of Jesus’s suffering and humiliation, highlighting his willingness to endure pain and mockery for our sake.
  • The Good Thief: One of the criminals crucified alongside Jesus repents, rebuking the other criminal for mocking Jesus and saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” He then asks Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus responds, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” This encounter highlights the possibility of finding salvation even in the face of death, emphasizing the power of repentance and the boundless mercy of Jesus.
  • Jesus’s Death: Around midday, darkness comes over the whole land for three hours. The sun’s light fails, and the curtain of the Temple is torn in two. Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, glorifies God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” The crowds who had gathered to witness the crucifixion return home, beating their breasts in sorrow. The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee stand at a distance, watching these things. This event marks the moment of Jesus’s death, highlighting the cosmic significance of his sacrifice and the profound impact it has on those who witness it.
  • The Burial: Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to the decision and action of the others, asks Pilate for the body of Jesus. Taking it down, he wraps it in linen and lays it in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee observe the tomb and how his body is laid. They return and prepare spices and ointments, resting on the Sabbath according to the commandment. This event marks the end of the Passion narrative, highlighting the respect and care shown towards Jesus’s body even by those who were not his followers.

This chapter concludes with a powerful depiction of Jesus’s suffering, death, and burial, emphasizing the depth of his love and the significance of his sacrifice for the redemption of humanity. The commentary highlights the call to repentance and the possibility of finding salvation, even at the last moment, through faith in Jesus Christ.

Chapter 24: Resurrection, Recognition, and Ascension

This chapter focuses on the resurrection of Jesus, his appearances to his disciples, including the road to Emmaus, his final instructions and commission, and his ascension into Heaven.

  • The Empty Tomb: On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women who had prepared spices and ointments go to the tomb. They find the stone rolled away from the tomb, but upon entering, they do not find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they are wondering about this, two men in dazzling apparel stand beside them. The women are terrified and bow their faces to the ground, but the men say to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and on the third day rise.” The women remember Jesus’s words and return from the tomb to tell the eleven Apostles and all the others. This event marks the discovery of the empty tomb, highlighting the initial confusion and disbelief of the women, followed by the angelic announcement of Jesus’s resurrection.
  • Disbelief and Wonder: The women report their experience to the Apostles, but their words seem to them an idle tale, and they do not believe them. Peter, however, runs to the tomb and, stooping to look in, sees the linen cloths lying by themselves. He departs, wondering at what has happened. This event further highlights the initial disbelief of the Apostles, contrasting Peter’s curiosity and wonder with the outright rejection of the others.
  • The Road to Emmaus: Two disciples are walking to Emmaus, a village about seven miles from Jerusalem, discussing the events of the past few days. As they are talking, Jesus himself draws near and walks with them, but their eyes are kept from recognizing him. He asks them what they are discussing, and they, saddened, relate the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and the women’s report of the empty tomb and the angelic pronouncements. Jesus rebukes them, saying, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. As they approach Emmaus, Jesus pretends to go farther, but the disciples urge him to stay with them, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” He enters to stay with them. This encounter reveals the transformative power of Jesus’s presence and his teaching, as he opens their minds to understand the Scriptures and rekindles their faith.
  • Recognizing Jesus: As they are reclining at table, Jesus takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to them. Their eyes are opened, and they recognize him, but he vanishes from their sight. They exclaim, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” This event highlights the importance of the Eucharist in recognizing and experiencing the risen Christ and the power of Scripture to illuminate our understanding of his mission.
  • Appearance to the Apostles: The two disciples return to Jerusalem and tell the eleven, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” As they are speaking, Jesus himself stands among them and says, “Peace to you.” They are startled and frightened, thinking they see a spirit, but Jesus reassures them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” He shows them his hands and his feet. This event marks Jesus’s appearance to all the Apostles, confirming his resurrection and overcoming their lingering doubts.
  • Final Instructions and Commission: While they still disbelieve for joy and are marveling, Jesus asks, “Have you anything here to eat?” They give him a piece of broiled fish, and he eats it in their presence. He then says to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opens their minds to understand the Scriptures and says to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” This event outlines Jesus’s final instructions to his Apostles, explaining the necessity of his death and resurrection and commissioning them to preach the Gospel to all nations.
  • The Ascension: Jesus leads his disciples out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blesses them. While he was blessing them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the Temple blessing God. This event marks the culmination of the Gospel narrative, highlighting Jesus’s ascension into heaven and the disciples’ response of worship and joyful proclamation.

This chapter concludes with the disciples joyfully praising and blessing God in the Temple, their faith rekindled and their mission clear. The commentary emphasizes the transformative power of the Resurrection, the importance of recognizing Jesus through Scripture and the Eucharist, and the ongoing mission of the Church to proclaim the good news of salvation to all nations. It urges us to embrace the joy and hope that come from knowing the risen Christ and to live lives characterized by faith, witness, and a commitment to sharing his message with others.

Concluding Remarks

Don Dolindo Ruotolo’s commentary on the Gospel of Luke is a passionate call to embrace the merciful love of God revealed through Jesus Christ. It highlights the importance of faith, humility, repentance, and a life dedicated to serving God and others.

The commentary emphasizes the stark contrast between worldly kingdoms, characterized by power and self-interest, and the Kingdom of God, established through sacrifice, service, and love. It calls us to reject the fleeting allure of material possessions and embrace the enduring treasures of a life lived in accordance with God’s will.

The commentary repeatedly reminds us of the centrality of the Eucharist as the source of spiritual nourishment and the means by which we encounter the risen Christ. It also underscores the importance of Scripture, read in the light of the Church’s tradition, in understanding God’s plan for our salvation.

Ultimately, Don Dolindo’s commentary is a powerful invitation to enter more deeply into the mystery of God’s love and to follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, embracing the transformative power of his grace and proclaiming the good news of his kingdom to the world.

Don Dolindo’s Poetic and Prophetic Style

Throughout the commentary, Don Dolindo’s writing is marked by a unique blend of poetic imagery and prophetic insight. He vividly describes the events of the Gospel, bringing them to life through imaginative detail and emotional depth. He also offers profound insights into the spiritual meaning of these events, drawing connections to the life of the Church, contemporary events, and the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan in the end times.

His writing style reflects his deep love for Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his concern for the salvation of souls. It is a powerful testament to the transformative power of faith and the enduring relevance of the Gospel message in a world grappling with darkness, uncertainty, and the allure of worldly distractions.

A Timely Message for Today

Don Dolindo’s commentary, written in a time of political turmoil and spiritual confusion, remains strikingly relevant for today’s world. His warnings about the dangers of materialism, hypocrisy, and the rejection of God’s grace resonate deeply in a society increasingly characterized by individualism, self-indulgence, and a growing disdain for traditional values.

His call to embrace faith, humility, charity, and a life dedicated to serving God and others offers a compelling alternative to the emptiness and despair that often accompany a life focused solely on worldly pursuits.

Don Dolindo’s commentary on the Gospel of Luke, therefore, is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith and to live a life transformed by the love and mercy of God.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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